The Wikibon Data Storage Portal contains data storage industry research, articles, expert opinion, case studies, and data storage company profiles.
Latest Information Storage Research
|>>Join our Group||>>Become a Fan||>>Follow @Wikibon||>>Read the Blog|
Wireless technology has been around for more than 13 years now, giving us the freedom in which to leave our homes and laptop cords behind us. But do you really understand what WiFi is and how it works?
Most Internet and IT folks probably know the insides and outs of a wireless network, but as they say things are not always what they seem.
The Beginnings of WiFi
Most people assume that WiFi stands for 'wireless fidelity'. In reality, it doesn't stand for anything. In 1999, when the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance wanted to set a standard for this new thing called 'connecting to the Internet without the use of an Ethernet cord', it came up with the name IEEE 802.11. The numbers at the end are what we might be familiar with in terms of choosing the right modem or router for our home networks.
But as you might imagine, calling this new standard of Internet connections IEEE 802.11 was a bit confusing, especially for the non-IT people who would be installing these connections in their homes. A consultant company was well...consulted, and out of a list of ten names, the word 'wifi' was chosen.
But How Does It Work? What Does It Do?
Wireless Internet is the concept of having an Internet connection without the use of cord or wires. It basically puts the mobile in a mobile computer. WLANs, or wireless local area networks, is what most people are familiar with in terms of either their own homes, a school network, or business network.
Radio waves are transmitted between your computer and a router that's usually connected to a modem, which can be connected to a cable or DSL connection line. The first commercial success was thanks in part to Apple, which created the first built-in WiFi option in its iBook laptops.
Wi-Fi generally works like this -
In layman terms, your laptop, desktop, smartphone, or tablet usually comes with a little card that allows you to connect to the Internet. For desktop computer users, this is usually built into your computer's motherboard, but in some cases, these cards can be purchased in order to expand the motherboard's capabilities.
The card has a signal that scans the area for a transmission, aka WiFi signal. In most cases, your home, work, or school network will be the first thing that pops up. From there, you just connect and the router and your computer will talk to each other.
The Great Landscape or Is It?
While Wi-Fi is great, it has had some problems, namely security. Until WiFi Protected Access (WPA and WPA2) came out, the potential of having someone cut in and take your information was high. In some cases, such as public places, this is still a concern as people are vulnerable to having their information stolen.
There's also the limited range many Wi-Fi stations have, which is how 3G and 4G have found a new niche for those who want to be connected from all around.
Author Bio: David Anderson is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast. His blog http://www.internetserviceproviders.org/ focuses on Internet Service.
Featured Case Study
John Charles is the CIO of California State University, East Bay (CSUEB) and Rich Avila is Director, Server & Network Operations. In late 2007 they were both looking down the barrel of a gun. The total amount of power being used in the data center was 67KVA. The maximum power from the current plant was 75kVA. PG&E had informed them that no more power could be delivered. They would be out of power in less than six months. A new data center was planned, but would not be available for two years.
Featured How-To Note
A main impediment to storage virtualization is the lack of multiple storage vendor (heterogeneous) support within available virtualization technologies. This inhibits deployment across a data center. The only practical approach is either to implement a single vendor solution across the whole of the data center (practical only for small and some medium size data centers) or to implement virtualization in one or more of the largest storage pools within a data center.