History About Wi-Fi
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 popular. In 1999, the Wi-Fi Alliance formed as a trade association to hold the Wi-Fi trademark under which most products are sold. Wi-Fi uses a large number of patents held by many different organizations. In April 2009, 14 technology companies agreed to pay CSIRO $1 billion for infringements on CSIRO patents. This led to Australia labeling Wi-Fi as an Australian invention, though this has been the subject of some controversy. CSIRO won a further $220 million settlement for Wi-Fi patent-infringements in 2012, with global firms in the United States required to pay CSIRO licensing rights estimated at an additional $1 billion in royalties. In 2016, the wireless local area network Test Bed was chosen as Australia’s contribution to the exhibition A History of the World in 100 Objects held in the National Museum of Australia.
WiFi is a technology that uses radio waves to provide network connectivity. A connection is established using a wireless adapter to create hotspots — areas in the vicinity of a wireless router that are connected to the network and allow users to access internet services. This article will introduce you to the basics of WiFi so that you may have a better understanding of your Internet access.
You may be surprised to hear that many people don’t actually know that WiFi is an abbreviated term. Even those who do don’t always know what WiFi stands for. There are a number of theories about what the term means, but the most widely accepted definition for the term in the tech community is Wireless Fidelity.
An Introduction to WiFi
Wireless technology has widely spread lately and you can get connected almost anywhere; at home, at work, in libraries, schools, airports, hotels and even in some restaurants. Wireless networking is known as WiFi or 802.11 networking as it covers the IEEE 802.11 technologies. The major advantage of WiFi is that it is compatible with almost every operating system, game device, and advanced printer.
How WiFi Works
Like mobile phones, a WiFi network makes use of radio waves to transmit information across a network. The computer should include a wireless adapter that will translate data sent into a radio signal. This same signal will be transmitted, via an antenna, to a decoder known as the router. Once decoded, the data will be sent to the Internet through a wired Ethernet connection. As the wireless network works as a two-way traffic, the data received from the internet will also pass through the router to be coded into a radio signal that will be received by the computer’s wireless adapter.
A wireless network will transmit at a frequency level of 2.4 GHz or 5GHz to adapt to the amount of data that is being sent by the user. The 802.11 networking standards will somewhat vary depending mostly on the user’s needs.
The 802.11a will transmit data at a frequency level of 5GHz. The Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing (OFDM) used enhances reception by dividing the radio signals into smaller signals before reaching the router. You can transmit a maximum of 54 megabits of data per second.
The 802.11b will transmit data at a frequency level of 2.4GHz, which is a relatively slow speed. You can transmit a maximum of 11 megabits of data per second.
The 802.11g will transmit data at 2.4GHz but can transmit a maximum of 54 megabits of data per second as it also uses an OFDM coding.
The more advanced 802.11n can transmit a maximum of 140 megabits of data per second and uses a frequency level of 5GHz.
What are Hotspots?
The term hotspot is used to define an area where WiFi access is available. It can either be through a closed wireless network at home or in public places such as restaurants or airports. In order to access hotspots, your computer should include a wireless adapter. If you are using an advanced laptop model, it will probably include a built-in wireless transmitter already. If it doesn’t, you can purchase a wireless adapter that will plug into the PCI slot or USB port. Once installed, your system should automatically detect the WiFi hotspots and request connection. If not, you should use a software to handle this task for you.