Sunday, November 23, 2008

What is Wi-Fi?

Wireless is here to stay it seems so what is it. Think of it as a telephone for the computer. A network cable is a chorded phone line and wireless is a cordless signal the card the antennae. For those of you old enough to remember there were and still are walkie-talkies (radios).

Wi-Fi is indeed a radio signal in the 2.4 MHz band width range. In the early days there was a problem because this was also a frequency shared with some cordless phones which in term caused the signals to be cancelled out. I could ist the actual frequency of the 11 US channels but you can search for them easily on the internet.

Due to the amount of wireless routers many are starting to use encryption to protect their network from intrusion. Think of encryption as a key to a door – WEP would be like a combination lock without which you could not open the door and some of the other more like keys. I tend to prefer n some cases leaving the network open and restricting access by MAC address – this is like a biometric reader – if your laptop does not have the right unique finger print no access. Can it be clones – sure if you know how which many do not and have even done some installs where I have done both.

There are many standards to Wi-Fi under 802.11 though there are 4 people know about and three most people see in the store, each has its advantages:

  • A - 5.25, 5.6 and 5.8 GHz - 54 Mbps - fast speed/greater range
  • B – 2.4 GHz - 11 Mbps - slower speed/ greater range
  • G – 2.4 GHz - 54 Mbps - faster speed/greater range/less interference
  • N – 2.4 GHz - 54 Mbps - MIMO – multiple input multiple output uses two antennae (one to send and the other to receive) – faster speed/greater range/less interference

In another post Bluetooth will be discussed.

1 comment:

jhunnelle said...

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keep it up:)

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