WiFi, the short form of Wireless Fidelity, is a technology that allows you to connect to the internet without a cabled network. WiFi technology uses the 802.11 standard developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and commercialized by the WiFi Alliance.
Whether you are at home, your office cabin or another business location, using WiFi you can access the internet from your laptop or PDA as long as you are within the range of a WiFi access point.
WiFi uses radio technology for communication, and mostly operates at 2.4 or 5 GHz frequency. Most of the new connectible devices are today WiFi certified, which means not only that they are WiFi enabled, but also that these devices are interoperable.
In a WiFi network, computers with a WiFi network card can connect wirelessly to a WiFi router. The router is connected to internet using a cable or DSL modem. Any WiFi enabled connectible device within 60 meters or so of the access point can access the internet.
Some WiFi hotspots are open in the sense that anyone with a connectible device within the range can access them, while some others are closed which means that only authorized users can access them using a password.
Where WiFi can Help
Interoperability is one big advantage of WiFi. WiFi allows users to connect with internet as well as with each other and other devices. It also helps you transcend the distance imitations of using cables and also saves some of the cost.
WiFi technology is of special advantage to people in marketing and sales as these sectors involve a lot of travel. In fact WiFi can help anyone who has to move about a lot on work. They can access their work email or company databases from wherever they are using WiFi technology. Thus WiFi technology allows businesses to grow and expand fast.
Further, businesses do not have to throw away their existing network infrastructure to start on WiFi. It is very easy to integrate WiFi into your current wired network. This gives WiFi a definite cost advantage.
As we saw earlier WiFi technology uses the 2.4-5 GHz bandwidth and speeds ranging from10 to 50 Mbps. This is quite comparable to the speed of a T1 line.
All said and done, security is one of the biggest issues with a wireless network. This is all the more relevant in the case of a plug and play technology like WiFi. If you are not careful enough, anyone close enough to your base station can intercept the data you send and receive from your network or break into your system.
Therefore it is important to take sufficient security measures when you set up a WiFi hotspot at your home or office. Security is also applicable when you need to access a public hotspot using your laptop or other devices.
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