How Does Wireless Internet Really Work?

3 min read

The internet is something we all use, but rarely can even the most tech-savvy person explain how it works. Everyone has had the experience where a connection was lost and you searched in vain for a solution. Wireless connections provide internet connectivity to a device without a hard wired connection. There are three different kinds. Another concept similar to this is wireless networking, and there are three different kinds of networks.

Wireless internet:Point Distribution Wireless Internet

Rather than use the old fashioned telephone connection (with that famously annoying dialing sound) this type of internet uses unlicensed radio bands. A good image to help understand radio signals is to think of a game of pitch and catch between transmitters and receivers. Transmitter towers send the signal by converting electric signals into electric magnetic waves. Transceivers placed eight to ten kilometers apart pick up and interpret these signals. Radio converts audio and TV converts it to audio and visual. Both of these are over long distances, but internet is usually broadcasted at a closer range with less power.

Mesh Wireless Internet-WIFI

In a mesh system, one gateway has a hard wired connection to the internet. This requires a router. A router does two jobs: it acts as a modem which receives internet and acts as a gateway so the internet connection can be split up and used by different sources. WIFI is able to send wireless signals across multiple nodes by using radio frequencies and in this way provide internet connectivity to various computers, cell phones and other handheld internet devices. It’s similar to a point distribution connection, the only difference being the hard wired connection.

Satellite Wireless Internet

This is similar to the way satellite television works. A satellite maintains a constant orbit relative to a point on earth. It’s able to provide internet connectivity with multiple locations that do not have a hard wired connection simultaneously.

Wireless Networking: Networking refers to one connection being divided and used by multiple recipients. Networks have three different sources.

Cellular Wireless Internet Network

This type of connection utilizes both the wired part of the network and cellular broadcasting towers which receive and transmit signals. This is the type of signal that phones and other PDA’s utilize for voice and for internet access.

Hot Spot Wireless Internet Access

This is the kind of connection offered at coffee shops around the world. Some places offer free connectivity while others require a user fee. It provides internet connectivity for computers and cell phones within a range of up to six hundred feet. The connection may be powered by a wireless internet source like a satellite or a hard-wired connection to the internet like a fiber optic cable.

Home/Office Wireless Networking

Whether through a wire or wireless connection, wireless internet can be installed throughout your home or office. A router connects the internet source through a cable and antennae are used to broadcast the signal throughout your home or office.

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