What are the components of WiFi

Overview of WiFi components

While wireless surfing still seemed quite exotic a few years ago and was at best widespread among computer experts, WLan has long since become commonplace and as natural as making calls on a mobile phone.

In addition, most devices such as notebooks, printers or PDAs already have the technology required for wireless networking as standard.



There are basically two different ways of using WiFi. For one thing, there is wireless traffic at home. For example, you can comfortably surf the Internet via WiFi from the couch or balcony, or several computers can be wirelessly networked with one another.

It is also possible to send data from the computer to another device such as a printer. On the other hand, you can also surf on the go via WiFi. The numerous hotspots make it possible to go on excursions on the Internet, send data or check e-mails.


Depending on which type of use is selected, different WiFi components are required and here is an overview:    


Use WiFi on the go

If you want to use your notebook or laptop to surf the Internet quickly and easily anywhere, you can easily set up WiFi. Modern laptops come with the Centrino technology equipped and this data technology only needs to be activated by appropriate software.

The great advantage of laptops with integrated Centrino technology is that the power consumption is quite low. The batteries last significantly longer than with external WiFi solutions, even with an active wireless connection. Laptops and notebooks without Centrino technology can use a WiFi card can be retrofitted.

The WiFi card is plugged into the space provided and after the driver software has been installed, the setup of WiFi is already completed. If WiFi is activated, the notebook dials into the nearest hotspot and the Internet can be used. However, it can make sense to use a so-called WLAN sniffer to install on the laptop.

A WLAN sniffer is a type of search program that helps to find hotspots by searching the relevant databases and displaying all hotspots in the vicinity.


Use WiFi at home

If you want to set up a wireless network at home, you need a somewhat extensive set of WiFi components, but a wireless network offers some advantages. For example, several computers in a household can be networked with one another and all of these computers can have Internet access without the need to lay cables.

In addition, various other devices can be accessed from the computer, for example a printer, a scanner or a fax machine. Basically, you are going for a wireless network in your own home modem, a Router and a Access point required as WLan components.

The modem is required to be able to dial into the Internet. The router regulates the transition between the local network and the Internet and different end devices are also networked with one another via the router. The access point acts as a central node and is also required to connect several end devices or different networks with one another. The components can all be purchased as individual devices, but base stations that contain these components as combination devices are much more convenient and suitable for beginners.

Base stations are easier to install and also generally consume less power than individual devices. However, if you want to make phone calls over the Internet, you should make sure that the WiFi router of the devices is equipped with the VOIP function. There are also other WiFi components that can be used.

There are also WLAN cards for computers that make it possible, for example, to retrofit an older computer and make it suitable for WLAN. There is also WiFi USB sticks, with which computers and notebooks can be upgraded quickly and flexibly. If the range of the network is insufficient or the connection quality is not good due to thick walls, for example, special Antennas or so-called Repeater To remedy the situation.


Which components for which operating mode?

A WiFi network can basically be operated in three different operating modes, namely in ad-hoc mode, in infrastructure mode and in a mixed form of WiFi and LAN network. In ad-hoc mode, the participants communicate directly with one another.

An access point as a central node is therefore not involved, but the data is exchanged directly between the WLan components.

Usually, however, this operating mode is only used for temporary networks. In addition, it can happen that the individual WLan components cannot communicate with each other if they are components from different manufacturers.

In ad-hoc mode, PCMCIA cards, WiFi cards and USB sticks are primarily used as WiFi components. In infrastructure mode, communication is not direct, but is controlled via an access point as a central hub.

The access point generates a radio cell in which the WiFi end devices register and authenticate using the appropriate access data. In addition to the WLan components, which are also used in ad-hoc mode, an access point and, in some cases, PCI cards are used in infrastructure mode.

In the mixed form of WiFi and LAN network, WiFi is integrated into an existing LAN network. This is done using the infrastructure mode, in which case appropriate security measures are required for the WiFi.


Additional wireless LAN instructions, tests and tips:

Wireless Lan card
Wireless Lan modem
Wireless Lan Repeater
Wireless Lan amplifier
Wireless Lan Sniffer


Topic: Overview of WLan components