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Monday, October 7, 2013

What is Wifi technology? How does it work?

- Wifi has emerged as a very popular technology. 
- This technology has enabled the electronic devices to exchange information between them and to share the internet connection without using any cables or wires. 
- It is a wireless technology. 
- This technology works with the help of the radio waves. 
- The Wifi is defined as a WLAN (wireless local area network) product by the wifi alliance that is based on the standards defined by IEEE (802.11 standards). 
Most of the WLANs are based upon these standards only and so this technology has been named as wifi which is the synonymous with the term WLAN. 
- The wifi-certified trademark might be used by only those wifi products which have the complete certification for the wifi alliance inter-operability. 
- A number of devices now use wifi such as the PCs, smart phones, video game consoles, digital cameras, digital audio players, tablet computers and so on. 
- All these devices can connect to the network and access internet by means of a wireless network access point. 
- Such an access point is more commonly known as a ‘hotspot’. 
- The range of an access point is up to 20 m. 
- But it has a much greater range outside.  
- An access point can be installed in a single room or in an area of many square miles. 
- This can be achieved by using a number of overlapping access points. 
However, the security of the wifi is less compared to the wired connections for example Internet.
- This is so because a physical connection is not required by an intruder. 
- The web pages using SSL have security but the intruders can easily access the non-encrypted files on the internet. 
- It is because of this, that the various encryption technologies have been adopted by the wifi. 
- The earlier WEP encryption was weak and so was easy to break.
- Later, came the higher quality protocols such as the WPA2 and WPA. 
- The WPS or the wifi protected set up was an optional feature that was added in the year of 2007. 
- This option a very serious flaw which is that it allowed the recovery of the password of the router by an attacker.
- The certification and the test plan has been updated by the wifi alliance for ensuring that there is resistance against attacks in all the devices that have been newly certified.
- For connecting to a wifi LAN, a wireless network interface controller has to be incorporated in to the computer system.
- This combination of the interface controller and the computer is often called as the station. 
- The same radio frequency communication channel is shared by all the stations.
- Also, all the stations receive any transmission on this channel. 
- Also, the user is not informed of the fact that the data was delivered to the recipient and so is termed as the ‘best–effort delivery mechanism’. 
- For transmitting the data packets, a carrier wave is used. 
- These data packets are commonly known as the ‘Ethernet frames’. 
Each station regularly tunes in to the radio frequency channel for picking up the transmissions that are available. 
- A device that is wifi enabled can connect to the network if it lies in the range of the wireless network. 
- One condition is that the network should have been configured for permitting such a connection. 
- For providing coverage in a large area multiple hotspots are required. 
- For example, wireless mesh networks in London. 
- Through wifi, services can be provided in independent businesses, private homes, public spaces, high street chains and so on. 
- These hotspots have been set up either commercially or free of charge. 
- Free hotspots are provided at hotels, restaurants and airports. 

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