by Dinesh Thakur

The development on WI-FI technology began in 1997 when the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) introduced the 802.11 technology that carried higher capacities of data across the network. "Wifi" means "wireless fidelity". The term "wifi" refers to (WLAN) wireless local area networks.

Wi-Fi is also spelled as WiFi, Wi-Fi, Wifi, or wifi. WiFi is a popular term that is used referring to wireless communications between computers and other computer related devices. If you have high speed Internet (DSL, Cable, Satellite, etc) and have a piece of equipment that is called a wireless router, then you have WiFi. The main benefit of WiFi is cordless internet access. This means that while using a WiFi laptop computer you can browse the internet from your couch. If you own a WiFi Internet Radio you can listen to over 14,000 stations in your bedroom, kitchen, or bathroom. Some cell phones have WiFi internet access also.


There are several different types of WiFi, but the end result is still the same, wireless communication.

Wi-Fi is technically an industry term that represents a type of wireless local area network (LAN) protocol based on the 802.11 IEEE network standards. It's the most popular means of communicating data wirelessly, within a fixed location, today. "Wi-Fi" is a trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance, an international association of companies involved with wireless LAN technologies and products.

Wi-fi is commonly mistaken as an acronymn for "wireless fidelity" and often you may also see it spelled without the hyphen (wifi).

Wi-Fi uses radio networks to transmit data between its nodes.  Such networks are made up of cells that provide coverage across the network.  The more the number of cells, the greater and stronger is the coverage on the radio network.  The radio technology is a complete package deal as it offers a safe and consistent connectivity.

Wifi networks are available in both forms open as well as closed. In "Open" system anyone can use it while in  "Closed"  system, a password is essential for using it. Nowadays most laptops are available in the market already equipped with internal wireless networking cards.

Wifi Hotspots 

Wifi hotspots are places where you can find wifi, free or paid.  Wi-Fi is quicker than the conventional modem for accessing information over a large network. With the help of different amplifiers, the users can easily change their location without disruption in their network access.  Wi-Fi devices are compliant with each other to grant efficient access of information to the user.  Wi-Fi location where the users can connect to the wireless network is called a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Through the Wi-Fi hotspot, the users can even enhance their home business as accessing information through Wi-Fi is simple.  Accessing a wireless network through a hotspot in some cases is cost-free while in some it may carry additional charges. Computers (and other devices) connect to hotspots using a Wi-Fi network adapter.

Newer laptop computers contain built-in adapters, but most other computers do not. Wi-Fi network adapters can be purchased and installed separately. Depending on the type of computer and personal preferences, USB, PC Card, ExpressCard, or even PCI card adapters can be used.

Computers can automatically scan for hotspots within range of their wireless signal. These scans identify the network name (SSID) of the hotspot allowing the computer to initiate a connection.

Instead of using a computer to find hotspots, some people prefer to use a separate gadget called a Wi-Fi finder. These small devices scan for hotspot signals similarly to computers, and many provide some indication of signal strength to help pinpoint their exact location.

Advantages:

  • Convenient and sometimes free High Speed Connection to the Internet
  • Faster than Dial-Up, Edge or even 3G
  • VPN and HTTPS are still mostly secure
  • If your device has a firewall (and it’s enabled), you should be ok (99% of the time).

Disadvantages: 

   Virus Attack / Device Hacking – Depending how your Mobile device / PC is configured,    other people might be able to attack your device while it’s connected to the Wi-Fi.

  • Data Theft – Unencrypted data such as surfing your GMAIL account can be captured as it’s being transmitted back and forth between the Wi-Fi Network and on the Wi-Fi Network.
  • Account Theft – Webmail, MySpace, YouTube, FaceBook etc… and other login information can be stolen by other people on the network if it’s not encrypted.

Connecting to a secure hotspot will help to greatly reduce these disadvantages, such as a WPA, or WPA2 network however a Security free Wi-Fi is highly unusual.