What is Wireless Network? Advantages and Disadvantages

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Wireless Metropolitan Area Network (W-MAN). Such networks connect several wireless LANs.
  3. Wireless Wide Area Network (W-WAN). Such networks cover large areas such as between two neighboring towns or cities.
  4. 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.

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