Wireless or wireless network uses radio waves, just like cell phones and other similar communication elements do. In fact, communication through one of these networks is very similar to a two-way radio communication.
What happens more or less, is that a wireless adapter of the computer translates the data into radio signals and transmits using an antenna.
On the other hand, a wireless router receives the signal and decodes it and sends the information to the Internet using a physical cable connection.
This process will also works in the reverse direction, where the router receives the information from the Internet, transforming it into a radio signal and sending it to the computer’s adapter.
The type of radio used in wifi communication is similar to that used in walkie-talkies, mobile phones and other devices.
They can transmit and receive radio waves, and can convert ones and zeros in this type of waves and vice versa. However, the Wi-Fi radio has some notable differences with respect to other radios.
They can transmit at frequencies of 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz. This frequency is considerably higher than the frequency used in mobile phones or some televisions.
This difference in frequencies allows the signal to carry more data. The standards it uses are in the 802.11 family of protocols, which come in several formats:
Wireless Protocol 802.11a:
The 802.11a protocol transmits at 5 GHz and can move up to 54 megabits of data per second. It also uses OFDM, which is a more efficient coding technique that splits the radio signal into several different signals before it reaches the receiver. This greatly reduces the interference.
The 802.11b protocol is the slowest and cheapest standard of all. For some time, the cost that it had made it quite popular, but now it is becoming less common as the price goes down in faster protocols.
The 802.11b protocol transmits at 2.4 GHz and handles up to 11 megabits of data per second, using CCK coding.
The 802.11g protocol also transmits at 2.4 GHz, but it is much faster. It can handle up to 54 megabits of data per second, and is faster because it uses the same OFDM encoding as the 802.11a protozoon.
The 802.11n protocol is the newest one that is currently available. This standard significantly improves speed and use.
To give an example, although 802.11g theoretically moves up to 54 mbps, it really only moves up to 24 mbps due to network congestion. However, 802.11n can reach speeds of up to 150 mbps.
Wifi can transmit on any of these three bands. They can also jump quickly between different bands. Frequency hopping helps reduce interference and allows multiple devices to use the same wireless connection simultaneously.
The devices used to connect to the Internet via Wifi, have some type of wireless adapter to do so, and therefore can use a single router to connect to the Internet. This connection is virtually invisible and is usually quite reliable. However, users may experience interference or connection loss.