Wireless Networks – Definition, Types and Examples

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By Miro Stoichev

Hi everyone, today I’m going to explain what a wireless network is, why it’s called that, and what it is used for. You can infer from the term “Wireless Networks” that data is transferred over the air without the use of wires. Ordinary radio waves are used to help transmit data. Wi-Fi is the most widely used type of wireless network. Thus, you are already taking advantage of wireless communication if you are using your phone, tablet, or laptop to connect to Wi-Fi. And now, let’s discuss each topic in greater detail and chronological order.

Concerning the router and its purpose

What, in general, is a network?

We already know a little bit about the term “Wireless,” so let’s learn more about the second word, “Network.” “Computer networks” is another, more general term that is frequently mentioned. As an example, let’s use a local home network since it will be simpler to comprehend. You are connected to a home local area network if your home is equipped with a router.

Concerning the router and its purpose

A router can be used to connect PCs, laptops, tablets, phones, TVs, security cameras, printers, and more. Wi-Fi and a direct LAN connection are two concepts that are generally present in everything.

The router facilitates intelligent communication between all linked local networks. Furthermore, it makes no difference how the device is connected—by cable or Wi-Fi.

The image illustrates how a router is also linked to the worldwide Internet. In this instance, it serves as a gateway, skillfully distributing data between the local and global networks. Additionally, it enables fast and uninterrupted communication between these two networks. However, “request-response” communication is what occurs most frequently.

When you visit a website, for instance, a request is made to the global network from the local network. The response then appears on your computer, laptop, phone, or tablet. The global network is denoted as “WAN” and the local network as “LAN” schematically.

For this reason, the router has a dedicated WAN port made for the cable that the provider throws in the apartment. The remaining spaces are often used as LAN ports for connecting wired networks and local devices.

Regarding wireless connections and networks

The most widely used kind of wireless connection is the Wi-Fi local network, which is created by our preferred router, as we have already mentioned. With Wi-Fi, you can create a local network that connects every device by using radio waves. Although many users mistakenly believe that Wi-Fi and the Internet are the same thing, they are not!

Sure, you can access the internet using Wi-Fi, but the global network is not directly related to the Wi-Fi network. Wi-Fi is a technology that enables you to connect to a router using radio waves, as we already know. The issue is that even though your house may have Wi-Fi, it may not have internet access.

For instance, if your ISP disconnects you for nonpayment, your home’s Wi-Fi won’t disappear because the router will keep transmitting signal, but the internet won’t be available. In summary, Wi-Fi and the Internet are independent entities, and their connection arises solely through the utilization of a router that is linked to the worldwide network.

Similar numbers of people use other wireless communications in addition to Wi-Fi. Let’s examine the most widely used wireless network types and their underlying technologies:


This technology allows information to be transferred wirelessly over short distances between devices. Remote controls, mice, keyboards, headphones, headsets, and more are a few examples of wireless devices. In contrast to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth has its own standards, versions, protocols, and frequencies.

Internet and mobile

Much like in the earlier examples, information is sent to end devices via radio waves. Typically, you can use this as your regular cell phone service to browse the internet or place calls. Moreover, it offers internet via 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G.

WiMax technology

With the help of one or more towers and WiMax technology, a large number of subscribers can be connected. In hamlets and villages, this kind of connection is highly common. There is a single tower in the middle of the village, to which people can connect and access the Internet using a standard router.

Broadly speaking, wireless connections can also be made to regular radios, satellite TV, the Internet, and any type of remote radio communication that doesn’t require wires.

A further discussion of Wi-Fi

A wireless local area network, or Wi-Fi, can be found in a small space. It is possible to find information on the Internet indicating that the coverage radius exceeds 200–300 meters. While this is partially accurate, it is uncommon to find such extensive coverage in practice without the use of sophisticated equipment. Keep in mind that your home router connection might completely disappear if you walk out the door. The truth is that radio waves wane just like any other kind of wave. It is softened by the subsequent:

  • The wave is quenched by obstruction, which is basically any obstruction combined with a medium that isn’t a vacuum. Concrete walls, trees, glass, mirrors, metal, and other materials are the worst dampers.
  • Attenuation occurs naturally – a wave gets weaker the further it travels from its source.

Moreover, obstacles are reflected by waves. An average home router can cover no more than three or four rooms.

2.4 and 5 GHz are currently the two widely used frequencies for Wi-Fi

Each frequency has advantages and disadvantages.

2.4 and 5 GHz are currently the two widely used frequencies for Wi-Fi
  • The more widely used standard is 2.4 GHz. It beats more than 5 GHz, but at a lower frequency. Has less attenuation from obstacles in a similar manner. When transmitting, the maximum speed is 300 Mbps. There are only 11 channels, so that is one of the drawbacks. There are 13, in general, but neither channel 12 nor channel 13 are in use.
  • 5 GHz has an incredible speed that can be overclocked to several gigabits per second, or nearly 1000 million bits per second. Features 165 channels, which helps you avoid having router overlap. Has a narrower coverage area and waves that are more easily attenuated by impediments.

Let’s briefly discuss frequencies and channels. It’s likely that some people have already asked the perfectly valid question: how come there is no interference between the various waves of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, WiMax, and mobile communication? Actually, different frequencies are used by each of these technologies.

I’ll tell you about the 2.4 and 5 GHz frequencies we discussed, as well as the same router. The terms 2.4 and 5 GHz actually refer to a direct rounding; if two devices operate at the same frequency and propagate a wave across each other, they will interfere and jam each other, creating noise in the atmosphere.

Nowadays, very few people in an apartment building are taken aback by a router. Typically, a single floor can house multiple wireless networks and routers. A router looks for a free channel when it is turned on. The router can select and stay on channel 9 or 10, for example, if your neighbors use channel 2 and 5. The connection will suffer if two devices are on the same channel because of their interference with one another. Packets will be dropped, internet speed will decrease, video will lag, and game ping will rise.

In essence, a channel is a more focused use of a designated frequency

As we mentioned, 2.4 GHz is a very common frequency. However, in practice, channels are employed:

  • Channel 1: 2.412 GHz in frequency
  • Channel 2: 2.417 GHz in frequency
  • Channel 3: 2.422 GHz

At 2.4 GHz, there are just 13 of these channels

At 5 GHz:

  • 5.170 GHz on Channel 34
  • 5.180 GHz on Channel 36
  • 5.190 GHz on Channel 38

Etc. To make sure that all devices operate over the air and do not interfere with one another, different channels and frequencies are used. This allows for the distribution of various wireless networks, Bluetooth, cellular communications, and more.

Wi-Fi offers popular standards of its own in addition to frequencies and channels that let you send more data. Let’s examine the most widely used standards.

  • Up to2010, 2.4 GHz, or 11b, was a widely used frequency – 5 to 11 Mbps is the speed.
  • 11g replaced the conventional “b” and boosted the speed to 54 Mbps.
  • Now 11n – is the most widely used standard worldwide. Maximum throughput of 150 Mbit/s. Maximum data transmission rate in multiple streams using MIMO is 600 Mbps.

5 GHz

  • ac – offers a lot of channels, great speed, and reduced error due to nearby router interference. There is more than one gigabit per second of speed.
  • 11ax is faster and offers a lot more advantages than 5th generation Wi-Fi.

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