How Wi-fi Works

Written by Seth Cotterell
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Just about everybody has heard of Wi-Fi by this point. It is the latest and greatest development in networking and Internet technology. But not many people understand how it actually works. Here, in very brief form, I have outlined the basic principles of Wi-Fi that will give you an introduction to this exciting new technology.

Basics of Wi-Fi Operation

What makes Wi-Fi so great is its simplicity and its convenience. You start out with a traditional high speed network at your venue. With the addition of a Wi-Fi kit you can then connect all the computers in range of the source to your network without any wires at all. Computers connect to your network using radio signals instead of cables.

The radio signals used by Wi-Fi devices transmit high frequency signals carrying large amounts of encoded data. The high frequency means that large amounts of information can be carried between Wi-Fi devices. They are able to transmit enough binary code in their signal to make them as fast as traditional wired devices.

I hear concerns about interference from a lot of people just learning about Wi-Fi. They've used radio devices before and have experienced the interference these devices are often prey to. Wi-Fi devices, however, are able to "hop" frequencies meaning that they utilize many different "channels" and then quickly move between them thereby protecting themselves from interference and enabling many Wi-Fi devices to operate at the same time without disrupting each other.


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