How They Work?
Wireless networks use radio waves instead of cables to transmit data between computers. Here's how:
Binary Code: 1s and 0s
It is also known that computers transmit information digitally, using binary code: one and zero. This translates well to radio waves, because they are the 1s and 0s can be represented by different kinds of beeps. It reads so fast that they are beyond the reach of human hearing.
Morse Code: dots and dashes
It works like Morse code, which is a way to transmit the alphabet over radio waves using dots (short beeps) and dashes (long beeps). Morse code is used manually for years via telegraph to get information from one place to another very quickly. More importantly for this example, though, it is a binary system, just as the computer system.
Wireless network, then, can be regarded as a Morse code for computers. You put the combined radio receiver and transmitter, and the computer can transmit the equivalent of dots and dashes (bits, in computer-speak) to get your data from here to there.
Wavelength and frequency
You may be wondering how a computer can send and receive data at high speed without becoming garbled nonsense. The key to wireless networks is how to get around this problem.
First, wireless transmissions sent at very high frequencies, which allows more data to be transmitted per second. Most wireless connections use a frequency of 2.4 gigahertz (2.4 billion cycles per second) - a frequency similar to mobile phones and microwave ovens. However, this high frequency produces a very short wavelength, which is why wireless networking is effective only over short distances.
Wireless networks also use a technique called "frequency hopping." They use dozens of frequencies, and constantly switch between them. This makes wireless networks more immune to interference from other radio signals than if they transmitted on a single frequency.
Internet Access Points
The final step for the wireless network to provide Internet access to every computer on the network. This is done by a special piece of wireless equipment called an access point. An access point is more expensive than a wireless card for a computer, because it contains radios capable of communicating with about 100 computers, sharing internet access among them. Dedicated access points is only required for larger networks. With only a few computers, it is possible to use one of them as an access point, or use a wireless router.
Wireless equipment from different manufacturers can work together to deal with complex communications because there are standards that guide the production of all wireless devices. These standards are technically called the 802.11. Because of industry compliance with these standards, wireless networking both easy to use and affordable today.
Wireless Is Simple To Use
If all this talk about frequencies has you worried - relax. Wireless network hardware and software handles all this automatically, without requiring user intervention. Wireless network, for all complex skills, it is much simpler to use than you might expect.