What is wireless network?

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What is Wireless Network?

A wireless local-area network (LAN) uses radio waves to connect devices such as laptops to the Internet and to your business network and its applications. When you connect a laptop to a WiFi hotspot at a cafe, hotel, airport lounge, or other public place, you're connecting to that business's wireless network.

The term wireless networking refers to technology that enables two or more computers to communicate using standard network protocols, but without network cabling. Strictly speaking, any technology that does this could be called wireless networking. The current buzzword however generally refers to wireless LANs. This technology, fuelled by the emergence of cross-vendor industry standards such as IEEE 802.11, has produced a number of affordable wireless solutions that are growing in popularity with business and schools as well as sophisticated applications where network wiring is impossible, such as in warehousing or point-of-sale handheld equipment.

A wireless network enables people to communicate and access applications and information without wires. This provides freedom of movement and the ability to extend applications to different parts of a building, city, or nearly anywhere in the world. Wireless networks allow people to interact with e-mail or browse the Internet from a location that they prefer.

Many types of wireless communication systems exist, but a distinguishing attribute of a wireless network is that communication takes place between computer devices. These devices include personal digital assistants (PDAs), laptops, personal computers (PCs), servers, and printers. Computer devices have processors, memory, and a means of interfacing with a particular type of network. Traditional cell phones don't fall within the definition of a computer device; however, newer phones and even audio headsets are beginning to incorporate computing power and network adapters. Eventually, most electronics will offer wireless network connections.

As with networks based on wire, or optical fiber, wireless networks convey information between computer devices. The information can take the form of e-mail messages, web pages, database records, streaming video or voice. In most cases, wireless networks transfer data, such as e-mail messages and files, but advancements in the performance of wireless networks is enabling support for video and voice communications as well.

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