Wi-Fi has become a common name in households where there is internet. Everywhere we go, we mainly look for Wi-Fi to be connected to high-speed internet. Wi-Fi at hotels, cafes, stations and many more. It has become a common part of our life like the smartphone in our hand. So, let us know what Wi-Fi is and how it works.
Wi-Fi is basically a wireless networking protocol. And amazingly, it allows devices to be connected to the internet without cords being attached to devices. It is commonly said that Wi-Fi refers to Wireless Fidelity. But the term Wi-Fi is simply the name of the non-profit group Wi-Fi Alliance. It was formed together by many visionary companies in 2000 with vision of ‘connecting everyone and everything, everywhere’. From then to now, it has become one of the most valued technologies globally.
Basic functioning of Wi-Fi
A Wi-Fi network makes use of radio waves just like mobile phones. It transmits information across a network. There is router which codes data received from internet into radio signal. This is then sent to device connected to the Wi-Fi router. And, the connected device has an inbuilt wireless adapter/ transmitter in it. It translates data sent into a radio signal. This same signal then gets transmitted via an antenna to a decoder. The router also works as the decoder. From there, the data is sent to the Internet Service Provider (ISP) through a wired Ethernet connection. So, there is a proper two-way traffic. This communication and conversion into signals take place in nanoseconds. Places, where there is Wi-Fi access, are also called hotspots.
A wireless network transmits at a frequency level of 2.4 GHz or 5GHz. The IEEE 802.11 networking standards provide specifications for Wi-Fi. It is a set of specifications for media access control and physical layer. The major standards are 802.11a, 802.11b/g/n, and/or 802.11ac.
802.11a transmits data at a frequency level of 5GHz at a maximum of 54 megabits of data per second. The 802.11b transmits data at a frequency level of 2.4GHz at a maximum of 11 megabits of data per second (Mbps). The 802.11g transmit data at 2.4GHz but at speed of maximum of 54 Mbps. 802.11n is the most advanced compared to above explained and it can transmit a maximum up to 140 Mbps and uses a frequency level of 5GHz. But defeating all these, 802.11ac is the newest technology with the highest speed rated up to 1300 Mbps on the 5 GHz band plus up to 450 Mbps on 2.4 GHz. It utilizes dual-band wireless technology.
Wi-Fi Alliance reports that there are more Wi-Fi devices than people in the world. This is totally astonishing but one must believe it seeing the global use of the technology. Presently, more than half of the internet traffic travels through Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi is a key part of global internet usage.