Monday, January 14, 2013

WIFI Overview

Firewalls, Routers, Wireless Access Points and HotSpots - What's the difference?

firewall can either be software-based or hardware-based and is used to help keep a network secure. Its primary objective is to control the incoming and outgoing network traffic by analyzing the data packets and determining whether it should be allowed through or not, based on a predetermined rule set. 

router is a device that forwards data packets between computer networks, creating an overlay internetwork. A router is connected to two or more data lines from different networks. When a data packet comes in one of the lines, the router reads the address information in the packet to determine its ultimate destination. Then, using information in its routing table or routing policy, it directs the packet to the next network on its journey. Routers perform the "traffic directing" functions on the Internet. A data packet is typically forwarded from one router to another through the networks that constitute the internetwork until it gets to its destination node.

wireless router is a device that performs the functions of a router but also includes the functions of a wireless access point and a network switch. It is commonly used to provide access to the Internet or a computer network. It does not require a wired link, as the connection is made wirelessly, via radio waves. It can function in a wired LAN (local area network), in a wireless-only LAN (WLAN), or in a mixed wired/wireless network, depending on the manufacturer and model.  Learn more.

Most current wireless routers have the following characteristics:

  • LAN ports which function in the same manner as the ports of a network switch.
  • A WAN port which connects to a wide area network, typically one with Internet access. External destinations are accessed using this port.
  • A wireless antenna that allows connections to other wireless devices, such as NiCs, wireless repeaters, wireless access points, and wireless bridges. This antenna typically uses the Wi-Fi standard.
  • Wireless router has many types of security for different manufacturers.
wireless access point (AP) is a device that allows wireless devices to connect to a wired network using Wi-Fi, or related standards. The AP usually connects to a router (via a wired network) if it's a standalone device, or is part of a router itself.  Learn more.

hotspot is a site that offers Internet access over a wireless local area network through the use of a router connected to a link to an Internet service provider. Hotspots typically use Wi-Fi technology. Learn more.

Wi-Fi (also spelled Wifi or WiFi) is a popular technology that allows an electronic device to exchange data wirelessly (using radio waves) over a computer network, including high-speed Internet connections.

Wifi Devices are electronic devices that connect to the internet via wifi technology.  Learn more. 


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