A wireless network is a network that is designed to pass data between different nodes via radio. Wireless networks are of different types but the local WLAN and regional WMAN are most common. The use of wireless networks has grown a lot in recent years.
The term “wireless network” can be misleading , because it means the complete absence of wires in the network. In most cases, this is not true. Of course wireless components interact with the network, which is used a cable as a transmission medium. Such a network of mixed components is called hybrid.
The distance of wireless transmission can be small (a few meters as in case of a remote control) or very large (thousands or even millions of kilometers for telecommunication). Wireless network is usually regarded as a branch of telecommunications.
There are two main areas of application of wireless networks:
- Working in a confined space (office, showroom, etc.);
- Connection of two or more remote LAN (or remote LAN segments).
For the organization of a wireless network in a confined space transmitters with omni-directional antennas are used. The IEEE 802.11 standard defines two operating modes of the network: Ad-hoc and client-server. Mode Ad-hoc (otherwise referred to as “point-to-point “) is a simple network in which communication between the stations (clients) is set directly, without using the access point. In the client-server mode, a wireless network consists of at least one access point connected to a wired network and a set of wireless client stations. Since most networks need access to file servers, printers, and other devices connected to the wired LAN, the most commonly client-server mode is used.
To connect remote LANs (local or remote segments of the network) equipment with directional antennas is used thus increasing the range of up to 20 km (and by using special amplifiers and high altitude antenna placement – up to 50 km). Wi-Fi devices can also be regarded as such equipment, only need to add to them a special antenna (if permitted by the design). Complexes for connecting LANs are divided by the topology into the “point – point” and “star.”
In recent years, the trend of wireless networks and remote access undergone rapid development. This is due to the spread mobile computers, paging systems (so-called pagers), the emergence of Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) class, and the expansion of functionality in mobile phones. Such systems should provide business planning, time calculation, filing, and maintaining communication with remote stations. The motto of these systems was the anytime, anywhere, that is the provision of communications services regardless of place and time. In addition, the wireless communication channels are relevant where it is impossible or expensive laying of cable lines and long distances.
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