With the advent and now proliferation of wireless RF links, you are almost never a place where you are unable to connect to the Internet. There are three main types of wireless RF links, including radio stations and television networks. These are divided into the types of devices capable of connecting to them and include mobile, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Transmission methods may include tower mounted antennas, microwave bowls and small stationary transceivers.
Wireless RF link types
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and mobile phone are the three main types of wireless radio frequency based link systems. Mobile systems are obvious to cell phones and adapters that are cell-based. Wi-Fi, whether part of a local, metropolitan or wireless network, supports Wi-Fi enabled devices such as laptops, some personal digital assistants and high-end mobile phones. RF links based on Bluetooth technology allow Bluetooth enabled devices such as mobile phones, PDAs and laptops to connect to an intranet or the Internet. Many cities provide Internet access using a Wi-Fi-based Metropolitan Area Network for anyone located in a location where the Wi-Fi signal can be received with sufficient strength.
Wireless RF links are based on international standards that govern various aspects of the link structure. For example, most devices that are Wi-Fi enabled use equipment designed to work with the 802.11 G or N standards. This standard regulates specifications such as the frequency used for transmission and reception, communication protocols, security and transmitter signal strength. Most cellular systems are either third- or fourth-generation networks operating on the Global System for Mobile Communications standard. With the right antennas, these two types of systems can operate over quite large distances. Bluetooth is a short-range technology that is great for keeping portable devices in sync with computers at home or in the office.
Types of antennas used in wireless RF links
Basically, almost anything that carries electricity can be used as an antenna. However, the actual antennas are optimized to provide better transmission and reception results. Cellular systems operating over greater distances usually use specially designed honeycomb antenna mounted on high towers to achieve the widest range. However, there are also cellular repeater antennas designed to be used in buildings that are mounted in the ceiling and are not much larger than a computer mouse. Wi-Fi antennas used on building access points and routers are made of rubber with a wire inside and are between 6 and 8 inches long and about one-third of an inch in diameter. Outside Wi-Fi antennas are either tower-mounted towers for wide signal distribution, or microwave antennas for viewing angle transmission and reception. These are usually used to allow the networks of two buildings to communicate with each other without interference and semi-secure. USB Bluetooth adapters are usually no larger than a thumbnail.
Keeping RF Wireless Links Safe
If your company uses RF links in its network, data security should be an important consideration. Each type of system used has built-in security. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth use security protocols such as Wireless Access Protocol, Wireless Encryption Protocol, and password authentication. With WAP and WEP based security, users need to know the name of the wireless network they are connecting to, as well as a password or encryption key. The network name must be known before the end user can attempt to connect to it. The password or encryption key is sent under the handshake and authentication process. When Bluetooth “once” detects each other, the device that starts the connection must send the correct password (usually a four-digit number) to the device connected to it.
A properly configured and used wireless RF link can provide seamless integration to enterprise networks and provide connections between portable and desktop devices.