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How Do Wireless Networks Work?

Wireless networks operate using radio waves instead of wires to transmit data between computers. That is the simplest version. If you wish to know what happened in detail, then everything is explained in this article. One and Zero. I’m sure you know that computers transmit data digitally, using binary: one and zero. This is a very good communication method for radio waves, as the computer can transmit zero as different types of beep. These beats are so fast that they are beyond the range of human hearing – radio waves that you cannot hear are, in fact, always around you. That doesn’t stop the computer from using them, though. Morse code. The way it works is very similar to Morse code. You probably already know that Morse code is a way of representing characters to be broadcast over the radio using a dot (short beep) and dash (long dash). It has been used by hand for years, and has been a great way to get information from one place to another through the invention of the telegraph. Even more important in this example, however, is the binary system, such as that of the computer and zero. You might think of a wireless network, then, as a Morse code for computers. You connect a radio receiver connected to the transmitter, and the computer is able to send the equivalent of dots and dashes (bits, in computer communication) to get your data from one place to another. It’s all about frequencies. You may be wondering, though, how a computer can transmit enough fragments to send and receive data at high speed. There should be a limit to how much it can be sent a second before it turns out to be nonsense, right? Yes, yes, but the key to wireless communication is that it reaches this issue. Wireless transmissions are sent at very high frequencies, which means that more data can be sent in a second. Most wireless connectors use 2.4 gigahertz (2.4 billion cycles per second) – the same frequency for mobile phones and microwave ovens. As you may know, however, this high frequency means that the wavelength should be very short, which is why the wireless network only operates in a limited area. In addition, wireless networks use a method known as ‘frequency hopping’. They use a wide range of frequencies in a given range, and are constantly switching between them. This makes wireless networks more vulnerable to interference from other radio signals than they are when broadcast only on a single frequency. Access Points. The final step when it comes to all computers sharing network access. This is done using a special piece of wireless material. Access points are more expensive than single computer cards, as they contain radios that can talk to 100 computers at a time, and share internet access between them. Dedicated access points are only important for large networks, though – if you have a few computers, you may be able to use one of them as an access point, or you may find a wireless router. They understand each other. All of that is good and beautiful, however, how can wireless machines made by completely different companies work together when all of this is so complex? Well, the answer is that there are standards to be followed by all wireless devices. These standards are technically called 802.11 standards, and are set by IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). It is because of people who adhere to their standards that wireless communication is easier and cheaper to use today. You do not need to worry. If all this talk is a bit of a hassle, you do not need to be – wireless network hardware and software handle all of this automatically, without you having to do anything. Don’t think that you will have to tell one wireless device that the other is using frequency, because it will not happen, right? The wireless network, with all its complex functionality, is much easier to use than you would expect.

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