Survey On Wireless Networking Computer Science Essay

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Wireless Networking helps people to easily connect with each other with faster services and limited time Businesses, Gadgets, Transportation, Medical field as well as all our day to day transactions use the advantages of the wireless technology. In this paper, we are going to make a case study for research on protocols, standards, technology of wireless networking. This kind of networks has become popular since the first days of introduction and use.

Keywords- WPAN, WLAN, WMAN, WWAN, IEEE 802.11 protocols, standards and technologies

1. Introduction

The introduction of Wireless technology has helped us to simplify networking by enabling multiple computer users to simultaneously share resources like Broadband Internet connection, network printers, data files, or even streaming audio/ video in a home or business without any intrusive wiring. Examples of wireless devices include cell phones, Tablets, PDAs, GPS, wireless keyboards, wireless routers, wireless network cards, remote controls and more which are being added on day to day basis.

Wireless Network Components directly replaced the common wired network components with wireless network card in the place of the wired network card, radio waves in the place of Ethernet cabling, and a wireless network access point unit in the place of the Ethernet hub.

There are several types of wireless networking, some of them are discussed below,

2. Types of wireless networking

Wireless PAN

Wireless LAN

Wireless MAN

Wireless WAN

Wireless mesh network

2.1 Wireless PAN

"WIRELESS Personal Area Networks (WPANs) are used

to communicate information over relatively short distances.

WPAN require relatively less or no infrastructure"[8].

Wireless personal area networks interconnect devices within a relatively small area that is generally within a person's reach.

2.2 Wireless LAN

LAN short for Local area network setup in wireless mode can be utilized for linking two or more devices over a short distance based on its range which is done through a access point.

2.3 Wireless MAN

It is a metropolitan area network that is optimized for a larger geographical area than a LAN, ranging from several blocks of buildings to entire cities. MANs can also depend on communications channels of moderate-to-high data rates.

2.4 Wireless WAN

WAN short for Wide Area Network, it can be maintained over large geographical areas, such as cities or countries, through the use of satellite systems or multiple antenna sites maintained by wireless service providers.  

2.5 Wireless mesh network

A wireless mesh network is a wireless network made up of radio nodes where each node forwards messages on behalf of the other nodes organized in a mesh topology. Mesh networks are "self-healers" that they automatically re-route around a node that has lost power.

Below content indicating the range that wireless data network that handle:









3. WLAN(IEEE 802.11)

Protocols and standards

"An important group of wireless networks are in the

IEEE802 family of standards. At the personal area network (PAN) distance ranges within 10 meters is the 802.15 Bluetooth standard. At the local area network (LAN) distance ranges within 100 meters are the 802.11 a/b/g/n WirelessLAN standards with shared data rates of 11, 55, and above 100 Mbps. At the metropolitan area network (MAN) distance ranges within 3-8 km is also the 802.20 WiMobile standard to provide 1 Mbps data rate per user, as well as 802.16 Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) operating at high frequencies (10-66 GHz). At WAN distance ranges within 30-50 km are the WiMAX operating at a lower carrier frequency band"[7].

3.1 Base and Architecture of Wireless LAN networks

"Wireless LANs are the dominant choice for wireless communication Broadband access to the Internet package. Their architecture, specified in the IEEE 802.11, contains a set of Access points (APs) connected to the Ethernet backbone joint" [3].

3.2 Network Standards:

"The latest wireless network standard developed by the IEEE organization is the 802.11n. This standard has been in development since 2004. Because standard has been in development for a number of years, wireless manufactures have already started manufacturing 802.11 pre-n devices. Since these devices are based on draft standard there is uncertainty about these devices being compatible with the finally released 802.11n standard"[5]. Prior to 802.11n, in 2002 and 2003, WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) products supporting a new standard called 802.11g emerged on the market. 802.11g combines the best of both 802.11a and 802.11b. 802.11g supports bandwidth up to 54 Mbps, and it uses the 2.4 GHz frequency for greater range. Being compatible to 802.11b, the 802.11g is considered an extension of the 802.11b [6], which is the basis of the majority of WLAN today. It is possible to upgrade a newer 80.11b access point to be 802.11g complaint via relatively easy firmware upgrades [6]. "The study also suggested that 802.11b was the current standard used by most higher education institutions studied and that most institutions thought that 802.11g would be the next widely adopted standard"[5].

The below table represent the IEEE 802.11 and some other LAN systems: data rate, spectrum, and air interface technologies[7].

System Data Rate Spectrum Air Interface

802.11 1 Mbps 2.4 GHz (ISM) FHSS

802.11 2 Mbps 2.4 GHz (ISM) DSSS

802.11b 11 Mbps 2.4 GHz (ISM) DSSS

802.11a 54 Mbps 5 GHz (U-NII) OFDM

802.11g 54 Mbps 2.4 GHz (ISM) OFDM

802.11n >100 - 540 2.4 GHz MIMO-OFDM


HiperLan1 23.5 Mbps 5 GHz (U-NII) GMSK

HiperLan2 54 Mbps 5 GHz (U-NII) OFDM

HomeRF 1.6 Mbps 2.4 GHz (ISM) FHSS

4. Wireless networking-Technologies

Wireless technology is a branch of technology where radio-frequency signals are sent over part or the entire communication path to share information without using any wires. This makes the networking easy especially if you have computers all over your house. Another advantage is its portability which means that you can move your laptop or any device that uses wireless network card throughout the house and still be connected to the internet. This can make networking easy, especially if you have computers all over your house.

A wireless networking can be configured in two ways namely peer-to-peer networking and a network access point. Peer to peer networking or point-to-point wireless networking makes each computer to directly communicate with every other computer on the network whereas an access point is a wired controller that receives and transmits data to the wireless adapters installed in each computer. Also not all the wireless network has peer-to-peer networking .Some wireless networks are client/server and so uses the advantage of access point.

Mobile computing wireless technology

Bluetooth wireless technology

Wi-Fi wireless technology



These are the some of the technology for wireless networking.

Bluetooth wireless technology

"Using Bluetooth technology, the communications between digital equipments, as well as between digital equipments and internet, are simplified effectively and successfully. The transmission distances of signals in Bluetooth standard are divided into 3 classes: 10cm(Class1), 10m(Class2)and 100m(Class3)"[9].

Bluetooth networks connect devices wirelessly by using short-range radio frequencies to establish a connection.

Depending on the Bluetooth device, the range can extend up to 100 meters.

Bluetooth is primarily used with cell phones, telephone headsets, handheld devices, mice, keyboards and mobile printers, and is also a strong choice for retail business peripherals such as point of sale (POS) systems.

Bluetooth-enabled notebooks can interact with other Bluetooth-enabled phones, handhelds, notebooks and more, all without wires.

Bluetooth devices can go a long way toward letting you customize your mobile experience now and in the future.

Advantages of Bluetooth technology

Bluetooth guarantees high level of compatibility among devices irrespective of their model since it uses standard protocol

The ability to eliminate wires and providing hassle free connection through wireless technology is an important fact that made Bluetooth so popular.

The maximum range that it offers is 100 meters, but this range is not the same for all similar connections. It depends on the nature of the devices and the version that they operate upon.

How it works

Bluetooth devices uses a technique known as frequency hopping and low power wireless signals to avoid interference from other wireless devices .

Simplicity of usage which means Bluetooth connectivity is automatic and doesn't require any professional service for connectivity.

Disadvantages of Bluetooth technology

The downside of Bluetooth is the data rate which offers only around 1 Mbps whereas Infrared can offer faster speeds up to 4 Mbps.

Even though the security is good but with greater range and radio frequency Bluetooth make it much more open to interception and attack.

The battery usage during a single transfer is negligible, but with Bluetooth continuously switched on in their devices considerably lowers the battery life of the devices.

4.2 Wi-Fi wireless technology

"WI FI stands for wireless fidelity and generally refer to any type of 802.11 networks, whether 802.1lb, 802.1la, 802.11g. WI-Fl is a wireless technology that uses radio frequency to transmit data through the air. W LAN access point or hub or transmitter sends out a wireless signal that allows Wireless devices to access within a circle of roughly 100 meters"[10].

Wi-Fi , a trademarked term meaning IEEE 802.11x is a popular wireless networking technology that uses radio waves to provide wireless high-speed Internet and network connections.


The Wi-Fi internet technology is the registered trademark of Wi-Fi Alliance which has expanded the generic use of the Wi-Fi term to include any wireless local area network (WLAN) product based on the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' (IEEE) 802.11 standards which includes 802.11b, 802.11a, dual-band and so on.

It works without any wire connection rather it uses radio frequency technology associated with radio wave propagation. 

A device which is Wi-Fi enabled, like  mobile phone, PC,game console,  MP3 player or PDA can connect to the Internet when within range of a wireless network connected to the Internet.

Advantages of wi-fi technology

Mobility - With the emergence of public wireless networks and broadband cards, users can easily access the internet virtually from any location. This move has created a huge market for mobile applications and more serious apps on the market.

Productivity - Users connected to a wireless network can maintain a nearly constant affiliation with their desired network as they move from place to place.

Deployment - Initial setup of an infrastructure-based wireless network requires little more than a single access point. Wired networks, on the other hand, have the additional cost and complexity of actual physical cables being run to numerous locations.

Expandability - Wireless networks can serve a suddenly-increased number of clients with the existing equipment. In a wired network, additional clients would require additional wiring.

Cost -It is easier and less expensive to grow a wireless network. So using Wi-Fi makes a Low Cost of Implementation


Security - To combat this consideration, wireless networks may choose to utilize some of the various encryption technologies available. Some of the more commonly utilized encryption methods, however, are known to have weaknesses that a dedicated adversary can compromise.

Range - The typical range of a common 802.11g network with standard equipment in a home environment is about ten meters. But, this range will be insufficient for a larger structure other than home. In that case, costs add up to obtain additional range to purchase repeaters or additional access points.

Reliability - When operating at a distance from the base station there is a tendency for the signal strength to drop. Also ,interference in radio frequency transmission occurs when comparable frequencies, like mobiles and microwaves can disrupt the wireless networking signals.

Speed -  The speed on most wireless networks (typically 1-54 Mbps) is far slower than even the slowest common wired networks (100Mbps up to several Gbps). However, in specialized environments, the throughput of a wired network might be necessary.

4.3 Home RF

"The HomeRF1 Working Group (WG) is a consortium of more than 100 companies from the computer, telecommunications, and consumer electronics industries. This group has developed an open specification called the Shared Wireless Access Protocol-Cordless Access (SWAP-CA) that enables radio frequency (RF) wireless connectivity between a diverse set of devices and computing resources in and around a typical home" [4].

The HomeRF Shared Wireless Access Protocol (SWAP) is designed to carry voice like DECT or PHS and data like 802.11 within the home.

It has enabled a new class of mobile consumer devices who make use of the existing PC industry infrastructure, as well as the Internet, TCP-IP and Ethernet.

It has dual speed and supports TCP/IP traffic at over 1Mb/s greater than 50 meters indoors. Hence it provides high quality voice channels with retransmission.

HomeRF's MAC feature provides excellent integration with TCP/IP networking protocols and supports broadcast, multicast and fragmenting .

It also provides Data security with Basic (24-bit Network ID and Frequency Hopping)and Enhanced (Basic + LFSR algorithm) levels of encryption .

HomeRF SWAP's future specifications are currently being researched and developed. It is envisaged that these future specifications will offer increased security and higher data rates.

5. Magic of Wireless technology

The powerful usage of Internet has doubled with the invent if Wireless network .The magic word "wireless" brought in portability and comfortability for many users .With high speed internet connection it paved way for possible conversations between two or more users to send and receive text messages, video conversations, downloading and uploading pictures, hear online radio and more

6. Future of Wireless Technologies

The advent of Wireless Technology brought in awesome change in the way we look at Internet in terms of progress and convenience. Voice application like VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) can be only possible because of wireless network. Wireless Technology has paved way to more innovative options for providing faster speeds, easier connectivity and seamless communication among devices such as Tablets, Ipad , Gaming consoles, Televisions and Smart Phones . DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) is one such innovation which allows live streaming and easy sharing of music, video, photos and it even support printing over the network.

Wi-Fi Direct is another invention where in the compatible devices can connect directly by generating their own wireless network. Others include NFC, or Near Field communications technology that uses magnetic fields to connect devices and more importantly the future lies in making the wireless devices and its services more personal, affordable and accessible to people everywhere with seamless effort.

7. Conclusion