What is Wi-Fi?

Wi-Fi is the name given by the Wi-Fi Alliance to the IEEE 802.11 suite of standards. 802.11 defined the initial standard for wireless local area networks (WLANs), but it was considered too slow for some applications and so was superseded by the extensions 802.11a and 802.11b, and later by 802.11g.

At its most basic, WIFI is an alternative network to wired network which is commonly used for connecting devices in wireless mode.

Benefits of Wi-Fi

  • Wireless Ethernet. Wi-Fi is an Ethernet replacement. Wi-Fi and Ethernet, both IEEE 802 networks, share some core elements.
    • Extended Access. The absence of wires and cables extends access to places where wires and cables cannot go or where it is too expensive for them to go.
    • Cost Reduction. The absence of wires and cables brings down cost. This is accomplished by a combination of factors, the relatively low cost of wireless routers, no need for trenching, drilling and other methods that may be necessary to make physical connections.
    • Mobility. Wires tie you down to one location. Going wireless means you have the freedom to change your location without losing your connection.
    • Flexibility. Extended access, cost reductions, and mobility create opportunities for new applications as well as the possibility of creative new solutions for legacy applications.

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Elements of Wi-Fi network

Access Point (AP) – The AP is a wireless LAN transceiver or “base station” that can connect one or many wireless devices simultaneously to the Internet.
Wi-Fi cards – They accept the wireless signal and relay information. They can be internal and external.
Safeguards – Firewalls and anti-virus software protect networks from uninvited users and keep information secure.

Wi-Fi Topologies

Peer-to-peer topology – AP is not required, Client devices within a cell can communicate with each other directly.

Infrastructure network – The client communicate through Access Point, Any communication has to go through AP for example If a Mobile Station (MS), like a computer, a PDA, or a phone, wants to communicate with another MS, it needs to send the information to AP first, then AP sends it to the destination MS.

How Wi-Fi works?

A Wi-Fi network makes use of radio waves to transmit information across a network. The computer should include a wireless adapter that will translate data sent into a radio signal. This same signal will be transmitted, via an antenna, to a decoder known as the router. Once decoded, the data will be sent to the Internet through a wired Ethernet connection. 

As the wireless network works as a two-way traffic, the data received from the internet will also pass through the router to be coded into a radio signal that will be received by the computer’s wireless adapter.

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