What is Wireless Networking?

What is Wireless Networking?

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Anshuman
Anshuman Singh
Senior Executive - Content
Updated on Jan 9, 2024 15:10 IST

Users’ mobility is severely limited when they must connect to a network via physical cables. On the other hand, wireless networking is not constrained in this way and allows network users to move much more freely. Let us read more about it!

Wireless media is not wired and is composed of electromagnetic or infrared waves. You can find wireless networking in smartphones, sensors, universal remotes, satellite dish receivers, etc. Let’s understand what exactly wireless networking is!

Table of Content

What is Wireless Network?

Wireless networking uses radio frequency connections to connect network nodes. This type of networking enables devices to connect to the network while roaming within its coverage area. Wireless networks are a famous home, business, and telecommunications network solution.

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Source : IndiaMART

Wireless networking is a more cost-effective and affordable way to set up an Internet network system. It is because there is no need for a cable, allowing all family members to use their devices in any house area. And with wireless networking, you can connect other devices to the network in seconds.

Wired and wireless networks differ mainly because of a single aspect. And that distinction is that wired networks use cables to connect devices, such as laptops, computers, mobiles, etc., to the Internet. 

Examples of Wireless Networking

Wireless networking is an essential part of today’s communications, and its new forms will be a central part of robots, drones, self-driving cars, and other emerging technologies. Some common examples of wireless networking include:

  • Television and Radio Broadcasting
  • Satellite Communication
  • Radar
  • AM radio
  • Bluetooth
  • Paging
  • Terrestrial microwave networks
  • FM radio
  • HD radio
  • SiriusXM satellite radio
  • Cordless Phones
  • Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
  • Cell phone networks
  • Wireless sensor networks

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Working of Wireless Network

Radio frequency technology is connected to radio wave propagation within the electromagnetic spectrum and is used to power wireless networks. When an RF current is applied to an antenna, an electromagnetic field is created that can spread throughout space.

A wireless network’s core is a system known as an access point (AP). The primary function of an access point is to broadcast a wireless signal that computers detect and tune into. As wireless networks generally connect to wired networks, access points frequently serve as a gateway to the resources of a wired network, such as an Internet connection.

To connect to an access point and join a wireless network, computers must have wireless network adapters. Generally, computers have these adapters built into the device. Still, if not, almost any computer or notebook can be made wireless-capable by attaching an add-on adapter to an empty expansion slot, USB port, PC card slot, etc.

Types of Wireless Networks

There are mainly four types of standard wireless networks such as wireless local-area network (WLAN), wireless personal area network (WPAN), wireless metropolitan-area network (WMAN), and wireless wide-area network (WWAN).

  • Wireless Local-Area Network: A wireless local area network (WLAN) is a group of devices connected in a fixed location, such as an office or home. A LAN can be large or small, varying from a home network consisting of a single user to an enterprise network in an office or school with tens of users and devices. A LAN’s defining feature is connecting devices in a single, limited area regardless of size. You can use LANs, commonly in-home WiFi networks and small business networks.
  • Wireless Personal Area Network: A wireless personal area network (WPAN) links electronic devices in a user’s immediate vicinity. A PAN can range in size from a few centimetres to ten meters. The connection between a Bluetooth earpiece and a smartphone is one of the most common real-world examples of a PAN.

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  • Wireless Metropolitan Area Network: A wireless metropolitan-area network (WMAN) is a computer network that spans a city, a small geographical area, a business or college campus, or both. The size of a MAN is one feature that distinguishes it from a LAN. A LAN typically covers a single building or area, whereas a MAN can cover several square miles depending on the organization’s needs. A MAN is a portion of a telephone company network that can provide a city’s cable TV network.
  • Wireless Wide-Area Network: A wireless wide-area (WWAN) network spans a large geographic area, such as an entire city, state, or country. Smaller networks, such as LANs or MANs, can be contained within a WAN. Because WANs are not bonded to a particular location, they enable localized networks to communicate across long distances. The Internet and cellular services are excellent examples of wide-area networks. 
  • Wireless Sensor Network (WSN): It is an infrastructure-less wireless network deployed within large number of wireless sensors. WSN is a wireless ad-hoc network that monitors system, environmental and physical conditions. Such wireless networking types are used for surveillance and monitoring of threat detection. However, these are composed of battery powered sensors with limited energy resources due to which there is difficult in their functioning for longer period of times.
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Source: TechTarget

Advantages of Wireless Networking 

There are various advantages of wireless networking, such as:

  • Increased efficiency: Improved data communications facilitate faster information transfer between partners and customers. While on a sales call, for example, sales representatives can remotely confirm stock levels and prices.
  • Connectivity and availability: Because wireless technology allows users to communicate on the go, you are rarely disconnected.
  • Flexibility: Office workers can continue to do productive work while away from the office. This has resulted in new working styles, such as work-from-home (WFH). 
  • Savings: Wireless networks can be easier and less expensive to install, as the use of cables is minimum. It comes in handy, especially in buildings where the landlord does not allow you to install cables.
  • Adding devices: You can easily connect a new device to the existing setup since the connection doesn’t rely on wires or cables. You can also add or remove the number of equipment without worry since there is no cable capacity limit.
  • New possibilities: Wireless networking may enable you to introduce new products or services—many airport departure lounges, train stations, and hotels, for example.

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Disadvantages of Wireless Networking 

Despite the numerous advantages that wireless networks have over wired networks, there are some drawbacks to consider, such as:

  • Security: Because wireless transmission is more vulnerable to attacks by unauthorized users, you must pay special attention to security.
  • Coverage: Obtaining consistent coverage in some buildings can be difficult, resulting in ‘black spots’ where the signal is unavailable.
  • Transmission speeds: Wireless networking transmission speeds can be slower and more inefficient than wired.
  • Installation issues: If others in the same building use wireless technology or other electromagnetic (radio) interference sources exist, you may experience interference.

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Conclusion

In this article, we went over wireless networking in great depth, including topics such as the working of wireless networking, types of wireless networking, advantages, and disadvantages.

FAQs

What are the three most important factors influencing wireless networks?

Three major factors influence wireless networking: Physical impediments Network range and device distance Interference with wireless networks

What are the two most severe issues with wireless networks?

Physical object interference and security are two significant issues with wireless networks.

Why are wireless networks helpful?

Wireless networks are helpful because they allow mobile users to access real-time information and roam around your company's space without being disconnected from the network.

Why is wireless network installation generally faster and easier?

Wireless network installation is faster and easier because it requires lessu00a0equipment.

About the Author
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Anshuman Singh
Senior Executive - Content

Anshuman Singh is an accomplished content writer with over three years of experience specializing in cybersecurity, cloud computing, networking, and software testing. Known for his clear, concise, and informative wr... Read Full Bio

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