Networking that uses electromagnetic waves traveling through free space to connect stations on a network. Wireless transmission is said to use unguided media, as opposed to the guided media of copper cabling and fiber-optic cabling used in traditional wired networks. Wireless networking is typically used for:
Wireless networking suffers somewhat from lower data transmission rates (the maximum is currently about 10 Mbps), greater susceptibility to electromagnetic interference (EMI), and greater risk of eavesdropping than transmission over guided media. You can largely solve the security issue by using secure network protocols, but you should be sure to isolate wireless stations from sources of EMI in the operating frequency range of the network. A microwave oven, for example, can degrade wireless communication that is based on the microwave portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.
In the broadest sense, wireless networking is composed of all forms of network communication that use electromagnetic waves of any wavelength or frequency, which includes the following portions of the electromagnetic spectrum:
To connect wireless stations to a traditional wired LAN, you need only two components:
Graphic W-14. Wireless networking.
The existing standard for wireless networking is IEEE 802.11 of Project 802, which specifies the physical layer (PHY) and media access control (MAC) protocols and characteristics for wireless communication between networked stations. In particular, 802.11 covers low-power wireless microwave communication in the Industrial, Scientific, and Medial (ISM) communication band centering on 2.4 GHz that was set aside by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the early 1980s for unlicensed wireless communication. 802.11 covers both common spread spectrum communication methods (direct sequencing and frequency hopping), includes an exportable encryption algorithm called wired equivalent privacy (WEP) to prevent eavesdropping, and specifies a maximum data transmission speed of either 1 or 2 Mbps. 802.11 also specifies standards for wireless communication using infrared light. 802.11 is currently being revised to support transmission speeds of up to 20 Mbps.
Both direct sequencing spread spectrum (DSSS) and frequency hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) wireless technologies can operate in the unlicensed 2.4-GHz ISM band. DSSS equipment is also available for operation in a portion of the 900-MHz frequency band - the same part of the electromagnetic spectrum used by Cellular Digital Packet Data (CDPD) cellular telephone and Personal Communications Services (PCS) paging technologies - and is better able to penetrate buildings and structures than 2.4-GHz equipment. When you use a wireless bridge, 900 MHz is preferred for longer distances; 2.4 GHz works better over shorter distances and provides greater network throughput.
Most wireless systems use the Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance (CSMA/CA) media access method, in contrast to the Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection (CSMA/CD) method used in wired Ethernet networks. The primary reason for this is that it is difficult to detect collisions between unguided electromagnetic waves.
Use an omnidirectional antenna if your wireless bridge or router is being used for point-to-point communication.
Expand your wireless network range: NETGEAR AC750 WiFi Range Extender (EX3700-100NAS) (Amazon store).