The Wireless Environment: Wireless Internet access, sometimes referred to as a “hot spot” is a Local Area Network (LAN) run by radio waves rather than wires. It is broadcast from a wireless router or access point. This wireless router or access point located at the near main computer system or server, it broadcasts the Internet connectivity to anyone within receiving range, who is equipped with a wireless device and a password to the network, if it’s secured.
A desktop system setup for wireless Internet access will broadcast connectivity throughout the immediate area. Any family member with a laptop or desktop in another room can connect wirelessly to the Internet to share the main connection. Neighbors may also be able to access this wireless connection, which is why most wireless LANs are configured with password security. In this case, any machine that wishes to connect wirelessly must first complete a “handshake” with the LAN, in which the password is requested. If the proper password is not supplied, access is denied. Security protocols have improved with Wi Fi Protected Access (WPA) and Wi Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) options.
Internet cafes are one example of places where one can sit with a laptop and sip coffee while cruising the Internet, checking email, or doing research. Cell phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs) equipped with Web browsers can also use these access points through public hot spots.
A wired network can be not only very time consuming to install throughout a building, it is also very expensive. Ethernet cables used to connect client machines might need to be routed through walls, ceilings, and floors. In the past, this disadvantage was sometimes overlooked due to the advantages of greater security and faster data transfer speeds through these cables.