The most important advantage of wireless networking is mobility. Wireless data users are free from the restriction of working from a fixed place. They can carry out their work in the conference room, in their project laboratory room, in their car and so on. The only requirement is that the wireless users should be within the specified range of the base station.
The range that is covered by the simplest available equipment is a campus domain. As the equipment gets slightly sophisticated, the range of an 802.11 network can extend up to a few miles.
Wireless networks employ several base stations that facilitate connection to an existing network. The basic requirement in order to provide efficient service is the appropriate functioning of the base stations and antennas. As soon as the infrastructure is in place, it is a very simple task to add a user to the wireless network. The user just needs to be authorized to start utilizing the functionality of the wireless networks.
As in all networks, data transmission in wireless networks takes place over a network medium. The medium in this case is free space, and the transmission method is a type of electromagnetic radiation. In order to be well-suited for deployment on mobile networks, the medium must encompass an extensive area in order to facilitate the movement of the clients throughout that area.
Infrared light and radio waves are the two media that have witnessed the widest use in local area networks. Several portable devices that are available now are equipped with infrared ports. The infrared ports facilitate faster connection to printers and several other peripheral devices.
Infrared light has certain constraints. Walls, partitions and several other constructions can easily obstruct it. Radio waves, on the other hand, find their way through most of the obstructions and thereby facilitate an extensive coverage range.
Thus, a majority of the 802.11 products employ the radio wave physical layer.
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