What are the types of wireless networks? There are several types of wireless networks. They can be categorized into three major groups: home wireless networks, wireless extranets, and wireless LANs.
Home wireless networks commonly use WEP or Wireless Equivalent Privacy
In most instances, a home wireless network includes many different wireless routers, usually grouped together based on their manufacturer. Each wireless router connects to a computer or other wireless device and uses a shared key to establish a connection. The major parts of a home wireless network are access points, wireless routers, and ethernet cables.
An access point is a wireless router that allows users to gain internet access. It acts as an access point for other wireless devices such as mobile phones, cordless phones, and modems. On the other hand, a wireless router is a hub that allows several access points. A hub has several ports for wireless devices and allows connection to several internet enabled devices.
On the other hand, wireless LANs are networks composed of individual computers that connect to one another over a wireline connection. It can be either a closed or an open network. A wireless lan has its own physical layer apart from the underlying layers of the underlying technologies. Some examples of such layers are WAN routers and switches and the backbone of MPLS (Multi Mode Digital Layers). Wide Area Networks (WANs) are categorized into two types: public and private.
Personal Area Networks (PA Networks) are set up within a home or office. They are classified into three layers: the physical layer, the network layer, and the application layer. A personal area network usually includes a router for internal connectivity within the home or office, wireless phones for communication with other users, Ethernet cards for transmitters within the area network, and printers for printing devices within the network.
These networks are structured on the basis of their underlying technology. The wireless signal is the physical layer and is carried by radio waves or through electric currents to the access points and then to the networks. The application layer consists of the software and protocols needed to establish communication between the wireless signal and the access points.
One example of an application layer is WAP (wireless application protocol), which provides the backbone of mobile computing. This type of wireless networking is popular in areas where high speed Internet access is critical such as hospitals, libraries, and educational facilities. Another example is the Bluetooth wireless technology used in hand held mobile devices such as cellular telephones and PDAs.
Wireless networks have many advantages over traditional wired connections. They are more secure since they do not rely on the private placement of cell towers. And, wireless networking can be expanded to cover larger areas through the employment of wireless broadband providers who provide cell towers and other infrastructure required to support wireless networks.
The wired computer network refers to the broadest scope of Internet service available. It includes residential customers, small office networks, dial up connections, and Internet service providers. Businesses make use of this wide band of connectivity because it allows them to interconnect with other business units located in different locations. Some examples of wired computer networks include the Local Area Network, which covers a defined geographical area whereas the Wide Area Network covers a much larger area.
There are three basic types of wireless networks: the optical packet switch, the wireless router, and the AP. The optical packet switch connects two or more computers via a physical network card. The wireless router is a device that broadcasts a wireless signal to several access points and then receives the information back from the access points. Finally, the AP is a device that receives, compresses, modifies, and retrieves the information from the AP.
A third type of wireless network is the hybrid network, which combines the features of the other two. In a hybrid network, one or more components such as an Ethernet card or wireless router can be present but not the AP. As a result, the AP is not necessary to deliver the signal.
These wireless technologies are also categorized according to how they work. Some wireless networks function entirely on radio communications while others utilize data signals. Wireless routers, for example, allow users to surf the Internet without having to connect directly to the Internet connection. On the other hand, radio communication technologies such as GSM cellular phones and CDMA/GPRS radios let users exchange data at much faster speeds.