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An Overview of Wi-Fi

Jul 29, 2008
Wi-Fi is everywhere. Well, not really. Not even a bit close. Though the suggestion that it will soon be is neither a supposition nor an affirmation. Let us face it, this is an unassailable fact. Whether or not you use it does not really matter. Wi-Fi has already established a strong foundation and all it needs to do is to branch out and grow.

What is Wi-Fi?

Initially, individuals assume that the concept is both intimidating and baffling. But if Wi-Fi is stripped down of its techie jargons and numerical hullabaloos, what is left is a system that utilizes radio signals to transmit data from one computer to another. It is that simple.

For now, one need not know what IEEE 802.11 specification stands for. We need not expound on the various protocols bearing numbers like 802.11a and 802.11b. Tackling these things will only bring more confusion in the mix.

Wi-Fi vs. Bluetooth: Comparison & Contrast
Though both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth provide wireless connection, the latter is limited to a one-to-one ratio. An example is sending a file from a computer to a mobile phone. In here, there are two directions: PC to phone or vice versa. And that is it. No other party is involved.

Bluetooth and internet is not a match made in tech heaven. If you are planning to connect to the internet, Bluetooth is not the optimum choice. The speed of a Bluetooth enabled device compared to a Wi-Fi is nothing but sluggish.

As for Wi-Fi, it can function under a network configuration whereby several devices may be hooked on or connected to it. Yes, you can link up an entire network. Surfing the web is easier for its speed can reach up to 11 megabits per second as compared to that of a Bluetooth's 720 kilobits per second.

Key Feature

One main element of this technology is that it is an open standard. It is this standardization that curved the high costs of connectivity. As for its installation, it can easily be positioned in every home. The continuous rise of establishments offering hotspots or those with Wi-Fi is providing the population access to the internet making broadband convenient and portable.

A decade ago, wireless is a luxury, but now such idea is only a thing of the past. As of date, notebooks and laptops are manufactured with built-in Wi-Fi capability and many homes have also embraced this technology as the way to connect to the internet. Heck, you can even take your laptop, purchase a drink in a Wi-Fi café and leisurely check your email while enjoying the ambiance and your cup of coffee.

The Sharing

Generally, when one is using Wi-Fi, he is sharing access to the World Wide Web. Picture a tree. From its foundation up to the branches stretching out---the trunk represents the router while the branches the end user's computer units. In here, local area network (LAN) comes into play. As you connect to the internet using radio signals, the same network signals can be used to share files and applications to another laptop or computer provided it is within the Wi-Fi range.

The Name Confusion

Wireless fidelity, this term is quite new. Actually, it was only in 1999 that Wi-Fi has been attached with such a meaning. The company responsible for this wireless fidelity (a play on the word high fidelity or HiFi) is the Wi-Fi Alliance. And with that said, it is clear that Wi-Fi is but a trademark, a brand name of said establishment.

In closing, Wi-Fi technology, whatever the name means, is an alternative to the wires and cables technology. Gone are the days of tin cans and strings. But still the purpose remains, communication.
About the Author
The Auther of this article is Benedict Yossarian. Benedict recommends New Horizons IT courses such as MCSE, CCNA and Photoshop Training . Benedict recommends Comm Store for hardware such as swtiches and Cat5e UTP cable.
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