has widely spread lately and you can get connected almost
anywhere; at home, at work, in libraries, schools, airports,
hotels and even in some restaurants.
is known as Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity) or 802.11 networking as
it covers the IEEE 802.11 technologies. The major advantage of
Wi-Fi is that it is compatible with almost every operating
system, game device and advanced printer.
How does Wi-Fi work?
Like mobile phones, a Wi-Fi network makes use of radio waves
to transmit information across a network. The computer should
include a wireless adapter that will translate data sent into
a radio signal. This same signal will be transmitted, via an
antenna, to a decoder known as the router. Once decoded, the
data will be sent to the Internet through a wired Ethernet
connection. As the wireless network will work as a two-way
portal for data traffic, the data received from the Internet
will also pass through the router to be coded into a radio
signal that will be receipted by the computer's wireless
What is a Hotspot?
The term Hotspot is used to define an area where Wi-Fi access
is available. It can either be through a closed wireless
network at home or in public places like restaurants or
To be able to access Hotspots your computer should include a
wireless adapter. If you are using an advanced laptop model,
it will probably include a built-in wireless transmitter
Otherwise you can purchase a wireless adapter that
will plug into the PCI slot or USB port. Once installed, your
system will automatically detect the Wi-Fi hotspots and
request connection. If not, you should use a software to
handle this task for you.
What is a wireless network?
A wireless network is like any other computer
network. It connects computers to computer networks but
without the need for physical wired connections. A wireless
network can provide network access to computers, databases,
the Internet and OPACs, both within and between buildings. The
lack of a physical connection means that users are able to
roam or work wherever they wish and still have access to the
are three primary types of wireless connectivity:
Area Networking (WPAN)
Wireless Local Area
Wireless Wide Area
WPAN describes an
application of wireless technology that is intended to address
usage scenarios that are inherently personal in nature. The
emphasis is on instant connectivity between devices that
manage personal data or which facilitate data sharing between
small groups of individuals. An example might be synchronizing
data between a PDA and a desktop computer. Or another example
might be spontaneous sharing of a document between two or more
individuals. The nature of these types of data sharing
scenarios is that they are ad hoc and often spontaneous.
Wireless communication adds value for these types of usage
models by reducing complexity (i.e. eliminates the need for
WLAN on the other is more focused on organizational
connectivity not unlike wire based LAN connections. The intent
of WLAN technologies is to provide members of workgroups
access to corporate network resources be it shared data,
shared applications or e-mail but do so in way that does not
inhibit a user's mobility. The emphasis is on a permanence of
the wireless connection within a defined region like an office
building or campus. This implies that there are wireless
access points that define a finite region of coverage.
Whereas WLAN addresses connectivity within a defined
region, WWAN addresses the need to stay connected while
traveling outside this boundary. Today, cellular technologies
enable wireless computer connectivity either via a cable to a
cellular telephone or through PC Card cellular modems. The
need being addressed by WWAN is the need to stay in touch with
business critical communications while traveling.
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