How Wi-Fi Networks Works

Wi-Fi networks have no physical wired connection between sender and receiver by using radio frequency (RF) technology — a frequency within the electromagnetic spectrum associated with radio wave propagation. When an RF current is supplied to an antenna, an electromagnetic field is created that then is able to propagate through space.

The cornerstone of any wireless network is an access point (AP). The primary job of an access point is to broadcast a wireless signal  that computers can detect and “tune” into. In order to connect to an access point and join a wireless network, computers and devices must be equipped with wireless network adapters.

Wi-Fi Support in Applications and Devices

Wi-Fi  is supported by many applications and devices including video game consoles, home networks, PDAs,mobile phones, major operating systems, and other types of consumer electronics.  Any products that are tested and approved as “Wi-Fi Certified” (a registered trademark) by the Wi-Fi Alliance are certified asinteroperable with each other, even if they are from different manufacturers. For example, a user with a Wi-Fi Certified product can use any brand of access point with any other brand of client hardware that also is also “Wi-Fi Certified”.

Products that pass this certification are required to carry an identifying seal on their packaging that states “Wi-Fi Certified” and indicates the radio frequency band used (2.5GHz for 802.11b,  802.11g, or 802.11n, and 5GHz for802.11a).