What is Wi-Fi
In networking technology the term wireless means connecting to a network without physical wire connection for data communication. A Wi-Fi is a wireless networking technology that delivers high speed Internet connections by connecting various electronic devices wirelessly. The term Wi-Fi was first coined in the year 1991 by NCR Corporation with AT & T Corporation that invented that precede to IEEE 802.11 which was used in cashier systems. But before that the wireless frequencies are used with 900 MHz, 2.3MHz and 5.8MHz for household appliances. Later on these frequencies were used for communications using spread spectrum technology over the radio brands. After a certain period of time WLAN or Wireless Local Area Network technology evolved by combining to IEEE 802.11 for developing WLAN standard. With 802.11, 802.11a and lastly 802.11b which bought Wi-Fi into main stream for data transmission.
So Wi-Fi is actually a WLAN standard that connects to a router device from several electronic device including PC, mobile and laptops. The Router plays an important role here which creates a wireless network for connecting electronic devices. There are hundreds and millions of Wi-Fi devices sold every year with more laptop computers. It has been predicted that more than 100 million people will be using Wi-Fi by the year 2016. It can be used in Homes, offices, colleges and schools or anywhere in the world with installed Wi-Fi equipment and also wireless access to the Internet. Wi-Fi access is now available in a large number of coffee-shops, airports, railways and hotels. The Wi-Fi connections are created in several Wi-Fi standards used by Routers, Desktops and Laptops are IEEE 802.11, IEEE 802.11a and IEEE 802b which are created by Wi-Fi Alliance.
How Wi-Fi Works
Wi-Fi actually works without wired connections that use radio frequency technology for data communication between a sender and a receiver. It uses three important elements that are radio signals, antenna and router where the radio frequency is supplied for creating an electromagnetic field to propagate through space. There are Wi-Fi cards integrated with various Computers, Wi-Fi receivers, Mobile phones and others that receive radio signals that are transmitted through router or antenna. Wi-Fi cards actually enable to create wireless Internet connections between user and network. The Wireless network depends on the Access point that broadcasts wireless signals to the Computers and other devices with wireless network adapters.
The range and speed of Wi-Fi depends on the environment which increases the internet when the computer is close to access point and decreases on a long distance. The Hotspots are created anywhere in public places by Wi-Fi network connection to connect several devices. It may require user login and password for free Wi-Fi connection. It supports various applications and devices like mobile phones, Computers, electronic devices, home networks and games consoles. The products that are tested and approved as Wi-Fi certified by Wi-Fi Alliance can use any access point. While security is individuals risk when connecting to unsecured wireless networks and downloading various apps, games and others. But now days the security is tightened by configuring Wi-Fi security on the routers webpage that lets you turn on the WEP (Wire equivalent privacy) and enter a password.
There are various Wireless technology standards used for wireless networking that can connect to various devices.
- IEEE 802.11 was first created that delivers maximum connection speed for data transmission in megabits per second. The products that implements 802.11 standards must pass tests and referred to as Wi-Fi certified.
- IEEE 802.11a works on 5GHz band with maximum data transmission of 54 megabits per second and uses orthogonal frequency division multiplexing.
- IEEE 802.11b operates at 2.4GHz frequency band with maximum bandwidth of 11mbps data transmission speed.
- IEEE 802.11g operates at 2.4GHz band with 54mbps bandwidth
- IEEE 802.11n operates at 2.4GHz or 5GHz frequency band with 450 mbps transmission speed rate
Difference between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are both wireless technologies that are used for data transmission which is generated by radio signals but differ when it comes to range, speed and also the cost.
But the major difference between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are:-
- Bluetooth is a wireless communication technology invented by Ericsson in the year 1994 and Wi-Fi was introduced in the year 1997 by Victor hayes
- Bluetooth uses IEEE 802.15.1 standard technology but Wi-Fi uses IEEE 802.11x with 802.11a, 802.11b and so on
- Bluetooth has several versions with Bluetooth 2.0, 2.1, 3.0 and the latest being Bluetooth 4.0 which supports only iPhone 4S and MacBook but Wi-Fi has no versions and denoted by IEEE 802.11a, 802.11b and more which varies in speed and bandwidth.
- Bluetooth operates at 2.4GHz frequency but Wi-Fi varies with 2.4GHz, 3.6GHz and highest up to 5GHz frequency
- Bluetooth has the capacity to connect upto 7 devices maximum but in Wi-Fi networks various devices can be connected at a single time
- The range of Bluetooth to communicate is 30m whereas in Wi-Fi, the maximum range is 100m which depends on Wi-Fi protocols and antennas
- Bluetooth can easily connect a device for data communication but Wi-Fi connections are to be configured for making it properly work
- As far as security is concerned Bluetooth has a limited protection feature but Wi-Fi with WEP or wireless equivalency privacy and WPA delivers security to the connected devices
- Bluetooth are used for connecting different peripherals to the Computer like mouse, keyboard, headphone and more where as Wi-Fi is used for connecting the Computers to routers and other electronic devices.
- As of Cost Wi-Fi is most costlier than Bluetooth due to its equipments used.