The most common networking was and continues to be the wired network; however the popularity of this is waning. On the other hand, the popularity of wireless networking is on the rise simply because of the comfort it provides its users.
There is not much difference in the way a wireless and a wired network work. It is in the way the signals are carried from one point to the other that they differ.
In case of a wired network the signal is transmitted over the wire as an RF signal. In the case of a wireless network, the signal is transferred to the destination as an RF signal transmitted over the air.
As the ease of wireless networking increases, its popularity will keep growing.
Even in its present form, the wireless network is pretty simple to implement as you can see below:
In a wireless network, a wireless card does the job of a networking card on a personal computer. This card transmits and receives signals from a particular source, which is normally called the access point.
Every computer on the wireless network connects to a node or an access point. The data is always transmitted to the access point before transmitting it further. These access points would in turn use either a wired line or a wireless line to push the data to its destination or a server.
I can almost hear you asking what a server is. The server used to be a central machine around which all network activity was centered. Today, the concept of a server is really on the wane as the focus lies on connecting two computers. In our current network, this can be any computer to or from which you want to be connected.
There will be an address for every one of the wireless access points. There will be a sub address for each of the computers that are connected to the access points.
To say that this set up is like a star with the access points in the centre would make the wireless network much easier to visualize.
Between these access points there is normally a standard wired network. This is to facilitate ease and speed of operation in a wired network. Moreover, there is a higher reliability in the case of wired networks.
How Does Wireless Networking Work?
If you want to do wireless networking, you need a device that will link the computer to the server over a wireless transmission system.
This is a device we call the access point. You will connect to this access point from your computer. Normally, this is the nearest access point or the strongest access point.
The word ‘strongest’ refers to the signal strength at that point! Make sure you have a wireless card on your computer or laptop.
The wireless router is connected to the LAN or a LAN hub. This is also called the access point. All the wireless terminals or nodes will be connected to the wireless router over the wireless network.
When you are working on your home network, you will possibly connect to the broadband over the wireless router or to a dial up internet connection.
You may or may not have a LAN hub since all the computers could be on one side of the router and could form a part of the wireless terminal.
No other component is required on your computer(s) but for the wireless router and the wireless card. On your computer you will require the wireless connectivity either in the form of a WiFi card or a USB wireless card.
In either case, the computer will be able to connect to the wireless router and start working successfully.