More Wireless Basics

This article explains the types of wireless signal. What makes these signals different? What is the difference between a transmitter and a receiver? What do you call a device that both transmits and receives? Make sure you can name two types of antennas and the reason for choosing each type.


wireless intro graphic

This document covers the basics of how wireless technology works, and how it is used to create networks. Wireless technology is used in many types of communication. We use it for networking because it is cheaper and more flexible than running cables. While wireless networks can be just as fast and powerful as wired networks, they do have some drawbacks.

Reading and working through Learn Networking Basics before this document will help you with some of the concepts used in wireless networks.

In addition to some background information, this document covers six basic concepts:

  1. Wireless signals - what they are and how signals can differ.
  2. Wireless devices - the differences and uses for receivers and transmitters.
  3. Wi-Fi Modes - how networks are made up of clients, access points, or ad-hoc devices.
  4. Wi-Fi Signals - the unique characteristics of Wi-Fi, and how signals are organized.
  5. Power and Receiver sensitivity - how far each wireless device can go, and how well a router can listen and filter out interference and noise.
  6. Antennas - how the type of antenna changes the way the router broadcasts.

Reading through this material should take about an hour. Working through the activities, or diving deeper into the subject with a group may take longer.

Source: Author,
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License.