How WiFi Works To Transmit
From Your Wireless Enabled Devices
How does WiFi work:
When asking how wifi works, it is important to have a basic knowledge of the history of wireless networks, because not everything was always neatly inside of an integrated circuit.
We need to take a step back before the creation of the IC which will enable us to talk about the fundamental components of a WiFi transceiver, so can you have an understanding of how the process works.
When discussing how does wifi work, it’s crucial to point out that wifi technology itself is a collaboration between several types of technologies both hardware and software that allow data to be transmit from one device, through the air to another.
We’re going to be covering each component of how wifi works.
We’ll talk about hardware to software, and explain how WiFi devices can communicate with one another at great distances without ever taking a single step.
How Does WiFi Work
The basic components that make Wi-Fi work is a hardware component called a wireless transceiver module, the software portion known as the wifi driver, and making use of the electromagnetic spectrum.
To better understand how does wifi work we separated each element of the process into individual responsibilities, so you can visualize how each part plays its role in the communication process.
We’ll start with the WiFi module discussing its inner mechanisms that make up the physical part of how wifi works, then we’ll cover how the wifi driver controls those instruments which allow the connection with another wireless enabled device through the air.
Every wireless device has an RF transceiver that manages the sending and receiving of the wireless signals that are being transmitted from a wireless device, and is the business end of the Wi-Fi module.
The transceiver itself is composed of several integrated components; hence the term Integrated Circuit. It’s this IC that gets soldered onto printed circuit boards, enclosed into a marketable form factor and distributed to retail stores in the shape of Wireless Network Adapters.
These wireless modules include the RF transmitter and receiver among other built-in features to provide a wide range of functionality, and transceivers for WiFi networks are designed to transmit on the 2.4GHz or 5GHz frequency band using 20 or 40Mhz wide channels depending on the wireless standard being used.
Wireless signals are generated from the modulator component of the transceiver, which modulates the binary data stream into a 2.4/5GHz frequency and sent out of the IC onto the PC board to a connected antenna, and makes up the physical part of how does wifi work.
The WiFi driver:
The wifi software portion of how wifi works is contained in the network driver that’s either installed on or provided with the wireless enabled device at the time of purchase.
A WiFi driver can change the mode of operation of the transceiver module normally through the use of a graphical user interface on the wireless enabled product.
The device settings or manager applet provides the user with an interface to control the hardware features; such as transmit power for wifi signal strength, wireless modes between 802.11g and 802.11n operation, frequency band width, and more.
After seeing both the hardware and wifi software aspects, it might be hard to imagine that the electromagnetic spectrum could have any effect on how does wifi work, but it too plays an important role in how data performs on its journey from one device to another.
Radio Frequency spectrum:
The RF spectrum for wireless communications pertaining to IEEE 802.11 compliant devices operate on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands, and each of these bands has its own unique behavior which has a direct impact on network performance.
How does wifi work on the radio frequency spectrum depends on which frequency you’re operating on, so we’re going to shed some light on how data travels on these frequencies and hopefully make a difference in the way you setup your wireless home network.
Wireless signals traveling in the range of 2.412GHz and 2.484GHz have a larger wavelength, which has an easier time passing through dense and solid objects like walls enabling the signals to travel to farther distances, however because the sign wave is larger it is also the reason why data transfers at a slower rate.
How wifi works with a 5GHz signal on the other hand is different due to the wavelength being short which allows more data to be crunched into a short area of space producing higher speeds, however as signals are broken up as they pass through solid objects poor signals are collected on the other side which creates more packet resends and can reduce network performance.
Well, there you have it! We hope you have a stronger understanding of how does wifi work with hardware, software and the radio frequency spectrum in tandem.