A word about Wifi or Wi-fi Technology

 By: M. Aslam
WiFi is the other name for wireless internet or wireless network, this name is mostly used by none technical users who just knows how to access internet wirelessly, they know pretty much nothing beyond that. WiFi is basically short form for wireless fidelity. However many advance users are not well aware of this terminology either, it is ,more known with a name of Wifi. WiFi term is written in many ways which are, Wifi, WiFi, WIFI, Wi-Fi fiwi etc.

Wi-Fi was introduced by Wi-Fi alliance in 1985 it was the time when it was not used as commercially but were just set to certain organizations for testing purposes. Wi-Fi Alliance is pioneer in developing WiFi technology and all the hardware associated with Wifi is mostly certified by Wifi Alliance compliance. Wifi later developed properly and than eventually lunched for public use in USA in 90’s, gradually wifi become standards for most of the computer communications in countless organizations around the world.

Wifi uses all the networks referring to any type of 802.11 network standards which is set by IEEE. IEEE is short form of Institute of electric and electronic engineering. There are lots of enhancements made in standards of 802.11 and 802.11a, 802.11b and other dual networks. The latest standard of 802.11 family is 802.11y. Other known standards are 802.16, these are the standards for upcoming technology known to be WiMax. There is one more known set of standards for Ethernet it is known to be IEEE 802.3.

Growth of Wifi networks is still on going world wide this huge growth raises security issues. Wifi is the most widely used network world wide and many organizations transfer their sensitive data using Wireless networks. Increased use of Wireless network increases potentially risks of the security of the users or organization. Wireless network carries data of every type, that can be normal data in bits of information or it can encrypted or even highly sensitive. WiFi security mechanism insures the certain level of data integrity and confidentiality just as wired network provides. However if proper security measures are not adopted properly intruders can attack the network and can cause major damage to not only network but privacy of users also.

There was a time when cables were used to network many computers together. Hardware like routers, hubs, switches etc were required for communication between computers, but Wifi brought high tech change in communication of computers by providing wireless connectivity features. It just keeps things very simple without much hassle and networks can be made far more easily. No wires are required. Wireless network keeps environment very neat and clean. There are many other features of Wireless LANs for example high speed connectivity. Wifi provides high speed connectivity and faster communication where cables are not feasible to install for example in remote areas. The list of the Wifi features is long some other major features included Site survey, enterprise grade equipment, Scalable systems, VPN Compatibility, flexible authentication methods, Guest satisfaction, End user mobility and easy access through Hotspots.

WiFi supports two different types of modes; they are known to be infrastructure and the other one is ad hoc. In Ad hoc Wireless connections can be made without central device called router or access point. Most network administrators prefer ad hoc over infrastructure mode. Ad hoc how ever have issues also. Wifi devices connected using Ad hoc mode offers less security against unauthorized users. Ad hoc mode configured devices cannot disable SSID broadcast in contrast to infrastructure mode, this brings hackers into play, and using ad hoc mode it is not very difficult to prevail into the wireless network. There are two major differences between these two modes that is the rate at which they transfer data. Wife network standard 802.11g requires Ad hoc mode of communication to support 11Mbps bandwidth in contrast to it 54Mbps data transfer is supported using infrastructure mode. Hence Ad hoc mode is considered much slower than Infrastructure mode.

Wireless based networks are increasing every where; every organization is installing it if it was not using it before. Some cities have actually provided the entire city a wifi and turn the city into hotspot, big example in front of us is Chicago. Chicago have installed huge transmitter in shape of big size dish of Wifi which broadcast Wireless LAN radio signals through out the city. It provides high speed internet connectivity very cheaply. Laptops, desktop computers, PDAs and other Wireless LAN card installed devices can access the network and get high speed connectivity on move. WiFi users increasing day by day therefore its hardware manufacturers are manufacturing the products on huge scale. These products are easily available in market with reasonable cost. Laptops, PDAs, mother boards of latest desktop computer are mostly come with build in wireless LAN cards. If it is not installed already in your laptop one can buy PCMCI slot wifi card to install for accessing wireless network. Wifi PCI cards are also widely available in market. Now USB wifi are also available for short range but still works good.

Intelligent routers are available in market which works to connect different devices to wireless network. These routers can be configured with or without PC. All is required to plug internet cable in Ethernet or USB port to router’s appropriate port. When internet is available to routers it can be configured using its control panel using IP 192.168.1.1. That’s where we can enable SSID broadcasting or disable it and perform other functions. PCs can also be attached to routers for more advance management which routers can not performs. PCs are mostly required to be used where network is huge and keeping and maintaining its integrity and stability is very important.

In this modern era every one wants every thing wireless, Wifi belongs to wireless technology family. There are so many other wireless technologies which have evolved around the time and Wifi is now taken for granted and world is now talking about much advanced and enhanced wireless network known to be WiMax. WiMax beats Wifi technology on many bases which includes Speed at which data rate is transferred, range with which connection is made and so much more. Now we have to see in how much time WiMax will take over WiFi, and which technology will eventually take over WiMax. One thing is for sure latest technologies in wireless technology will keep coming and will keep getting over looked by new ones.
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