Monday, August 20, 2007

What is WiFi - How Does WiFi Work

I'm often asked "What is Wifi and how does it work?". The simplest explanation of Wifi is that it is a high speed internet and network connection, all done without needing access to wires or phone plugs. How WiFi works can be summarized pretty easily as well.

Basically, WiFi uses radio waves, much the same as a Cell Phone does. When you are inside the range of a "hotspot" and have the necessary hardware in your computer, you can quite simply connect to the internet or your computer network, usually by the click of a button. The hardware in your computer turns the data to be sent to the internet into radio waves. These waves get sent to a wireless router which decodes them and sends them through to the internet. The same works the other way, with internet data being translated into radio waves, sent to your computer and decoded using the installed hardware.

The WiFi radio frequency, however, is much higher than that of Cell Phones (2.4GHz or 5GHz), and the higher frequency allows more data to be transferred. WiFi makes connecting to the internet extremely convenient, as airports, libraries, hotels and a growing number of cafes are now fitted as WiFi hotspots. WiFi also makes the use of home connections that much easier, as one wireless router can service an entire home that contains multiple computers and internet connections, making networking simpler, and there is no hassles with cords when moving your computer to a different location in the house.

No comments: