Wi-Fi (short for Wireless Fidelity) is a wireless technology used to increase the compatilibity of wireless networks. Common uses of Wi-Fi include Internet, gaming, Voice over IP, and network connectivity. Common Wi-Fi devices include the personal computer, iPod, PSP, Nintendo DS, home video game consoles, and several brands of PDA. Since its inception in 1997, Wi-Fi has grown in popularity and is quickly becoming the standard for wireless networking.
There are several advantages of having a Wi-Fi connection. The most common use is the ability to connect to the Internet wirelessly. With Wi-Fi, you can also connect other electronic devices outside of a personal computer. You can connect digital cameras, DVDs, and video game consoles using a Wi-Fi connection.
Wi-Fi uses high frequency radio signals to transmit and receive data over a few hundred feet. Wi-Fi uses Ethernet protocol, which is the most common local area network technology. The wireless network uses either an infrared or radio frequency to link several mobile computer to its network. Wi-Fi uses a specific radio technology called IEEE 802.11b or 802.11a to provide a reliable wireless network connection. IEEE stands for Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, which is an organization consisting of scientists and engineers in New York. Wi-Fi uses a frequency of 2.4 to 2.4835 gigahertz, which is also common microwaves and cordless telephones.
How it Works
A Wi-Fi connection works through a transmitting antenna, which is usually connected to a DSL or cable Internet connection. The antenna on the router will then beam radio signals through a specific range. Another antenna, which is on the laptop or personal computer, receives the signal.
The wireless signal typically has a range of 300 feet. The connection speeds gets slower as the distance between the computer and the router increases. A wireless access point connects a group of wireless devices to a wired Local Area Network, or LAN connection.
The wireless access point then relays data between the connected devices. Before a device can connect to a Wi-Fi network, a wireless adapter will need to be present. Wireless adapter can connect to devices using PCI or miniPCI, USB, Cardbus, ExpressCard, and PC card.
Once the device has a wireless adapter, you will need a wireless router to relay the signal to your adapter. The wireless router is connected to the high-speed modem with an Ethernet cable. Once the wireless router is connected, you should be able to receive a wireless signal as long as there is a wireless adapter on the device you wish to connect.
Who invented WI-FI
In 1971, ALOHAnet connected the Hawaiian Islands with a UHF wireless packet network. ALOHAnet and the ALOHA protocol were early forerunners to Ethernet, and later the IEEE 802.11 protocols, respectively.
A 1985 ruling by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission released the ISM band for unlicensed use. These frequency bands are the same ones used by equipment such as microwave ovens and are subject to interference.
In 1991, NCR Corporation with AT&T Corporation invented the precursor to 802.11, intended for use in cashier systems, under the name WaveLAN.
The Australian radio-astronomer Dr John O’Sullivan with his colleagues Terence Percival, Graham Daniels, Diet Ostry, and John Deane developed a key patent used in Wi-Fi as a by-product of a Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) research project, “a failed experiment to detect exploding mini black holes the size of an atomic particle“. Dr O’Sullivan and his colleagues are credited with inventing Wi-Fi. In 1992 and 1996, CSIRO obtained patents for a method later used in Wi-Fi to “unsmear” the signal.
The first version of the 802.11 protocol was released in 1997, and provided up to 2 Mbit/s link speeds. This was updated in 1999 with 802.11b to permit 11 Mbit/s link speeds, and this proved to be popular.
In 1999, the Wi-Fi Alliance formed as a trade association to hold the Wi-Fi trademark under which most products are sold.