Wi-Fi: What is it, what is it for and how do these wireless networks work?

Nowadays, WiFi networks have become one of the most popular tools all over the world. Anyone who has used the Internet has probably used one of these networks, so you don’t need much of an introduction.

They are usually included in all current smartphones, as well as in any other state-of-the-art technological device. In addition to the routers offered by the various telecommunications companies that have this type of connection.

Therefore, WiFi networks have been established in a very strong way around the world, becoming one of the most important and advanced tools today. With this in mind, here we explain a little more about them.

100% cable-free Internet What is WiFi and who invented it?

There is no doubt that this type of connection is here to stay, because it has now managed to replace a large percentage of Ethernet connections, thus eliminating any type of wired connection, offering a number of advantages to each of its users compared to traditional cable systems and Ethernet adapters.

The fact is that these networks give their users the possibility of being able to connect to them through a wireless point with a certain transmission range. To do so, they will not need to use any cable or adapter to establish such a connection. All this has made it a faster and cheaper tool than traditional systems. To do this, here we explain a little more about the history and evolution of WiFi networks.

Source

The first transmissions by wireless means were made in 1888 by the German physicist Rudolf Hertz, who decided to carry out an experiment with an oscillator and resonator, obtaining a favourable result. After this these types of transmissions were continued and in the same year they began to be used as a means of communication on radio waves.

By the year 1907, the first complete messages that crossed the Atlantic began to be transmitted. Meanwhile, in 1971, the University of Hawaii began designing what was the first packet radio communication network system. These became the first WLAN networks, which were formed by 7 computers located on different islands where all communicated to a single host computer.

All these projects were becoming the beginnings of these types of connections, until in 1990 technology manufacturers began to include them in their various devices, where companies like Nokia or Symbol Technologies began to create WECA (Wireless Ethernet Compatibility) networks, which became known as the WiFi Alliance by 2003. From this moment on, this technology would start to be applied in a mass use within the devices.

Evolution

When all this technology began to establish itself it became a mess, and it was thus until the year 1997 when the IEEE 802.11 standardization or also known as the standardization of the communication of wireless WLAN networks was established.

Since then, all this has been in constant evolution until today and we explain it below:

  • 802.11G standard: This standard was in force until 2003, which served to unite all the technologies that had been created so far. They served to improve the routers, so that they had much more power in their signal, as well as a greater range.
  • 802.11n standard: Appears in 2009, which began to offer connections at a higher speed thus increasing its effectiveness where MIMO data (Multiple Imput Multiple Output) is attributed. That is, different antennas were used that were capable of improving the signal of communications.
  • Massification of WIFI: Thanks to the appearance of the 802.11n standard, it was possible to extend the range to 4 GHz, allowing these networks to be available to a greater number of devices. However, at the time this caused great inconvenience, since the existence of a large number of devices connected to the same network caused congestion in data transmission.

In order to solve these problems, wireless network companies were forced to manufacture the dual-band routers, where 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz links were carried simultaneously.

  • The WiFi currently: Its use is currently defined in “Rethink Wireless”, where it can be said that this service has continued to improve notably, becoming one of the most important technologies worldwide. So much so, that there are now free and paid WiFi network points both in homes and public places, being available to everyone.

This technology allows all technological devices, such as smartphones, tablets, desktop computers, laptops, printers, radios, among many others, to connect to it and carry out a great number of functions in a very simple and fast way.

Wireless Standards

The most used frequencies and commercially for connection to wireless networks are:

  • 802.11a: approved in 1999, it brings together the original set of protocols of the standard, operating with a 5Ghz band. The maximum speed is 54Mbit/s, although in practice speeds are    usually around 20Mbit/s.
  • 802.11b: in this case, also ratified in 1999 With a band of 2.4Ghz, a fairly widespread and used frequency band. The maximum transmission rate is 11Mbit/s, although in practice it is about 5.9Mbit/s.
  • 802.11g: this is an evolution of the previous one, using the same frequency band but with a theoretical maximum speed of 54Mbit/s as in the case of 802.11a. As is usually the case, the average in practice or actual speed usually drops to 22Mbit/s. In addition, there is a variant called 802.11g+ that can reach up to 108Mbit/s.
  • 802.11n: appeared in 2004 as a new revision of the standard. The real speed in this case is up to 600 Mbit/s, which is a significant performance leap from previous ones. In addition, it can work in both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz, so it is compatible with all devices of previous editions.
  • 802.11ac: is the standard we usually find in the most modern electronic devices and the one that operates with the 5Ghz band. This standard supports speeds of up to 3.46Gbps, which allows for transfer speeds much higher than wifi N.

What are the fundamental elements of a WiFi connection?

This type of connection is a mechanism that allows different technological devices such as intelligent televisions, video consoles, mobile devices, computers, among others, to connect to an Internet network wirelessly.

These access points usually have a varied range that will depend on the individual equipment. In addition, this type of network has fundamental elements which we show you below:

Access point

An access point is a WLAN device that acts as a central point and allows Ethernet networks to be interconnected with wireless networks. That is, wired and wireless networks.

Wireless Bridges

This is designed to be able to connect two or more networks in different locations. It also provides high-speed data that helps improve connections. The main function of these Bridges is to connect those places where it is very difficult to have a wired connection, i.e. university facilities, floors of non-continuous buildings, widely separated offices, among others.

 Router

This device allows the interconnection of networks other than the wired router. Many of these devices have the functionality of a Gateway, they also have WAN and LAN ports, where WAN is considered as another host of the wired network while LAN is a private network or also known as the private wireless network.

Gateway

The Gateway is the one that connects to the network and has been designed to allow hosts on these networks to access the Internet. It has firewall-based security and a NAT/PAT service, as well as a DHCP server.

Adapters

These are presented according to the connection and there are three types of them, either for a USB connection, PCI and PCMCIA, also have antennas that can be external or integrated to them.

Print Server

In this case its function is the same as for a cable network. This will allow you to connect a printer or any other device to a network without the need to have a wired connection, thus improving its operation and the use of the resources of each of the computers.

How does the WiFi router work to provide wireless Internet?

The WiFi router has become a routing device that allows the connection between two or more devices simultaneously, which can also be called a mediator between devices. Through this device the user can connect to a server from his computer, smartphone or any other technological device.

In the same way, this device must follow a series of processes in order to carry this Internet signal.

As explained below:

Establishing the connection and authentication

This first point is when the devices must establish a connection to the network, at which time all the corresponding parameters are entered in detail for the identification of the user. This is carried out from the authentication protocols, in addition this protocol allows the creation of a password for access to the router, thus offering greater security.

Reception of the network

Once the router has communicated with the modem, which is the device in charge of receiving the Internet signal via cable, the routing hardware begins to work. This is where the signal distribution begins to be generated.

Signal coding protocol

All this is done through the Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP), where all the information is encrypted, compressed and authenticated. This allows the required data to be ready for delivery to the network nodes.

Route selection

Once you have all the conditions to be able to distribute the data, the next thing to do is to find out which is the best route for it. In this case it is necessary that there is efficiency between the sender and receiver.

Delivery of the data

Once the best route has been chosen, the next step is the delivery of the data package, this is done via radio waves to the computer or any other device that has made the request to the Internet server.

Once the best route has been chosen, the next step is the delivery of the data package, this is done via radio waves to the computer or any other device that has made the request to the Internet server.

Reverse path

When a device needs to establish an Internet connection, it ends up communicating with the router, which receives all the information and sends it to do a mediation job between the page server and the computer

What is the frequency of a wireless network and which ones exist currently?

This type of WiFi network works on two standard frequencies. This is the one that represents the speed at which the network works, that is, the speed at which data is transmitted and received between devices connected to the Internet. This frequency to which the technological devices are connected is based on the model of the Network Box and the physical location of the equipment.

In addition, we find different types of frequencies which we explain below:

4th generation

This centralization known as 4G or fourth generation WiFi allows for a reduction in the number of access points while improving connection coverage. In addition, it helps to reduce signal noise, as well as all the microcell spectra that have been used in previous generations, where frequencies cross causing a more restricted and reduced coverage at the same time.

This fourth generation is capable of multiplying by six the bandwidth of the third generation networks and by five the number of users in the access points, all this helps to reduce the costs by infrastructure. In addition, all this was developed by Meru Networks.

5th generation

The fifth generation of WiFi or also known as gigabit Wireless and that is called 802.11ac, has been developed to continue improving the connections of the users and it is that it works exclusively in the band of the 5Ghz. Where it has speeds of 3.47 Gbps in case of working in ideal conditions.

6th generation

Finally we find what is the 6th generation in WiFi networks, this new 802.11ax standard is in the development phase and has been a change that presents a lot of new features and characteristics that will allow a large number of devices can access the same network simultaneously, where it will not be affected in its power and speed of load.

Thus, both products and networks are able to work under this new 802.11ax standard, where they currently work with the previous 5th generation standard. In addition, this new WiFi 6 is compatible with all previous protocols, which will not become a problem for the connection of current equipment.

How do I get a secure Wi-Fi password and avoid getting our Internet connection hacked?

Security is one of the most important factors nowadays, especially when it comes to an Internet connection, where we can prevent third parties from hacking into it and stealing private and important data and information. To do this, it is important to create a good password, this being the first step to create a safe environment for any kind of danger.

Therefore, here are some tips to keep in mind when creating a password.

Create a fairly long password

The main feature of a strong and secure password is that it is quite long, so it is recommended that it has at least 8 characters, the more characters it has the more difficult it will be to discover.

Make a mix of characters

Please note that it is not useful to create a long security key but to make it an easy or well known word. In this case it is recommended to use random words and at the same time mix different characters such as numbers, letters, symbols, include upper and lower case letters in the whole word.

 Writing the words incorrectly

A good option for this, is to start typing the words with spelling mistakes, this will make your word a unique phrase difficult to guess for cybercriminals and password cracking software. An example of this would be: hindependienthes or havrazo, these types of phrases are almost impossible to guess.

What kind of passwords should you avoid

It is important that you do not place passwords that are very common or easy to guess, such as your own names or surnames, or the names of your relatives, nor should you use passwords such as abc1234, 12345678, password. 11111111, admin or abcdefg.

How many people are connected via Wi-Fi in the world?

Wireless network connections have one advantage and that is that they allow you to know who is connected to them, this will allow you to have a record of your signal and according to it know how can be the behavior of your network. Nowadays this type of WiFi connection is used all over the world, becoming one of the most important technologies.

It is employed by large and small companies around the world, as well as by the self-employed. Where it has been so important that in most countries there are usually public places or places where they offer these services completely free to their users, allowing them to be connected to these WiFi networks.

Therefore, it is estimated that at least every 3 out of 5 people in the world are connected to one of these networks, making it one of the most used and important networks today.

This post is also available in: Português (Portuguese (Brazil))

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