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Dated: Sep. 24, 2013
Related CategoriesNetworking In General
People sometimes refer to wireless networking as "Wi-Fi", even when the network uses a completely unrelated type of wireless technology. Although it may seem ideal to all the world of wireless devices using a common network protocol, such as Wi-Fi, rather today's networks support a wide range of protocols.
Reason: No protocol ensures the existence of an optimal solution for all the different wireless customs that the people want. Some are better optimized to preserve battery life on mobile devices, while others offer higher speeds and more reliable and long-distance connections.
The below listed wireless network protocols have been particularly useful in consumer devices and/or business environments.
Prior to the recent adoption that smartphones made of the so-called fourth generation ("4G") wireless networking, telephones used a dizzying variety of older-generation mobile communication protocols with names such as GPRS, HSDPA and EV-DO. Operators and industry have invested large sums of money to upgrade cell towers and other network equipment to support 4G, standardizing the communication protocol called Long Term Evolution (LTE), which has emerged as a popular service starting in 2010.
LTE technology is designed to significantly improve the low-speed data transfer in roaming issues with older protocols phones. The protocol can carry more than 100 Mbps of data although the flow is usually regulated at the level below 10 Mbps to individual users. Due to the significant cost of equipment, plus some of the challenges of regulatory authorities, operators have not deployed LTE in many places. LTE is also not suitable for home and other local area networking, in order to support the growing number of customers over much larger distances (and corresponding to that there is a higher cost).
Wi- Fi is widely associated with wireless networking, as it has become the defacto standard for home networks and a public network hotspot. Wi-Fi has become a popular starting in the late 1990s, as networking hardware required for computers, printers and other consumer devices became widely available and supported data rates that have improved to an acceptable level (from 11 Mbps to 54 Mbps and more).
Although Wi-Fi can be run over long distances in carefully controlled environments, the protocol is practically limited to work within individual residential or commercial buildings and open spaces within short walking distance. Wi-Fi speeds are also lower than other wireless protocols. Mobile devices are increasingly supported by Wi-Fi and LTE (plus some older mobile protocols), to give users more flexibility in the types of networks that can be used. Specifically, WPA2 is recommended for use in home networks to prevent unauthorized parties from logging into the network or intercept any personal information sent over the network.
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