What Is a Wireless Network? – Wi-Fi Network

A wireless local-area network (LAN) uses radio waves to connect devices such as laptops and mobile phones to the Internet and to your business network and its applications. When you connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot at a cafe, a hotel, an airport lounge, or another public place, you’re connecting to that business’s wireless network.

What is a Wi-Fi or wireless network vs. a wired network?

A wired network uses cables to connect devices, such as laptop or desktop computers, to the Internet or another network.

A wireless network allows devices to stay connected to the network but roam untethered to any wires. Access points amplify Wi-Fi signals, so a device can be far from a router but still be connected to the network.

A wired network has some disadvantages when compared to a wireless network. The biggest disadvantage is that your device is tethered to a router. The most common wired networks use cables connected at one end to an Ethernet port on the network router and at the other end to a computer or other device.

Previously it was thought that wired networks were faster and more secure than wireless networks. But continual enhancements to wireless network technology and Wi-Fi networking standards have eroded speed and security differences between wired and wireless networks.

What are the benefits of a Wi-Fi wireless network?

Businesses can experience many benefits from a wireless network, including:

– Convenience

Access your network resources from any location within your wireless network’s coverage area or from any Wi-Fi hotspot.

– Mobility

You’re not tied to your desk, as you are with a wired connection. You and your employees can go online in conference room meetings, for example.

– Productivity

Wireless access to the Internet and to your company’s key applications and resources helps your staff get the job done and encourages collaboration.

– Easy setup

You don’t have to string cables, so installation can be quick and cost effective.

– Expandability

You can easily expand wireless networks with existing equipment, whereas a wired network might require additional wiring.

– Security

Advances in wireless networks provide robust security protections.

– Cost

Because wireless networks eliminate or reduce wiring expenses, they can cost less to operate than wired networks.