What is Wi-fi? Wi-Fi, which stands for wireless fidelity, is a wireless networking technology used across the globe. Wi-Fi refers to any system that uses the 802. 11 standard, which was developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and released in 1997. The term Wi-Fi, which is alternatively spelled WiFi, Wi-fi, Wifi, or wifi, was pushed by the Wi-Fi Alliance, a trade group that pioneered commercialization of the technology.
Computer usage has dramatically increased in past few years which in result brought immense technology enhancement in every field possible. Technology has reached to its heights but thirst of knowledge is still in race and will always be till the end of the world. Wireless communication between computers is certainly one of the most appreciated and used technology globally. In “Computers” Wi-Fi replaced traditional wired networks between two or more computers, it enabled file transferring from server to clients and vice versa possible without wires, networking cards, hubs and other important networking related hardware.
Using Wi-Fi internet connection can be shared among computers with minimum usage of hardware, WLAN cards enable feature of wireless networking among devices, wireless routers help to broadcast wireless networking signals in given area. In a Wi-Fi network, computers with wifi network cards connect wirelessly to a wireless router. The router is connected to the Internet by means of a modem, typically a cable or DSL modem. Any user within 200 feet or so (about 61 meters) of the access point can then connect to the Internet, though for good transfer rates, distances of 100 feet (30. meters) or less are more common.
Wi-Fi networks can either be “open”, such that anyone can use them, or “closed”, in which case a password is needed. An area blanketed in wireless access is often called a wireless hotspot. Wifi technology uses radio frequency for communication, typically operating at a frequency of 2. 4GHz. Electronics that are “WiFi Certified” are guaranteed to interoperate with each other regardless of brand. Wifi is technology designed to cater to the lightweight computing systems of the future, which are mobile and designed to consume minimal power.
PDAs, laptops, and various accessories are designed to be wifi-compatible. There are even phones under development that would switch seamlessly from cellular networks to wifi networks without dropping a call. New Wi-Fi technologies will extend range from 300 feet (91. 5 meters) to 600 feet (183 meters) and beyond, while boosting data transfer rates. Most new laptops nowadays come equipped with internal wireless networking cards.
How Wi-Fi works?
The typical Wi-Fi setup contains one or more Access Points (APs) and one or more clients (the computers connected to the network). An AP broadcasts its SSID (Service Set Identifier, Network name) via packets that are called beacons, which are broadcasted every 100ms. The beacons are transmitted at 1Mbps, and are relatively short and therefore are not of influence on performance. Since 1Mbps is the lowest rate of Wi-Fi it assures that the client who receives the beacon can communicate at least 1Mbps. Based on the client may decide whether to connect to an AP. Also the firmware (the software or the program running on the hardware) running on the client Wi-Fi card is of influence.
Say two AP’s of the same SSID are in range of the client, the firmware may decide based on signal strength (Signal-to-noise ratio) to which of the two AP’s it will connect. The Wi-Fi standard leaves connection criteria and roaming totally open to the client. This is strength of Wi-Fi, but also means that one wireless adapter may perform substantially better than the other. Since Windows XP there is a feature called zero configuration which makes the user show any network available and let the end user connect to it on the fly. In the future wireless cards will be more and more controlled by the operating system.
Microsoft’s newest feature called SoftMAC will take over from on-board firmware. Having said this, roaming criteria will be totally controlled by the operating system. Wi-Fi transmits in the air; it has the same properties as a non-switched ethernet network. Even collisions can therefore appear like in non-switched ethernet LAN’s.
History of Wi-fi
In 1970 Norman Abramson, professor at the University of Hawaii, developed the world’s first computer communication network using low-cost ham-like radios. In 1979, Gfeller and Bapst published a paper in the IEEE Proceedings eporting an experimental wireless local area network using diffused infrared communications. Shortly thereafter. In 1980, P. Ferrert reported on an experimental application for wireless terminal communications in the IEEE National Telecommunications Conference. The first generation of wireless data modems was developed in the early 1980s by amateur radio operators, who commonly referred to this as packet radio. They added a voice band data communication modem, with data rates below 9600-bit/s, to an existing short distance radio system, typically in the two meter amateur band.
The second generation of wireless modems was developed immediately after the FCC announcement in the experimental bands for non-military use of the spread spectrum technology. These modems provided data rates on the order of hundreds of kbit/s. The third generation of wireless modem then aimed at compatibility with the existing LANs with data rates on the order of Mbit/s. Several companies developed the third generation products with data rates above 1 Mbit/s and a couple of products had already been announced by the time of the first IEEE Workshop on Wireless LANs
The first of the IEEE Workshops on Wireless LAN was held in 1991. At that time early wireless LAN products had just appeared in the market and the IEEE 802. 11 committee had just started its activities to develop a standard for wireless LANs. Back in 1991 Wi-Fi was invented by NCR Corporation/AT&T (later on Lucent & Agere Systems) in Nieuwegein, the Netherlands. Initially meant for cashier systems the first wireless products were brought on the market under the name WaveLAN with speeds of 1Mbps/2Mbps.
Vic Hayes who is the inventor of Wi-Fi has been named ‘father of Wi-Fi’ and was with his team involved in designing standards such as IEEE 802. 11b, 802. 11a and 802. 11g The focus of that first workshop was evaluation of the alternative technologies. By 1996, the technology was relatively mature, a variety of applications had been identified and addressed and technologies that enable these applications were well understood. Chip sets aimed at wireless LAN implementations and applications, a key enabling technology for rapid market growth, were emerging in the market.
Wireless LANs were being used in hospitals, stock exchanges, and other in building and campus settings for nomadic access, point-to-point LAN bridges, ad-hoc networking, and even larger applications through internetworking. Originally, WLAN hardware was so expensive that it was only used as an alternative to cabled LAN in places where cabling was difficult or impossible. Early development included industry-specific solutions and proprietary protocols. In 2003, Vic retired from Agere Systems.
Agere Systems suffered from strong competition in the market even though their products were cutting edge, as many opted for cheaper Wi-Fi solutions. Agere’s 802. 11abg all-in-one chipset (code named: WARP) never hit the market, Agere Systems decided to quit the Wi-Fi market in late 2004. In November 2007, the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) won a legal battle in the U. S. federal court of Texas against Buffalo Technology, which found the U. S. manufacturer had failed to pay royalties on a U. S. WLAN patent CSIRO had filed in 1996.
In September 2008, the Federal Circuit remanded the case back to district court. CSIRO then engaged in legal action against fourteen other computer companies including Microsoft, Intel, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Netgear who argued that the patent is invalid and should negate any royalties paid to CSIRO for WLAN-based products. In 2009, these cases were settled out of court, which may see billions in royalties flow to CSIRO.
Wi-Fi in IIT March 30, 2006, GlobeQUEST, the corporate business group of Innove Communications, Inc. has penetrated schools and universities to provide wireless connectivity in the campuses. As a pilot project, the company announced that the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) will be the first university in the Visayas and Mindanao area to be provided with Wireless Fidelity (WiFi) facility networking standard which will allow its faculty, students and staff to connect to the Internet without cumbersome and expensive cables and wires. MSU-IIT, an autonomous external campus of the MSU System with about 9,000 students enrolled per semester, is the first Wi-Fi-powered school project by GlobeQUEST in Visayas and Mindanao.
Under the agreement, GlobeQUEST has provided MSU-IIT with two circuits of Internet. The first college being installed was the College of Engineering (COE). And in the year 2008 four access nodes in designated areas was installed, namely the College of Business Administration and Accountancy (CBAA), College of Arts and Social Science (CASS), Electronics Engineering Technology (ESET) and the College of Science & Mathematics (CSM) to give students and professors the ease and freedom to check their e-mail or surf the Web using their Wi-Fi-capable personal digital assistants or laptops.
This coming Year 2010 the Office of ICT and Computer Center is preparing for the implementation of the said PORTAL or REGISTRATION of every students and professors in this institute to limit who are able to use the said Wi-Fi in the campus to avoid network traffic. MSU-IIT has chosen Wi-Fi as a way to improve student mobility while reducing infrastructure costs since it is much easier and cheaper to put in place wireless access points than rewire buildings on campus.
The move makes MSU-IIT at par with universities in more advanced countries like the US and gives it the distinction of being one of the early Wi-Fi adopters in the Philippines, an Innove Communications official announcement stated. For Wi-FI, GlobeQUEST uses a wireless technology similar to a cell phone where roaming and being connected converge. Wi-Fi enabled computers and PDA’s send and receive data indoors and out, anywhere within the range of an Access Point or Base Transceiver. This technology is envisioned to provide business-to-business mobility, modifications, and growth.
Advantages of Wi-Fi
- Convenience The wireless nature of such networks allows users to access network resources from nearly any convenient location within their primary networking environment (home or office). With the increasing saturation of laptop-style computers, this is particularly relevant.
- Mobility With the emergence of public wireless networks, users can access the internet even outside their normal work environment. Most chain coffee shops, for example, offer their customers a wireless connection to the internet at little or no cost.
- Productivity Users connected to a wireless network can maintain a nearly constant affiliation with their desired network as they move from place to place. For a business, this implies that an employee can potentially be more productive as his or her work can be accomplished from any convenient location. For example, a hospital or warehouse may implement Voice over WLAN applications that enable mobility and cost savings
- Deployment Initial setup of an infrastructure-based wireless network requires little more than a single access point. Wired networks, on the other hand, ave the additional cost and complexity of actual physical cables being run to numerous locations (which can even be impossible for hard-to-reach locations within a building).
- Expandability Wireless networks can serve a suddenly-increased number of clients with the existing equipment. In a wired network, additional clients would require additional wiring.
- Cost Wireless networking hardware is at worst a modest increase from wired counterparts. This potentially increased cost is almost always more than outweighed by the savings in cost and labor associated to running physical cables.
- File Sharing. Users can share resources over the network. You can share single file, specific folders, or an entire drive. Also you can identify who has access to the folder and what permission they have on the objects in the folder.
- Installation Flexibility – WLANs can be installed in places where wires can’t, and they facilitate. For example, a wireless solution may be possible in places where cables cannot be installed. Consider an older, historic building where local building codes do not permit structural modification. In this case, installation of cable is not possible and therefore a wireless connection is the only solution.
- Fast and Simple Network Set-up – There are no cables to install at a users desk or work area.
- Reduced Cost-of-Ownership – Wireless LANS reduce installation costs because there is no cabling; as a result, savings are greatest in frequently changing environments.
- Scalability – Network expansion and reconfiguration may be less complicated than expanding a wired network.
- Unlicensed radio spectrum – Unlike packet radio systems, Wi-Fi uses unlicensed radio spectrum and does not require regulatory approval for individual deployers.
- Global Set of Standards – Wi-Fi is a global set of standards. Unlike cellular carriers, the same Wi-Fi client works in different countries around the world.
- Roaming Support – Wi-Fi networks support roaming, in which a mobile client station such as a laptop computer can move from one access point to another as the user moves around a building or area.
Disadvantage of Wi-Fi
- Reliability – Like any radio frequency transmission, wireless networking signals are subject to a wide variety of interference, as well as complex propagation that are beyond the control of the network administrator. Among the most insidious problems that can affect the stability and reliability of a wireless LAN are microwave ovens and analog wireless transmitters such as baby monitors. Making interference and propagation effects all the more disturbing. As a result, important network resources such as servers are rarely connected wirelessly.
- Radio Emissions – Wireless LANs utilize radio emissions for communication, which can cause interference in other devices and may have potentially deleterious effects on human health.
Features of Wi-Fi
- New aspect in networking WiFi has brought a new aspect in the ground of networking. The broadcast of data is completed via radio waves and the cost of cables for network lying down. Wi-Fi enable a user to get access to internet anywhere in the given location. Now you can make a network in Hotels, Libraries, colleges, universities, campus, private institutes, and coffee shops and even on a public place to make your business more profitable and connect with their client any time. WiFi makes waves for business with their highly effective cable less media.
- Unmatched mobility and elasticity Wi-Fi, is allowing new intensity of connectivity without giving up functions. Wi-Fi introduced various types of utilities such music streamers that transmit your music to speakers without any wire you can also play music from the remote computer or any other attached to the network. The most important now you can play online radio. Wifi technology system is rather remarkable, you can download songs, send email and transfer files expediently at sky-scraping speed and you can move your computer easily because your WiFi network has no cable to disrupt your work so we can say that it is quite easy, helpful and most of all expedient.
- Support an entire age bracket. WiFi technology has several advantages it support an entire age bracket and create a connection between components on the same network and have ability to transfer data between the devices and enable different kind of devices such as game, MP3 player, PDA’s and much more.
- It’s convenient and every where WiFi is a convenient technology and where the range station exists you are online during travel you can equip with a Wi-Fi network and set up shop anyplace. You will automatically connect with internet if you are near hotspot. These days WiFi exist every where with all its wonders.
- More faster and secure With WiFi you can get high speed of internet because it is very fast than DSL and Cable connection you can establish a Wifi network in small space now you don’t need any professional installation just connect to a power outlet with an Ethernet cord, and start browsing. WiFi security system for Threats makes it more renewable and its tool protect your VPN and secure web page. You can easily configure the device to take better performance. The standard devices, embedded systems and network security make it more powerful.
WiFi is a technology that is always used by professionals and students. It is so helpful in almost work that need research and additional information. WiFi in IIT is one of the most significant advancement of the institute. It helps students to do their assignment easy by surfing the net using laptops and for the professors, they can search more information about the lessons that will be discussed. They can also update their knowledge on their specialized field. WiFi makes internet more accessible to the IIT students, teachers and staffs.
Despite this advantage, it will damage our cells through the radio emission that is transmitted by this technology. Because of this, it is advisable not to expose your self to WiFi hotspot areas. In summary, WiFi is a good technology but it needs more improvement so that it will not threaten the lives of the human beings.
- Book Title: Cisco Wireless LAN Security Author: Krishna Sankar, Darrin Miller, Andrew Balinsky, Sri Sundaralingam Publisher: Cisco Press Published: September 2004
- Book Title: Implementing 802. 11, 802. 16, 802. 20 Wireless Networks: Planning, Troubleshooting, and Operations Author: Ron Olexa Publisher: Butterworth-Heinemann Published: August 2004
- Book Title: 802. 1 Wireless Local-Area Network Fundamentals Author: Pejman Roahan, Jonathan Leary Publisher: Cisco Press Published: September 2003
- Book Title: WorldWide Wi-Fi: Technological Trends and Business Strategies Author: Benny Bing, Teik-Kheong Tan Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons Published: August 2003
- Interview: at Computer Center with the Network Administrator, Prof. Ranny Boy Agad and the Director, Prof. Dante. Online References: http://www. webopedia. com/term/w/wi_fi. html http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Wi-Fi
- http://www. wisegeek. com/what-is-wifi. htm
- http://computer. howstuffworks. com/wireless-network. htm