With knowing or without knowing, daily we come across and use the wireless network. The device which we are holding at present is a wireless device.
Devices like mobile phones, laptop, tabs are wireless devices which we use in the network. And it’s popularity across the globe has increased more and more so-called global coverage.
The network is basically of 2 types:-
Now, we are solely discussing wireless networks.
What is a wireless Network?
The connection between the two devices is wireless, makes information to be accessible anywhere at any time and up to date. Regardless of the size of the equipment or a device, the device is embedded in a wireless connection.
So the point to be noticed is no cable or a wire can restrict the user.
There is no medium required for transmitting the data between devices and to form communication between them. Wireless network replaces the wired network. Users can roam between the different wireless networks and IEEE 802.11 is the most common type of wireless network.
In wireless network the waves are not guided with any media but provides some methods or ways for transmitting them.
Waves are usually propagated through vacuum ,air and seawater.
And in a wireless communication there are some types for transmission of media those are,
- Satellite microwave transmission
- Radio wave transmission
- Terrestrial microwave transmission
- Infrared wave transmission
- Light wave transmission.
Examples of Wireless Network
Wifi, the abbreviation was wireless fidelity. This supports almost all portable devices and provides an interface for internet access.
Bluetooth, data speed is up to 2-3mbps, and the range is up to 100 meters.
Cellular, it provides facilities like voice and SMS.
Also, Satellite television is a service provided by satellites to the viewers.
And the wireless network is characterized by another type called mobile ad hoc network which is also called as manets. These are wireless networks having no fixed structure and uses dynamic topologies between multiple devices.
Working of Wireless Network
This type of network is far different from the wired network working model. There are two entities required, sender and receiver for forming a communication. The sender is the one who transmits the data and the receiver is the one who receives it.
The sender sends the data in the form of electromagnetic waves if the receiver is at a short distance and in a clear path he/she can receive the data. If this condition is not satisfied then the connection is not possible. So, by overcoming the problems of distance and physical object problem the wireless network came into exists as firstly sender will be communicating through packets where the data is in the binary form of 0’s and 1’s will be transmitted through electromagnetic waves and these waves are received at the antenna side.
The antenna will be processing the information and pass it through the BTS(base transceiver system).
BTS transfer it to the receiver’s antenna and then to the receiver’s mobile device.
And also there is a NIC (network interface card) present in every device like our laptops through which the device can connect over a network. This also helps to transfer data packets over a network.
Types of Wireless Network
Based on the size or range, the wireless network is divided into 4 categories
- Wireless LAN
- Wireless MAN
- Wireless WAN
- Wireless PAN
LAN– which means local area network. It is connected only in a limited region such as school, office, and colleges. This can also be called peer to peer network as there is no coordinator between the network.
The WLAN is LAN but the difference is it uses a wireless interface to form communication between two devices over the Internet.
This type of network has access points in it which are present in BSS( base service set).
BSS may or may not contains an access point but these will be having several STA’s (stations) connected in it. STA’s are generally considered as mobile stations (MS) which are nothing but devices like mobiles and laptops connected as a node and also these are considered as 802.11 wireless addressable unit.
In 802.11 WLAN,
- This is having a building block of WLAN with an understanding of STA, BSS, and DS.
- BSS- It is a basic building block and acts as a core unit in both small and large networks where all STA’s participates.
- It may be an infrastructure basic service set or an independent basic service set.
- These will be determining how the basic service area is created.
- BSA (basic service set area), in which the area where the user can connect to the access points.
- It also has BSSID which is a mac address of the access point.
- There should be at least one access point to drive multiple basic service sets.
- BSSID identifies the BSS and this is the actual ID’s.
- In an area, there can be multiple BSS’s they can be overlapped or completely separated in distance with their signals not effectively reaching in the overlap.
- In infrastructure BSS it does not require an access point and in Independent BSS, this is sometimes called an ad-hoc network and doesn’t require an access point.
- Where ESS is a set of one or more interconnected BSS. To interconnect them we use DS which is a distributed system.
Advantages of WLAN:
- The advantages of wireless LAN are planning and design.
- The planning in wired network is in the form of wired plan but when comes to wireless network it is having adhoc network and this adhoc network allows for communication without any previous planning.
- And probably internet working units are also be needed and considered
- with additional cabling in the wired network.
- The design for the wireless network can allows the design of small and independent devices.
Disadvantages of WLAN:
- There are four disadvantages in WLAN so called as, QOS( Quality of service ),Proprietary solutions, Restrictions and Safety and security.
- As we already discussed below about security concerns, now we are going through other disadvantages.
- In quality of service the wireless LAN exhibits lower quality in transmission of the packets than wired networks.
- Only the users having low power and certain licence free frequency bands WLANs are provided and are only limited to them.
MAN (Metropolitan area network)
Metropolitan area network is a collection of many WLANs from various places. By making use of WiMAX which is nothing but worldwide interoperability for microwave access, It makes use of 802.16 standards and provides fixed high-speed broadband and mobile services to a vast area with limited infrastructure.
It falls under IEEE 802.16 standards. This WMAN is greater than LAN but less than WAN(wide area network). These are having wireless links and are limited to a city.
MAN is owned by the user group or by an single organization that provides services to the users.
Example can be a surveillance cameras that are largely used and monitored through out cities and also providing the service to the users or the civilians.
WAN (Wide Area Network)
It covers a very large area network which is a wide area network connecting many cities. which can be across a town, a region, or a country.
It connects the various multiple small networks of public and private networks.
The best example for WAN is Banking System network where a single bank will be holding many of the branches all over the country at different possible places by connecting each cities. And this large number of banking operations will be carried out by WAN.
Similarly, the business entities for the clients and in education field for providing knowledge or the data to the students and the staffs.
Mobile phones use WWAN to make communication possible. Again this WWAN is subdivided into different generations as 2G, 3G, and 4G.
WPAN (Wireless personal Area Network)
A wireless personal area network, used at a smaller distance.
Eg.; Bluetooth and infrared data association.
Infrared is electromagnetic radiation(EMR) having a longer wavelength than visible light.
This range of communication is short-range to which it is used by remote controllers.
Some standards in wireless network areas are GSM and CDMA.
GSM means a global system for mobile communication, it is a wireless communication system based on TDMA ( time division multiple access).
GSM is having a 2G generation of communication which is originated from Europe.
This is discovered to overcome the problems of an analog system.
And the other standard is CDMA, which is a code division multiple access. This is a 3G wireless network. It facilitates many users to use the same frequency and time and CDMA also provides an excellent facility that at the same time transmission is possible by every user simultaneously.
So the resources are utilized effectively.
There are some protocols based upon the range of communication it can be either short or long-range of communication such as,
GSM 900/ GSM 1800/ GSM 1900, UMTS, CDMA (uses long range)
WPAN protocols like Bluetooth, IRDA, and zig bee (uses short range)
WLAN protocols eg.; 802.11a, 802.11b (uses short range)
WAP, wireless application protocols( for long-range).
WAP- wireless application protocol, which aims to display text on smaller screens and in turn minimizes the load on the network and the mobile. Hence all the providers use the WAP format.
Some of the Features of the Wireless Network are:-
No wiring difficulties,
Robustness as no natural calamities will affect a wireless network because it is not wired.
Mobility, where users can move around without losing connection easily.
This type of network is also used for entertainment purposes in the form of applications by providing games eg., Ad hoc gaming networks as people connect to play together.
Advantages of Wireless Network
In case of emergency, a wireless network is the only means of communication.
It provides flexibility where a network can be formed flexibly as users can move from one point to another without holding a wire.
It will be saving the wiring hassle as there is no bunch of wires.
And also enables guest access where the user will be acting as a guest in some other place.
This can also allow working remotely even at home.
The scalability of adding and removing the users or terminals is easy and there is no planning required for forming a connection.
Acts as user friendly without any hesitation by easy access.
It is intangible, not required to touch the wire for connection.
As the devices are wireless connections, they are portable to carry anywhere.
Simplicity in installing and configuring connections in a network.
The network is extensible where a new device can enter into the network easily.
Establishing these types of networks is simple.
So many devices can be connected within the range.
Enabling BYD which means bring your device says that the device can be connected to the network. Eg., the device can be connected to wifi in some other place.
Disadvantages of Wireless Network
Having low bandwidth with many users.
Transmission quality is low as collision may occur while transmitting.
Hidden terminal problems may arise because the terminal is unable to sense the transmission of another terminal, so one terminal is hidden to another.
Equipment cost is high.
Wireless networks are vulnerable to attack easily.
Radiofrequency strength decreases when the distance becomes longer.
Security is low in a wireless network as technology is advancing more so many methods are there to hack the network. So the security methods are also needed to be improved.
Security Provided in Wireless Networking
Wireless security includes and also measures the wireless transmission, wireless networks and the wireless access points.
Data can be easily hacked in a wireless network if there are no proper security algorithms to protect the data packets.
Radio signals can be intercepted by the antenna.
Security Systems that are used in wireless networks are,
1.WEP(wired equivalent privacy)- uses an encryption algorithm for data communication. Here encryption is nothing but the conversion of the source file into an unreadable manner that is plain text to ciphertext. Still, this is breakable with today’s technology because WEP holds more simple algorithms.
And hence WPA came into exists.
2.WPA(wifi protected access)- It is somewhat better than the WEP.
There are again three WPA’s as versions such as WPA, WPA2, WPA3.
By the name, one can say that WPA is used to create secure wireless(wifi) network.
Saying it is better than the WEP has the reason that is, WPA provides the best encryption through TKI (temporal key integration).
WPA2 has AES( advanced encryption standards ) where AES is proposed by Rijndael. This is an advanced version of symmetric cipher and executes more faster than DES (data encryption standards).
Along with the provision of security there is also some of the threats associated among the wireless networks which are,
Accidental association type of attack happens when wireless LAN’s will be interconnected with transmission ranges in the building and every time user tries to connect without willingly the user may locks the wireless access point using the neighbouring nodes.
The malicious association type of attacks are the one where the wireless devices will be acting like a legitimate access point and allows gaining of the passwords of authenticated users.
The authorized permissions are provided to the hackers in a network so that thy create a traffic in the network and also hackers will be determining the MAC address, So this type of attacks are meant to be Identity theft attacks.
Because of adhoc networks as it is located centrally within many devices which doesn’t have any access points may create some threats.
There is also a non traditional threats, which can be caused by eavesdropping and spooofing. This can be happened through bluetooth devices ,barcode readers and a handheld PDA’s.
The attack which happens between an user and an access point while they are interacting with each other this may causes the wireless networks to be open to different types of attacks is a man in the middle attack.
One of the threats like denial of services will also be happened due to the services provided by the wireless networks as the intruders or the hackers will be sending the false messages or requests for accessing the information from the access points. These are open type of attacks in a wireless network.
Another type of an attack is a network injection where the fake command are used by the attackers to exploit the routers and also determines the network functionality
Other type of methods provided to wireless network to keep and maintain it securely are,
Corresponding to router to router traffic, the wireless routers are maintaining the in-built encryption techniques.
To reduce these type of attacks the antivirus software needed to be installed at the access point which acts like a fire wall and avoid and alerts the user from occurring of attacks and viruses.
With the respective MAC address only authenticates users are needed to be allowed in a wireless network.
By making modifications to the identifier of the users or the identifier of the router makes the default to change to some other over an wireless network.
To the respective routers, the administrator passwords must be reset.
Generally, broadcasting the identified signal will lead to determination of the presence of any router but in some situations if the network is configured then the router identification is already know to the authorized devices or to the authorized users. To mislead the hackers or intruders this feature will remain inactive sometimes.
What’s the future of Wireless Network?
As technology is developing in a more advanced and efficient manner, the wireless networking mode is having a more broad future.
We are moving towards the free network society where the many civic and human-related functions and activities are automated with the help of intelligent machines and processes.
The scientists are going on the way of research more in 5G and 6G technologies.
The 6G can provide the canvas over complex interfaces that can seamlessly operate with minimal human efforts or human interface.
Some of the key technologies are likely to fall under 6G networks.
The 6G networks are enabling some of the tasks and goals such as AI, virtual reality, higher data rates, ultra reality low latency networks, and enhancement of today’s security with user experience.
And other associative techniques are smart reliable devices, space, and underwater communication, medical implants.
The virtual reality-based devices will be needed assured data transfer of up to 10GBps and its estimated wireless connectivity is 1000 times more efficient than 5G.
The associated technologies in this area are wireless brain-computer interface and applications that involve smart variable headsets and better devices and also body implants.
Using a brain-computer interface technology the human brain can be able to communicate with external devices in turn analyses and translate brain signals.
6G will facilitate the information transfer of human senses in the way of smartly and remotely interact with the environment.
In 6G we will be moving forward towards battery-less devices where there will be remotely and intelligently, and the power is delivered by the network itself by removing the battery paths in various devices.
The extended reality will be included in virtually augmented and mixed reality. This would make it available commercially and also make a computer-generated reality experience. GPS can be incorporated into creating an interactive environment.
Virtual reality would provide a 3G experience to enable advanced gaming and many other applications.
Even in vehicles, the technology is used such as audio and visual sensors and GPS so on.
Similarly, UAV’s are exploring and supporting in a big way such as within the military recordings, agriculture, law, and orders, AI photography, and disaster management.
In health care sectors remote surgeries will possible using robots and AI.
The overview of total information which is provided about wireless network is here,
Wireless network the word word wireless is giving a clue that the terminals in the network are interconnected without any cable or wire or media.
More a wireless network is capable of providing a easy and flexible resources and making more user friendly in a easy manner and the more risk is associated within the network.
As, the technology increases more in wireless network the more security methods are need to improved by designing algorithms and by providing more secure encryption methods.
Second Explanation of Wireless Network
Traditionally, computers and devices have exchanged information and resources with each other with the help of cabled or wired connections. While such connections provided a convenient way to connect over a network and communicate with each other, they had their limitations. To know more about What is Wireless Network and its Advantages and Disadvantages of Wireless Network keep reading this article till the end.
The devices and resources needed more mobility and flexibility to perform their operations. Hence as technology progressed, wireless networks and devices came into fashion.
In a wireless network, the devices could communicate with each other without any wired or physical media. This is accomplished through radio waves which are basically a part of the electromagnetic spectrum.
The devices used in wireless network use such waves or signals to exchange information and share resources between them. For instance, a device connected to a wireless network uses radio waves to connect to the internet, applications or a particular type of network such as a business network.
There are different types of Wireless Networks. When it comes to computer networking, the most basic of them are:
- Wireless Local Area Network (W-LAN). Such LANs are used to connect two or more devices located in a building or a part of a building to connect to the network.
- Wireless Metropolitan Area Network (W-MAN). Such networks connect several wireless LANs.
- Wireless Wide Area Network (W-WAN). Such networks cover large areas such as between two neighboring towns or cities.
- Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN). They are limited to connecting devices which are in his proximity. For instance, a Laptop may be connected to a wireless mouse.
Advantages of Using Wireless Networks are:
Mobility is the first advantage that comes to mind when one thinks of wireless networks. The people are able to use devices while still connected to the wireless networks. The devices could thus be used with much ease, convenience, and flexibility by the users. This depends on the strength and range of the wireless network’s signals.
Productivity, as a result of the aforementioned increase in mobility, is increased. The people could collaborate better to complete their work and share resources and information thereby increasing the work efficiency and hence the productivity of an organization.
The wireless networks don’t have huge infrastructure and setup requirements. For instance, a huge amount of cables need not be installed to connect all devices on the network, thus saving time and effort. With the help of a few network-enabled devices and routers, the system could be easily set up and maintained.
A wireless network could be easily altered and expanded. New devices just simply could connect in a jiffy, without any hassles as compared to a wired network.
Since the wires, their installation, and maintenance are not required or are minimized in a wireless network, there is a lot of cost-saving.
Over the years, due to improvements in encryption and security protocols, wireless networks have become much safer to access and operate.
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Disadvantages of using a Wireless Networks are:
Signal strength decreases when the user gets farther away from the range of wireless network sources. This causes the connected devices to perform poorly as the speed of data transactions is reduced. The wireless devices perform better when they are in the optimum range and preferably in the line of sight of a router or Wi-Fi device.
Interference problems may cause efficiency and reliability problems in wireless networks. Bad weather, leakage of signals from other sources in vicinity or radiation from other sources may distort or corrupt the signals of a wireless network.
When compared to wired networks, wireless networks are relatively vulnerable from the security point of view. Hackers and unauthorized persons could use the services of a wireless network by finding security loopholes or by exploiting some vulnerability in the system.
The bandwidth may not be optimally utilized in a wireless network. File transfers and resource sharing over a wireless network may not be as fast when compared to wired networks. Due to physical and technological constraints, the data transfer rates are limited to a certain extent.
Wireless networks may incur extra costs due to equipment and setup. But over the years, such costs have come down because of the attainment of inbuilt wireless capability in mobile devices; hence external devices to connect devices may not be needed. Laptops, TVs, fridges, washing machines, printers, etc now can connect easily to a wireless network. Also, for some people, wireless networks may be a bit inconvenient to use.