How does wireless internet work?
Wireless internet transfers digital data using
radio frequency. Wi-Fi is the leading wireless technology based on the IEEE
802.11 specifications. It allows a person with a Wi-Fi device, such as a
laptop or personal digital assistant (PDA) to connect to the internet via
access points (AP). The region covered by one or several access points is
called a hotspot.
Wi-Fi is useful for business travelers who need
to get access to the internet in cafés, hotels and airports. For home users, a
wireless router can connect a group of Wi-Fi enabled devices (e.g. multiple
computers) to an adjacent wired network (such as a DSL or cable modem) to
establish home networking.
Wireless internet service providers offer Wi-Fi
hotspot network in many locations. The users can get online with a broadband
speed up to 100 times faster than dialup. Free Wi-Fi networks are also
available in many municipalities providing free hotspots and hotzones but
these open access points may pose great security risks to novice users.
Advantages of Wi-Fi internet access:
1) A network can be set up without cabling and
2) Economical networking solution
3) Provides access to the internet in outdoor
4) Roaming is supported. A user can move from
one access point to another.
5) A large number of hotspots are available
Disadvantages of Wi-Fi internet access:
1) High power consumption rate for laptop computers
2) Wireless encryption standard is easy to break
3) Wi-Fi network has limited range
4) Overlapping access points can interfere signal transmission
5) Subject to security risks if wireless encryption is not enabled
6) Internet connection speed of wireless network is lower than that of wired