The year 1999 saw the introduction of the first “wireless” connections to the Internet.
Personal digital assistant (PDA): a handheld computer that can send and receive wireless telephone and fax calls, act as a personal organizer, perform calculations, store notes, and download Web pages formatted for handheld devices.
The wireless Internet has expanded to include different hardware devices, networks, and other options.
Wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi): a trademarked name of the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA) that specifies the interface between a wireless client and a base station or between two wireless clients.
A wireless local area network (WLAN) is a network in which devices use high frequency radio waves instead of wires to communicate.
Wi-Fi operates in the 2.4 GHz radio spectrum, which is the same spectrum used by cordless phones, garage door openers, microwave ovens, and other devices.
Wireless Local Area Networking wired local area network wireless local area network
Laptop computers and other devices must have Wi-Fi compatible hardware installed in them to send and receive data with the network.
If you position enough access points within the appropriate range of each other, the WLAN can grow to cover an entire office complex or geographic area.
Cometa Networks was formed in December 2002 as a joint project between AT&T, IBM, and Intel. It intends to activate more than 20,000 access points for use by more than 100 million Internet users. If successful, it might provide a wireless network across the U.S. without encountering the obstacles that 3G wireless faces.
Using Bluetooth technology, you can synchronize and share data between as many as eight Bluetooth compatible devices within the specified range at a rate of up to 1 Mbps.
A collection of devices connected via Bluetooth technology is called a piconet . A piconet can connect to eight devices at a time.
You can use Bluetooth-enabled devices to transfer files, listen to music playing on a computer through a headset, print documents, or connect your notebook computer to the Internet using a wireless phone that is in your desk drawer or briefcase.
Comparing Wireless Network Standards and Bluetooth
You should carefully examine the network’s geographic coverage area, pricing options, and the provider’s future expansion plans before selecting the device that most closely matches the functions that you need it to perform.