Wi-Fi is a very important part of our internet connectivity at home and in public spaces like airports, buses, streets and offices. We mostly rely on internet connection using Wi-Fi to stay afloat of online activities on the web, either for fun or for serious business. The advancement in Wi-Fi technology has contributed to the Internet of Things that allows us to be more connected globally.
How does Wi-Fi technology work?
Wi-Fi is pretty much a way of getting broadband internet to a device using radio signals and wireless transmitters. The transmitter, upon receiving data from the internet, connects the data into radio signals. Wi-Fi-enabled devices can then read and receive these signals. The information is then exchanged between the device and the transmitter. It uses electromagnetic waves to communicate data within two main frequencies.
The big question here, however, is, “When did it all begin?”
Wi-Fi was invented after the creation of the 802.11 committee in 1997. That, in turn, led to the creation of the IEEE802.11, which was the set of standards that define communication for wireless local area networks (WLANs). A basic specification for Wi-Fi was then established by allowing two megabytes per second of data to transfer wirelessly between different devices. After the development of routers to comply with, the IEEE802.11 in 1999 Wi-Fi was formally introduced for personal use at home.
In 2003, larger distance coverage and faster speed of the earlier versions combined to make the 802.11g standard. The strength of routers is getting better with higher power and further coverage. Wi-Fi then began competing with the speed of the fastest wired connection.
In 2009, the final version of the 802.11n was even faster and more reliable. The increase in efficiency gives credit to Multiple Input Multiple Output data (MIMOs). It then uses multiple antennas to aid communication of both receiver and transmitter.
With an increase to the 2.4 gigahertz, it meant that the number of devices connected to one router could increase. However, other devices like Bluetooth started using the same frequency. This made it slower and caused overcrowding. The 5 gigahertz came and seemed like a solution. So experts created the dual-band router with both the 2.4 and 5 gigahertz links. This was able to serve the dual need for both long distance and short distance connectivity.
Now, Wi-Fi technology has enabled some great electronic and computing devices to become interconnected and exchange information. It has simply gone beyond getting online and checking emails or using social media. It is now used for the Internet of Things (IoT). According to experts, “IoT is one of the most exciting waves of innovation the world has witnessed and that its potential has only just begun to emerge.”
Now, Wi-Fi 6 has been introduced, and it is about to be the fastest one yet. This is especially with more bandwidth-demanding apps, games and videos with our laptops and phones. The impact of new technology will go beyond speed. We expect it to do much more as it becomes more grounded. The latest Wi-Fi technology is new to the year 2019 and will have a speed of 9.6 gigabytes per second. This will make a 3.5 gigabyte-per-second increase from the already existing Wi-Fi 5.