High five to Wi-Fi!

Wi-Fi is a wireless technology used to connect computers, tablets, smartphones and other devices to the internet. Wi-Fi is the radio signal sent from a wireless router to a nearby device, which translates the signal into data you can see and use. A Wi-Fi network is an internet connection that’s shared with multiple devices in a home or business via a wireless router. The router is connected directly to your internet modem and acts as a hub to broadcast the internet signal to all your Wi-Fi-enabled devices.

Wi-Fi uses radio waves to transmit data from your wireless router to your Wi-Fi-enabled devices like your TV, smartphone, tablet and computer. Because they communicate with each other over airwaves, your devices and personal information can become vulnerable to cyber attacks and other threats. This is especially true when you connect to a public Wi-Fi network.

Most homes use a wireless router to access the internet these days. The pros include convenience of setup, mobility within range of the Wi-Fi access point (router) and the ability to connect multiple devices. The cons: limited bandwidth and reduced speed as more devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network, as well as potential interference from other electromagnetic devices in the home.

The IEEE 802.11 standard defines the protocols that enable communications with current Wi-Fi-enabled wireless devices, including wireless routers and wireless access points. Wireless access points support different IEEE standards. Each standard is an amendment that was ratified over time. The standards operate on varying frequencies, deliver different bandwidth, and support different numbers of channels.

A wireless access point (AP) allows wireless devices to connect to the wireless network. An access point takes the bandwidth coming from a router and stretches it so that many devices can go on the network from farther distances away. But a wireless access point does more than simply extend Wi-Fi. It can also give useful data regarding the devices on the network, provide proactive security, and serve many other practical purposes.

A portable Wi-Fi hotspot is a mobile hotspot obtained through a cell phone carrier. It's a small device that uses cellular towers that broadcast high-speed 4G or 5G broadband signals. Multiple devices, like iPads and laptops, can then connect wirelessly to the device, which in turn seamlessly connects to the Internet wherever you travel. A portable Wi-Fi hotspot is a more reliable way to access the Internet than searching for static public Wi-Fi hotspots.

Wi-Fi 6, also known as 802.11ax, is changing the way we connect to and consume information. The Wi-Fi 6 standard builds on the strengths of earlier Wi-Fi standards while improving efficiency, flexibility, and scalability. These enhancements provide new and existing networks with increased speed and capacity for next-generation applications. Wi-Fi 6 couples the freedom and high speed of Gigabit Ethernet wireless with the reliability and predictability of licensed radio.

Wi-Fi 6 and 5G have some similar capabilities but also have different, complementary strengths. Both technologies enable higher speeds, lower latency, and increased device density and network capacity. The differences lie in areas such as range, support for mobility, and cost. Wi-Fi 6 and its predecessors tend to be used for smaller, less expensive local area networks, often for connectivity inside homes and offices, while cellular networks such as 5G are used for both indoor and outdoor wide area networks, often for devices that move across large geographic areas.

Further, unlike past generations of wireless, Wi-Fi 6 and 5G are designed to work together smoothly, and the wireless industry appears headed toward a future in which devices can roam securely and seamlessly between all types of wireless networks. Industry associations and standards bodies are co-developing future network standards that will enable convergence of cellular and noncellular technologies, permitting integration of Wi-Fi 6 into core 5G networks.

Wi-Fi 6E is an extension of the Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) wireless standard into the 6-GHz radio-frequency band. Wi-Fi 6E builds on Wi-Fi 6, which is the latest generation of the Wi-Fi standard, but only Wi-Fi 6E devices and applications can operate in the 6-GHz band. The key difference between the Wi-Fi 6 standard and the new Wi-Fi 6E extension is that Wi-Fi 6E essentially creates a “fast lane” for compatible devices and applications. The result: faster wireless speeds and lower latency. Another difference is that Wi-Fi 6 is backward-compatible with earlier Wi-Fi standards but Wi-Fi 6E is not.

Glow’s role

Here at Glow, our dedicated team of experts is committed to designing and deploying customized Wi-Fi networks that are tailored to meet the specific needs of various spaces, guaranteeing optimal coverage and capacity. We excel in delivering Wi-Fi networks that guarantee high-performance connectivity, enhancing productivity and user experiences.

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