The Technicalities of WiFi
Photo credit goes to Wi-Fi Wikipedia
The Technicalities of WiFi
WiFi operates primarily on two frequency bands: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.
The 2.4 GHz band is more crowded, as it’s used by many devices including microwaves and Bluetooth devices, but it offers better range due to its ability to penetrate walls and other obstacles more effectively.
On the other hand, the 5 GHz band provides faster data rates and is less prone to interference, but has a shorter range.
The choice between these bands often depends on specific needs: 2.4 GHz for broader coverage and 5 GHz for high-speed, short-range applications.
WiFi standards, designated by the IEEE 802.11 protocol, have evolved significantly. For instance, 802.11b/g/n operates on the 2.4 GHz band, with 802.11n also offering a 5 GHz option, increasing both speed and range.
The 802.11ac, now widely used, operates exclusively on the 5 GHz band, providing even higher speeds and improved channel bonding. The latest standard, 802.11ax (WiFi 6), enhances these features further, offering increased capacity, lower latency, and improved efficiency, especially in dense environments.
WiFi’s ability to transmit high amounts of data is partly due to advanced modulation techniques like Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM).
This technique combines two amplitude-modulated signals into a single channel, increasing the throughput. For instance, 802.11ac uses 256-QAM, allowing it to transmit more bits per symbol compared to earlier standards.
As these modulation techniques become more sophisticated, they enable WiFi to handle more data at higher speeds.
Section 1: WiFi Security
Security is paramount in WiFi networks. Initially, WiFi networks used WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy), but it was soon found to be vulnerable.
WPA (WiFi WiFi-protected access) replaced it, offering improved security. WPA2 further strengthened this by introducing AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) which is currently the most widely used.
The latest, WPA3, offers even stronger security features, like improved protection against brute-force attacks.
Vulnerabilities and Solutions:
WiFi networks are susceptible to various security threats like eavesdropping, man-in-the-middle attacks, and unauthorized access.
To combat these, apart from using strong encryption protocols, it’s also important to implement network security practices like using strong, unique passwords, enabling firewalls, and keeping firmware updated.
In corporate environments, additional measures like using VPNs and implementing network access controls are crucial.
Section 2: WiFi in IoT and Embedded Systems
Role in IoT:
WiFi’s role in IoT is transformative, enabling devices to communicate and transfer data seamlessly. It’s crucial in applications like smart homes, where devices like thermostats, security cameras, and lighting systems need reliable connectivity.
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Credits: Mr. Aditya Thakekar’s Post