What is wireless internet and how does it work?

20 September 2022

In today’s world, wireless connections are everywhere. A phone can automatically connect to a wifi connection when you enter a coffee shop or friend’s home. You can listen to music without plugging your earphones in, and you can even charge certain devices without having to use a power point.

Wireless connections have come a long way over the past few years — and so has wireless internet. If you’re more familiar with old-fashioned dial-up or ethernet cable connections, the ins and outs of wireless internet might seem mysterious and confusing. Here’s how it works and what advantages it offers so that you can make a more informed choice when getting connected to the internet.

A brief history of wireless internet

Wifi was first released for home use in 1999. It was initially developed to replace dial-up internet and ethernet cables. When the internet first became widely available and affordable for public use, most people used dial-up. It relied on a modem and landline, which is why you couldn’t use your phone and browse the internet at once.

Wifi was developed to transfer data between devices without using wires. Instead, it used electromagnetic waves to communicate signals over specific, dedicated frequencies.

Today, it still operates on similar principles — just a lot faster and over longer distances. Broadband internet is transmitted to devices like routers via wirelessly transmitted radio signals. These signals operate on different frequencies to radios and cell phones. The transmissions are sent and received by towers, and once they arrive at a device are converted into data.

Why choose wireless internet?

Ask any internet service provider to recommend a fast, reliable and affordable internet connection and they’ll tell you; you should consider wireless internet. The reason it’s so popular is that it offers several distinct benefits beyond its accessibility and competitive pricing. 

Because you can connect several devices to a single connection, it’s a good option when you need to connect multiple devices and users at once. With no wires involved you can also move around without worrying about getting disconnected or yanking out cables or wires. 

In the past, wireless internet did have a few drawbacks. It used to offer slower transfer speeds than wired connections and its connection would slow the further away you were from the router. Any obstruction — such as a wall or even a large piece of furniture — would compromise the connection.

Modern wireless connections have evolved to overcome these limitations. Modern routers now operate over longer distances, with extenders available to facilitate connections in large homes or double story buildings. Internet service providers have also developed internet plans to provide a range of download speeds.

Picking the right internet network provider

If you’re ready to commit to a wireless internet service, you’ll need to choose an internet service provider that’s equipped to offer you a service that will give you the speed and quality of connection you’re looking for. SADV is an open access network provider that can offer you over 40 different internet service providers to choose from. Enquire today to get connected to a wireless internet package that best meets your needs.

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© 2024 SA Digital Villages. All rights reserved