Wi-Fi: Basics, History, Types, and Internet Connections
Wireless Fidelity, commonly known as Wi-Fi, is a technology that allows wireless networking between electronic devices such as smartphones, laptops, and other devices. Wi-Fi is a wireless communication technology that uses radio waves to provide high-speed internet and network connections. In this article, we will discuss the basics of Wi-Fi and the different types of internet connections available.
History of WI-FI & What Is WI-FI?
The history of Wi-Fi dates to the 1980s when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States opened a range of radio frequencies for unlicensed use, known as the Industrial, Scientific, and Medical (ISM) bands. The ISM bands were originally intended for non-communication purposes, such as heating and cooking, but they soon became popular for communication purposes.
In 1991, a group of researchers at NCR Corporation (now part of AT&T) developed the first wireless data communication system, which they called WaveLAN. WaveLAN used the ISM band to provide wireless connectivity for devices, and it was soon adopted by other companies.
In 1997, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) formed a working group to develop a standard for wireless local area networks (WLANs). The working group, known as IEEE 802.11, developed the first standard for WLANs in 1999, which provided a maximum data of 2 Mbps.
The first Wi-Fi products were introduced in 1999, based on the IEEE 802.11b standard, which provided a maximum data of 11 Mbps. Wi-Fi quickly gained popularity, and by 2002, it had become the dominant technology for wireless networking.
Over the years, Wi-Fi standards have continued to evolve, with newer standards providing higher data speed and improved security. Today, the most common Wi-Fi standards are 802.11n, which provides a maximum data speed of 600 Mbps, and 802.11ac, which provides a maximum data speed of 1.3 Gbps.
Types of Wi-Fi:
Wi-Fi has many types, here are the most common types of WI-FI:
- 802.11a: This Wi-Fi standard operates on the 5 GHz frequency band and provides a maximum data rate of 54 Mbps. It is less common than other Wi-Fi standards, but it is still used in some devices and networks.
- 802.11b: This Wi-Fi standard operates on the 2.4 GHz frequency band and provides a maximum data rate of 11 Mbps. It is an older standard that is less commonly used today.
- 802.11g: This Wi-Fi standard operates on the 2.4 GHz frequency band and provides a maximum data rate of 54 Mbps. It is an older standard that is still used in some devices and networks.
- 802.11n: This Wi-Fi standard operates on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands and provides a maximum data rate of 600 Mbps. It is one of the most commonly used Wi-Fi standards today and is used in many devices and networks.
- 802.11ac: This Wi-Fi standard operates on the 5 GHz frequency band and provides a maximum data rate of 1.3 Gbps. It is a newer standard that provides faster speeds and is used in many high-end devices and networks.
- 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6): This is the latest Wi-Fi standard that operates on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands and provides a maximum data rate of 9.6 Gbps. It is designed to provide faster speeds and better performance in crowded areas with many devices.
In addition to these Wi-Fi standards, there are also different types of Wi-Fi networks, such as ad-hoc networks and infrastructure networks. Ad-hoc networks are created between two devices without the use of a router, while infrastructure networks are created using a router or access point to connect multiple devices to the internet. Thus, Wi-Fi is a way to connect devices to the internet without using a physical cable.
There are several different types of internet connections that can be used with Wi-Fi. Some of the most common types of internet connections include:
- Dial-up Connection: Dial-up connection is the oldest and slowest form of internet connection. It uses a modem to connect to the internet and is typically limited to a maximum speed of 56 Kbps. Dial-up connections are not recommended for streaming or downloading large files.
- DSL Connection: DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) is a broadband internet connection that uses a telephone line to transmit data. DSL connections are faster than dial-up connections and can reach speeds up to 25 Mbps. DSL connections are available in most areas, but the speed and availability can vary depending on the location.
- Cable Connection: Cable internet is a broadband connection that uses coaxial cables to transmit data. Cable connections are faster than DSL connections and can reach speeds up to 100 Mbps. Cable connections are typically more expensive than DSL connections and may not be available in all areas.
- Fibre Connection: Fiber internet is a broadband connection that uses fibre optic cables to transmit data. Fibre connections are the fastest type of internet connection and can reach speeds up to 1 Gbps. Fibre connections are typically more expensive than other types of internet connections and may not be available in all areas.
- Satellite Connection: Satellite internet is a broadband connection that uses a satellite to transmit data. Satellite connections are slower than other types of internet connections and can be affected by weather conditions. Satellite connections are typically used in areas where other types of internet connections are not available.
- Cellular: Cellular internet uses a cellular network to provide internet connectivity. This type of internet connection is typically slower than other types of internet connections but can be a good option for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
Wi-Fi has revolutionized the way we connect to the internet and has enabled the growth of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Today, Wi-Fi is omnipresent, and it can be found in homes, offices, airports, cafes, and other public places around the world. Wi-Fi continues to evolve, with newer technologies such as Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E promising to provide even faster speeds and better performance in the future.