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Wireless Networking

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Autor:   •  November 24, 2010  •  2,346 Words (10 Pages)  •  345 Views

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Wireless network

While the term wireless network may technically be used to refer to any type of computer network that is wireless, the term is most commonly used to refer to a telecommunications network whose interconnections between nodes is implemented without the use of wires, such as a computer network (which is a type of communications network).Wireless telecommunications networks are generally implemented with some type of remote information transmission system that uses electromagnetic waves, such as radio waves, for the carrier and this implementation usually takes place at the physical level or "layer" of the network.[2]

An embedded Router Board 112 with U.FL-RSMA pigtail and R52 mini PCI Wi-Fi card widely used by wireless Internet service providers (WISPs) in the Czech Republic.

Wireless networks have had a significant impact on the world as far back as World War II. Through the use of wireless networks, information could be sent overseas or behind enemy lines easily and quickly and more reliably. Since then wireless networks have continued to develop and its uses have significantly grown. Cellular phones are part of huge wireless network systems. People use these phones daily to communicate with one another. Sending information over seas is possible through wireless network systems using satellites and other signals to communicate across the world. Emergency services such as the police department utilize wireless networks to communicate important information quickly. People and businesses use wireless networks to send and share data quickly whether it be in a small office building or across the world.[4]

Another important use for wireless networks is as an inexpensive and rapid way to be connected to the Internet in countries and regions where the telecom infrastructure is poor or there is a lack of resources, like most developing countries.

Compatibility issues also arise when dealing with wireless networks. Different components not made by the same company may not work together, or might require extra work to fix compatibility issues. Wireless networks are typically slower than those that are directly connected through an Ethernet cable.

A wireless network is more vulnerable because anyone can try to break into a network broadcasting a signal. Many networks offer WEP - Wired Equivalent Privacy - security systems which have been found to be vulnerable to intrusion. Though WEP does block some intruders, the security problems have caused some businesses to stick with wired networks until security can be improved. Another type of security for wireless networks is WPA - Wi-Fi Protected Access. WPA provides more security to wireless networks than a WEP security set up. The use of firewalls will help with security breaches which can help to fix security problems in some wireless networks that are more vulnerable.

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What is WLAN?

LAN stands for local area network, so a wireless LAN is simply a network linking two or more computers without wires (cables). In many offices today, computers communicate with each other and with printers and other devices by sending information along wires. Using newer technology, computers can be linked by the same method as your cordless telephone operates in your home - by transmitting the signal through air. Just as your cordless telephone frees you to make a phone call from anywhere in your home, the wireless LAN permits workers to use their computers anywhere in the network area, such as an office building or corporate campus. As with the wired network, the computer can access information stored in other computers in the office. Some wireless networks are designed to cover a broader area and are called wide area networks or WANS.

The commercial wireless LAN applications can be divided in five categories.

• LAN extension - indoor wire replacement

• Inter-LAN bridges - outdoor wire replacement

• Campus Area Networks (CAN) - wireless LANs with infrastructure

• Ad-hoc networking - wireless LANs without infrastructure

• Nomadic access - a wireless LAN service

Today's existing applications aims at four categories of applications.

• Healthcare industry

• Factory floors

• Banking industry

• Educational institutions

How does the wireless network works

The network operates by linking the computers to the wiring in the office using radio frequency energy, just as the `cordless' portable telephone in your home sends voice information to the telephone wiring in your home. Like the telephone system, it is a hybrid system using both wired and wireless communication. The antenna is small just a few inches, barely noticeable outside of the computer, and the power used is very low, comparable to your cordless telephone.

Is this technology new?

The ability to send information across distances by radio frequency energy, or radio waves, is not new. Non-cable television AM and FM radio, cellular telephones and pagers use this method. However, affordable technology to adapt these techniques for computers in offices has been developed only in the past few years.

A number of applications already exist in which computers are connected by using radio waves instead of wires. Some are wide area networks and some are local area networks. You may have encountered these without noticing. For example, trucks that carry packages for express delivery are liked to the main office by wireless technology. Similarly, an appliance repairman can set up his portable computer in your home and check with the local warehouse to see if the parts needed to fix your refrigerator are available. Wireless LANs are used at airports, by local police and other public service organizations, and in hospitals for nurses and doctors to enter or obtain data at the patient's bedside.

Wireless local area network speed

The speed at which a WLAN performs depends on the products within the network and configuration of those

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