Wi-fi Networks?anytime, Anywhere Computing
With most computing devices, including notebooks, PDAs and cell phones, geared to eventually connect to 802.11-based wireless networks, Wi-Fi or wireless fidelity is expected to become an even bigger and hotter technology for both home and businesses in the years to come, says G B Kumar
Imagine working on your laptop or checking e-mail from anywhere in your home. Imagine retrieving files or presentations from the corporate network, cruising the Internet or sending instant messages to co-workers?not from your workstation but from a conference room or the company?s cafeteria.
Now, imagine doing all these things easily and quickly?without worrying about finding a wired network connection. That is Wi-Fi!
Imagine being able to move your entire office without losing your investment in networking installs, or to add new staff, all without moving cables or installing complicated hubs and routers. That is Wi-Fi.
Wi-Fi stands for Wireless Fidelity and refers to any type of 802.11 network?802.11b, 802.11a, dual-band, etc. It is the most prevalent high-speed wireless technology standard used currently to connect PCs, laptops and handheld computers to each other and the Internet.
A Wi-Fi network can be used to connect computers to each other, to the Internet, and to wired networks. It is a wireless technology like a cell phone. Wi-Fi enables computers to send and receive data indoors and out; anywhere within the range of a base station, and can provide real-world performance similar to the basic 10BaseT wired Ethernet networks, presently used in many offices. And the best thing of all, it?s fast.
Wi-Fi for anytime, anywhere computing
Everyone can use Wi-Fi, almost anywhere. Most computing devices, including notebooks, PDAs and cell phones, will eventually connect to 802.11-based wireless networks. So Wi-Fi is expected to become an even bigger and hotter technology for both home and businesses in the years to come.
Home Wi-Fi networks can bring a whole new dimension to a family?s digital experience. Wi-Fi can make the increasingly ubiquitous home PC even more powerful and exciting. Think about it. With your TVs, computers, stereos, kitchen appliances and other electronic devices connected through Wi-Fi, your home can become a centre for your whole family to learn, play and communicate in a multimedia-rich, audio and visual manner?wirelessly! You can also say that long awaited goodbye to the messy or unsightly cables around the house.
For small businesses, Wi-Fi can mean connectivity between mobile salespeople, floor staff and back-end support departments. The built-in flexibility of a Wi-Fi network eliminates the need to move cables and installation of hubs and routers, hence making it easy and affordable for small business to make changes and scale.
Large corporations and campuses use enterprise-level technology and Wi-Fi products to extend standard wired Ethernet networks to public areas like training classrooms and auditoriums. For instance, Intel has deployed Wi-Fi networks in many of their offices worldwide, providing anytime, anywhere connectivity for employees in offices. Many corporations also provide wireless networks to their offsite and telecommuting workers. Large companies and campuses often use Wi-Fi to connect buildings.
Service providers and wireless ISPs in Singapore such as SingTel, StarHub, Blue Engine and Yellow Spots are already using Wi-Fi technology to distribute Internet connectivity for businesses and commercial complexes through almost 200 public wireless hotspots. These hotspots are found in public places like Changi Airport, Suntec City, and Coffee Club outlets. Hotspots may be the fastest-growing segment of Wi-Fi services as more and more travellers demand fast and secure Internet access wherever they go. In fact, we can soon expect Wi-Fi networks to emerge in urban areas, providing coverage throughout the central city, lining major highways, and giving travellers network access anytime, anywhere.