Wireless Networking Technology Wireless networking technology (WLAN) is a term applied to computer networks that use radio waves rather than wires to communicate data between computers and peripheral devices. Many modern day laptops have built-in WLAN functionality. More recently, WLAN functionality has been integrated into smartphones and tablets using either Wi-Fi connectivity or via cellular network providers.
In addition, WLAN systems provide users with the capability to connect to private networks without requiring physical access to the network’s wired infrastructure. This type of connection is referred to as Wi-Fi Direct. Additionally, WLAN provides users with the ability to create ad hoc networks without having to physically wire each device together. These networks are sometimes called wireless local area networks (WLAN).
How Does WiFi Work?
WiFi was invented by the late 1990s at the University of California at Berkeley. The basic idea behind WiFi is that instead of sending signals over long distances using copper wire, they would use electromagnetic radiation instead. Electromagnetic radiation travels at the speed of light, which means it can travel farther and faster than any signal carried by cable.
Thus, if copper wire were replaced by radio waves, the distance that these waves could carry information would increase. So, a transmitter sends out a strong enough wave so that receivers close to the transmitter can pick up the signal. Receivers close to the transmitters then send their own signals back to the original transmitter based on what they received. The result is that both parties know exactly where each other is located.
What is a Router?
A router is a piece of hardware connected to a computer network that connects several computers or mobile devices to the Internet. A router converts the electrical signals sent from one network interface card (NIC) to the Internet or other IP network. Routers are often connected to the same switch or hub and work together to distribute network traffic among different parts of the LAN.
A router may also act as a gateway between two separate subnets. It may route packets according to the best path determined by the routing protocol running on the router. All routers connected to the IP network utilize port forwarding to allow external connections to specific internal ports. Using this feature, a user can access the router’s configuration page from outside its network.
What is a Subnet Mask?
The subnet mask is a number assigned to a computer network that determines how much of the IP address space is available to a particular computer. There are 255 possible numbers between 0 and 255 that can be assigned to computers on the network. However, not all of them are allowed to be assigned due to the fact that computers need to share the same IP addresses.
Each computer has a 32 bit address that consists of four bytes–or 8 bits each. One byte represents a group of 2^8 256 unique numbers ranging from 0 to 255. Because only 128 of those numbers can actually be used, we need to figure out how to fit the remaining 128 into our 256. That’s where subnet masks come in. The subnet mask works like a filter that limits which numbers can be used. When a packet arrives at a host, it checks the destination address against the subnet mask. If the address matches, the packet is accepted; otherwise, it is discarded.
What is DHCP?
DHCP stands for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. DHCP provides automatic configuration and allocation of IP addresses to hosts on a TCP/IP network. DHCP also assigns dynamic DNS service names to hosts. It does this by broadcasting requests to servers. On receiving the request, the server returns information to the requesting server about the allocated IP address range and the corresponding DNS name.
What is NAT?
NAT stands for Network Address Translation. NAT is a function performed by TCP/IP stacks that enables the communication between different networks or hosts. It translates the internal IP address and port of a host inside the private network to one accessible from the internet. It does this dynamically. This prevents the discovery of hosts and applications across the firewall.
What is DHCPv6?
DHCPv6 stands for DHCP version 6. DHCPv6 is a newer version of DHCP developed by NIST. It supports IPv6 addressing, more advanced security, and a new mechanism for distributing addresses automatically. One of the biggest differences in DHCPv6 compared to the older version of DHCP is that it uses stateful packet inspection to determine whether a host should get an address assignment.
Application Of Wireless Technology
- Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) Wireless Application Protocol (WAP), commonly referred to as WAP technology or Mobile Web, is the underlying architecture behind mobile web pages and applications. WAP is based upon the internet protocols Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and Extensible Markup Language (XML). WAP is designed to enable users to view information and access services anywhere at any time using a handheld device connected to a cellular phone service provider’s wireless data network.
- GPRS/EDGE Network Technology GPRS stands for General Packet Radio Service, while EDGE stands for Evolution Data Optimized Generic Encapsulation. These two technologies allow Internet connectivity for mobile phones and other devices over 2G networks. To connect with the Internet via these technologies, the user must have a subscription to the operator’s GSM or UMTS 2G-only network. In addition to providing basic telephone capabilities, GPRS/EDR allows Internet browsing, email, SMS messaging, instant messaging, video calls, and voice mail. Users can browse the World Wide Web, send emails, download files, and make Voice over IP (VoIP) or video calls.
- Cellular System The Cellular system consists of a base station that connects to the network and helps transmit signals to the cell phone as well as receive signals from the cell phone. There are three types of cells: Macrocells, microcells, and picocells. Macrocells provide coverage over larger distances than microcells; they may cover a wide area and range from several hundred meters to a few kilometers away. Picocells serve locations where coverage is poor, such as office buildings and tunnels. Microcells offer coverage over smaller distances, often just a single floor of an office building.
- Base Station A base station is where the connection between the mobile radio network and the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) takes place. A typical base station contains equipment for transmitting and receiving radio waves, a control unit, antennas, cabling, and connections to the PSTN. When a call comes in, the base station receives the signal from the mobile subscriber and transfers the call to the PSTN.
- Home Location Register (HLR) HLRs store information about subscribers’ identities and their authorized mobile phone numbers. An HLR stores information about each subscriber’s home MSC and visiting MSC, along with the location of those MSCs relative to the serving MSC. Each MSC keeps track of its own subscribers’ locations.
- Visiting Location Register (VLR) The VLR is stored in the MSC of the visiting MSC. The VLR maintains information about the identity of visited MSCs and the location of those MCSs relative to the serving VLR. Each MSC maintains its own list of VLRs which it communicates with periodically.
- Serving MSC When a cell phone makes a call, the mobile switching center (MSC) located near the caller sends the call to the MSC nearest to the called party. All calls going through the same MSC are routed together. The MSC processes the call and then hands it off to the appropriate destination. If the call goes through the serving MSC while the subscriber is roaming, the MSC performs the default routing function. The MSC notifies the calling subscriber whether the call was accepted or rejected, and informs the visiting subscriber about his options.
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