Wi-Fi, also known as “wireless fidelity” is a wireless technology based on the 802.11 network. Wi-Fi is an excellent technology that makes it possible for computers and personal digital assistants (PDA’s) to connect to the internet wirelessly. This technology makes it possible for users to access data online whenever they are near an access point, which is commonly referred to as a “hotspot”. While there are both advantages and disadvantages of Wi-Fi technology, I believe that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages and that Wi-Fi will get better, faster, and more secure in time.
During the late 90’s the 802.11 network was released for wireless local area networks (WLAN’s). This wireless network allows users with wireless devices to access the internet at any hotspot. Hotspots are located in airport terminals, coffee shops, Colleges, and even major cities. This technology allows casual users to go to the local coffee shop with their laptop computer and enjoy a coffee while surfing the web. At the same time it allows business users to access their work email or check out their itinerary while at the airport waiting for their flight. “802.11 has helped form the foundation of the future of an invisible nervous system that is growing all around us. For the first time in history, location no longer limits the ability to communicate”(Drumheller, 2006). There are many advantages of Wi-Fi. Hotspots are located in most cities and are available worldwide. With Wi-Fi you are not limited to indoors as there are no cables or wires to worry about. It’s a very efficient way of providing internet access, as there are no cables needed to connect, which can be a burden when trying to connect more than one device in separate locations at home. Wi-Fi is also great for video gamers as they can use the Nintendo DS handheld game system to connect through a Wi-Fi hotspot and play a multiplayer game against another gamer in a different country.
There are disadvantages to Wi-Fi as well. While utilizing Wi-Fi on an electronic device that uses batteries, the power is drained at a faster rate. There are limited ranges on the network, which may cause disconnections. Security is also an issue and may be easily hacked if encryption isn’t enabled. “Regardless of the technical effectiveness of wireless security methods, it will always be possible to exploit the human tendency to take security for granted”(Woodward, 2006).
Wi-Fi has had an enormous impact on our society and will continue to do so through newer and faster technology. Wi-Fi has helped users get data when they need it the most and right away with very little difficulty. We live in a fast paced world today where people want online now and here, not later and tomorrow. With Wi-Fi this is quickly achieved. Hotspots will continue to grow as more and more users adapt to this fast paced environment. Wi-Fi technology is definitely the solution to a better life and will continue to move forward as information technology enhances. Wireless Fidelity or “Wi-Fi” as users commonly refer to it as, is a wireless technology that let’s users connect their devices to the internet via “hotspots”. While this technology seems like it’s popularity keeps growing everywhere, there are pros and cons that both current and future users should be aware about.
A pro about Wi-Fi is that location is no longer limited as in where you can get internet access. You can get online in a lot of public places that include hotspots, which is really convenient. More and more cities are starting to include free Wi-Fi to its residents. “For the past three years, Fredericton (core population 50,000) has been the poster child for municipal WiFi. Its free service, known as Fred eZone, covers the city's downtown core, and some fringe areas, with 1,200 WiFi units. Residents can connect to the Net via mobile devices from just about anywhere”(Harvey, 2007). When you combine Wi-Fi with free access, you...
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