Do You Know How Wireless Internet Works?
November 8, 2013
•IADT General, Information Technology
• 0 Comments
What is wireless internet?
Like their wired counterparts, wireless networks deliver data from the Internet Service Provider (ISP) to your computer. But wireless networks have the clear and obvious advantage of not needing wires to keep users connected.
When most people think of a wireless network, they often think of Wi-Fi networks delivered through wireless routers. However, a genuine wireless network works a bit differently from the average Wi-Fi network. Like a Wi-Fi network, this network also relies on radio frequencies to transmit information from the ISP to the user. These wireless signals travel along the same frequencies as cordless phones (2.4 GHz, 5.2 GHz, etc.)
How Does it Work?
The Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP) sends out a radio signal via radio transmitter from its base station, which is then relayed through a series of towers. These towers help amplify the signal so that it remains strong enough to work effectively. These relays are required due to line-of-sight issues that make it difficult for radio waves to effectively navigate past buildings and other obstacles.
Once the signal reaches a tower close to your location, your wireless receiver will be able to pick up the signal. The receiver then sends this signal via RJ45 networking cable to a modulator/demodulator, otherwise known as a modem. This device takes that wireless signal and translates it into the binary code language your computer understands. In many cases, your receiver and modem are housed in the same body, simplifying your networking setup.
From the modem, the information goes through a router, which in turn routes the information to your computer through a RJ45 networking cable or through a wireless signal produced by the router itself - your computer’s internal or external wireless network interface card (NIC) picks up the router’s wireless signal. In some cases, the modem and router are also housed as one unit, further simplifying your networking setup.
Different Types of Wireless Internet
WiMAX and LTE are two common types of wireless Internet used by WISPs. Both are candidate standards for fourth generation (4G) wireless communications and both deliver information to mobile devices ranging from laptops to cell phones. However, LTE offers faster data speeds and lower latency, qualities that offer a faster and more usable Internet experience.
Are you using wireless internet now? What type are you using? Now you have the knowledge to fully appreciate this complex technology.