In recent times, you’d be hard pressed to find any public place without a wireless internet connection. Libraries, airports, cafes and hotels all have their own wireless network that people are welcome to use. Wi-Fi is also gaining immense popularity as a home internet network. In fact it is expected that wireless networks are going to be the norm soon and every place on earth will have simple, cable-free internet access.
Wireless internet access comes with many compelling advantages that make it increasingly popular. Wi-Fi negates the use of underground network cabling and is relatively inexpensive and much simpler to set up. One of the greatest merits of wireless internet access is that it brings mobility to users, something that more and more people are staring to prefer in the age of mobile devices. You can move from one place to another effortlessly without the hassle of connecting wires. Wireless networks are also very inconspicuous since they don’t require a lot of space and go completely unnoticed unless someone is actively looking for one.
As Wi-Fi becomes a necessity, in most cases the underlying concept remain the same. Somewhat like cell phones, Wi-Fi networks make use of radio waves to communicate. The wireless antenna in a computer transmits data in the form of a radio signal which is received and decoded by a wireless router. This router forwards the data to the internet using an Ethernet connection. The same course of action works backwards with the signal from the internet reaching the computer through a wireless router.
Wi-fi communication uses radios that are a lot like the ones used in cell phones and walkie talkies. They all provide two way communication but the radios used in Wi-Fi networks feature some improvements over traditional radios. For instance, the frequencies that Wi-Fi radios transmit over are much higher at 2.4GHz or even 5GHz. The higher the frequency the more data the signal can transmit.
One of the best features of a wireless network is that multiple devices can connect to the internet using just one router. This explains the popularity of wireless networks service in schools, businesses and even homes where connecting to the internet becomes very convenient by lots of users.
The only time people experience problems is when a number of people simultaneously end of using applications that require high bandwidth and the router ends up losing their connection.
However, newer Wi-Fi technologies like WiMax possess capabilities of transmitting an even larger amount of data at one time and therefore this hiccup could very soon be a thing of the past.
Since Wi-Fi networks are present virtually everywhere now, most new computers come equipped with wireless antennas. These are essential for a computer to be able to connect to Wi-Fi. If a built-in wireless antenna is not available then you can also use a wireless adapter that comes as a USB flash drive. After that the computer automatically finds a wireless network if one s available and you can easily connect to it.