Wireless

 

By Vangie Beal

In networking terminology, wireless is an adjective that describes any network or device that does not need a wired connection to transmit information or perform tasks. Instead of physical wires (copper or optical fiber), wireless networks and devices use light waves or radio frequencies to function.

In networking specifically, wireless technology utilizes specialized equipment such as Network Interface Cards (NICs), access points (APs), and routers to establish a connection between a transmitter and receiver. This hardware creates an infrastructure that then sends information between devices using radio frequencies.

Types of wireless technologies

Wireless connections can be established using a number of different technologies, including:

  • Bluetooth: uses UHF radio waves to exchange data between devices in close proximity
  • Cellular: uses a global network of transceivers in geographic land areas (called cells) to transmit data
  • RFID: uses radio frequencies to transmit unique identification signals
  • Satellite: uses devices that have been launched into space to relay signals between earth stations
  • Wi-Fi: uses electromagnetic fields to connect devices and transmit data between them
  • Zigbee: uses specialized chips to create a personal area network for devices that can transmit data without a lot of power or bandwidth
  • Qi: uses electromagnetic induction to transfer electrical power from one device to another
  • Infrared: uses electromagnetic radiation to send signals from one device to another

Examples of wireless devices

The application of the wireless technologies listed above ranges from very basic to very complex, and some wireless devices were developed well before the dawn of the Internet. Examples of older wireless devices and more recent inventions include:

  • Key fobs, like garage door openers and remote car starters, use infrared signals and are perhaps the oldest type of wireless devices
  • Two-way radios, which enable users to communicate via radio frequencies
  • Satellite television, which distributes television programming from a central station to numerous receivers within a geographic region
  • Mobile phones, which are battery powered and function over a wireless cellular network
  • Smarthome devices, which connect to one another using Zigbee chips and protocols
  • Wireless charging systems, which largely use Qi technology to power devices

 

 

Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

Top Articles

The Complete List of 1500+ Common Text Abbreviations & Acronyms

From A3 to ZZZ we list 1,559 SMS, online chat, and text abbreviations to help you translate and understand today's texting lingo. Includes Top...

Windows Operating System History & Versions

The Windows operating system (Windows OS) refers to a family of operating systems developed by Microsoft Corporation. We look at the history of Windows...

How to Create a Website Shortcut on Your Desktop

Website Shortcut on Your Desktop reviewed by Web Webster   This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a website shortcut on your desktop using...

Generations of Computers (1st to 5th)

Reviewed by Web Webster Learn about each of the 5 generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the computing devices that...

Security Breach

Any unauthorized access to a computer network, computer data, devices, or applications is...

Productivity Software

Productivity software is a broad term used for software applications that increase the...

3PL (Third-Party Logistics)

Third-party logistics, typically referred to by the acronym 3PL, is the process a...