Wireless networks (Wi-Fi)
Wireless networks (Wi-Fi) are similar to local area networks (LAN), but devices transfer information using radio waves instead of cables. Every computer connected to Wi-Fi should have wireless network adapter. It can be either LAN on Motherboard (LON) or peripheral network adapter. This device allows every component to establish a connection with wireless access point for developing of wireless local area network (WLAN). Access point is analogous to router in wired network. It can also serve as a bridge which is integrated in the center of WLAN allowing users of wireless and wired networks to exchange data. If wired network is connected to the Internet wireless network can also use it. If no, it’s possible to access the Internet in Wi-Fi with the help of ADSL or cable modems.
Let’s consider advantages of Wi-Fi.
- Firstly, there’s no need to use cables. It’s expensive to introduce cables and install access points in old buildings. If you use wireless network range of coverage of one access point is much bigger in comparison with access points of wired networks and can cover area size of a floor or even of whole building.
- Secondly, you may work anywhere within access point effective area. When it’s sunny you may work outdoors. also study in any room at home.
- Thirdly, access points can be found in hotels, libraries and airports, i.e. you may access the Internet outside your house or office.
Wireless network also has its disadvantages. Local wired network can transfer data at a speed of 1000 Mbit/s. Wireless networks are much slower and the farther you are from access point the lower connection speed is. In spite of the fact that it’s possible to save on cables, wireless network adapters are much more expensive than wired ones. Also, there can be problems with security and data transfer if your neighbor uses the same channel. Besides, other users can intercept your data. Encryption protocols like WEP, WPA-PSK and WPA2-PSK will provide safety of connection. But nowadays WEP protocol isn’t practically used because it’s vulnerable and represents a tasty morsel for crackers of Wi-Fi networks. WPA2- PSK protocol is the most reliable. That’s why it’s recommended to use it to protect a network.