Thursday, 18 May 2017

What is Typical Range of Wireless Network

When we use a wireless network, the first thing that comes to our minds is the range.


The range of wireless network will help you get uninterrupted connectivity in every corner of your room. So, what is the typical range of wireless network? Let us have a look.



Factors Affecting Range of a Wireless Network




Range of a wireless network depends on different factors that include the number of access points as well as the type of wireless router used.

In a normal setting, a typical home based router can easily cover a small family. However, if you are using a wireless network for a small office or a large business, then you will need to build grids of access points all over the building.

The range of a wireless network also depends on the device used. The range of devices is affected by the following factors:

  • The 802.11 protocol it runs on
  • The strength of the device transmitter
  • The nature of the different physical obstructions such as concrete walls or stainless steel cupboards
  • Radio interference in its range such as home appliances like microwaves or different wireless routers from the surrounding neighbours



General Range of a Typical Wireless Network


After taking into consideration the various factors, the typical range of wireless network working on a 2.4 GHz band can reach about 46 meters, that is, 150 feet indoors. The same wireless network kept in an open area (outdoors) can reach a range of 92 meters, that is, 300 feet.

Old router models such as the 802.11a routers that used the 5 GHz bands could reach about 1/3rd of the above distance. The latest models of routers today that use dual band, that is, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz simultaneously have better range than the previous models.

It has been found the 5 GHz WiFi connections are easily affected by the obstructions in the house. This includes brick walls, metal frames, etc. that can cause reduction in range up to 25%.

In case of residential buildings, routers using 2.4GHz radios are more susceptible to congestion and crowding. This is because most of the common appliances around the house use the 2.4GHz range. Thus, affecting the range as well as causing connectivity issues.

Conclusion


The 2.4GHz band will give you a better range of wireless network but with a slower speed. If you opt for a 5GHz band, you will get about 10 to 15 feet of range as it cannot penetrate hard or solid objects such as walls. However, it allows faster data transmission for uploading and downloading data.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Wi-Fi Security Basics

Security for a wireless Internet connection should be a priority for all Wi-Fi users. Using a strong password is only the half battle won. In order to keep your network fully secured, you need to follow some Wi-Fi security basics.



Let us have a quick view of the WLAN security standards and learn more about the security levels of each.



WLAN Security Basics


It is important to choose the correct level of encryption for your network. A wrong choice can lead to the fall of your private security like a pack of cards.


There are three basic wireless encryption standards, namely:
  • Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP)
  • Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA)
  • Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA-2)
When the Wi-Fi network is left unsecured, it allows many unwanted trespassers to login to your network. Hackers may steal your private information and some may use up your precious bandwidth.

Let us see which of the above basic wireless encryption standard will provide maximum protection to your network.

WEP


The WEP was developed in the 1990s and was the first algorithm for the 802.11 standard. It was developed to keep away hackers and data thieves. However, it had many flaws that lead to its downfall. It was ratified in the year 1999, and said to offer stronger 64-bit and 128-bit encryption keys. However, there was a weakness in the 24-bit initialization vector. This reduced its strength to 40-bit and 104-bit. Thus, allowing hacker to intercept data packets and crack the encryption. This made a Wi-Fi network easy to hack. So, this grand daddy of all is not the choice of security in today’s world.

WPA


The WPA was created as an alternative to WEP. It was a more advanced, long-term replacement for the WEP. The WPA offered different modes for enterprise users as well as personal users. Those using the WPA-EAP had more stringent 802.1x authentication process using the Extensible Authentication Protocol, that is, the EAP. In case of the personal mode, the WPA-PSK used preshared keys that were easy to manage among home users as well as small offices. The enterprise mode needed the authentication from a server.

As it uses a passphrase or password, a hacker needs to guess this secret code to gain access to the network. Thus, any passphrase under 20 characters is easy to break. When using the WPA encryption, make sure you use a combination of characters that includes alphabets, numbers and even special characters.

WPA2


This was a solution offered in 2004 to overcome encryption problems in WEP as well as WPA. The WPA2 uses two encryption algorithms, that is, AES and TKIP. The TKIP is basically the WPA encryption. For better security, it is better to choose AES as and when applicable.

These are some of the Wi-Fi security basics that one should understand and choose wisely. One wrong click and your network could be at the mercy of unethical hackers.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Is 5 GHz Wireless Better Than 2.4 GHz

When wireless routers were introduced in the market, they were available in two versions. This included 802.11a and the 802.11b. Now, from a lay man’s view, the only difference in both these versions was the price. So, obviously, people went in for the affordable router that is 802.11b. Soon, 802.11b became a popular choice and the standard router in every home.


The tiny difference in both versions was the wireless spectrum they functioned in. The affordable version used the 2.4GHz spectrum, which, umm, now we know, gets easily congested and crowded.

This brings us to the question is 5GHz wireless better than 2.4GHz?



Let’s find out.

What is the 802.11b?


The 802.11b was the most consumer friendly version initially as it was affordable and secondly, its components were easily available in the market. This saw a flooded response from home users as well as small office users to purchase the 80.211b routers that worked on the 2.4GHz spectrum.


What is the 802.11a?


In the year 1999, 802.11a became a new standard introduced to make network connections better. It used devices to deliver the connection over the air instead of copper wires. It used the 5GHz spectrum and became a favorite among enterprises instead of the masses. These routers were expensive, their components were harder to come by and thus, overlooked by the consumers who did not have much networking insight.

GHz and Other Factors?


The GHz is a range of the wireless radio. In case of the 802.11a, it could support the maximum data rate of 54 Mbps. The older devices did not have 5GHz radios. So hey, could not penetrate through walls and furniture. Always remember, if the frequency of a wireless signal is higher than its range will be shorter. The newer 802.11g has a 2.4GHz wireless network frequency that allows it to reach a larger area as compared to the 5GHz network.

Most of the electronic devices around the house use the 2.4GHz frequency. This includes cordless phones, mobile phones, microwave ovens, and many other home appliances. This causes congestion and crowding of the 2.4GHz signals. This is why many complain of slow Internet speed in their homes. Whereas, not many devices use the 5GHz frequency and therefore there is less congestion in this range.


Which is Better: 5GHz or 2.4GHz?


If you consider in terms of cost, then 2.4GHz is better than 5GHz. However, with the kind of Internet speeds offered today, it is better to go in for the 5GHz or dual-band wireless routers. This will help you enjoy uninterrupted connectivity and better security from hackers.

How to Choose Wireless Routers

You reach home after a hard day at work. It is time to unwind and check your personal mails and messages. Yet, you get frustrated with the constant waiting due to a slow network. Your Internet speed is up to the mark, yet the connectivity issues point towards slow Internet.


It is time you replace your router with a new model. It is very important you bring home the correct router for your home. As a wireless router is the backbone of your home network.

Let us have a look at how to choose wireless routers for your home wisely.




Choosing the Correct Wireless Router


A wireless router helps connect multiple devices to your home network. Computer, smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles as well as SmartTVs are connected to the Internet using routers. So, it is important you choose the right model as per your needs and requirements.

Today, the router has turned into a magical box that fulfills the needs of every person in the family. It not just gives connectivity, but also the freedom of mobility. If you are going shopping for a new wireless router for your home, then keep the following points in mind.

1.Type of Wireless Routers


Before you bring home a wireless router, assess the overall size of your apartment or home. Are their many obstacles around your house such as walls, furniture, pillars, windows, etc. The best router in such cases is 802.11ac wireless standard. Or else you could go in for 802.11n wireless standard.

2.Price


The price of your wireless router is an important factor to consider. There is no point in purchasing a high-end router when you are just an average Internet user. It is better to purchase a router that costs average and have all the necessary features of the latest models.


3.Single or Dual-band




If you are a bit of a network geek, you will know wireless routers work on two different frequency bands. The 2.4GHz is usually used by number of devices around the house. As it is a common frequency, it tends to get jammed and congested easily. In case of the 5GHz band it is less likely to be congested and tends to be a bit faster in terms of speed. So, if you live in a crowded area, then choose a dual-band router. It provides both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands. In case you live in a less crowded area with few network interferences then a single-band will suffice.

4.USB ports


Many new routers now have USB ports that helps connect any flash drive. Using this, you can share your files with any device connected to your home network. It also allows you to create a media hub for streaming movies, music, etc. locally.

5.Wireless Speed


Speed is an important marker to judge a good router. The Wireless G routers were the initial routers that are 14x slower than the newer Wireless N routers. If you are still stuck with Wireless G routers, it is time you switch over to something new. The latest Wireless AC routers are 3x faster than the Wireless N routers. So choose your router according to the speed you need.

6.Multi-User MIMO


The Multi-User MIMO or MU-MIMO is the latest feature in WiFi routers. It tends to allow multiple devices to connect and get equal high-bandwidth Wi-Fi signal simultaneously. It allows you to transfer large files quickly, play games without a lag-phase, and even download HD movies in seconds.

Think about your needs and choose your router accordingly. Do you need a people pleaser or a multi-tasker? Will the average priced router do the trick or do you need the expensive high-end toy that streams 4K media? Weigh all your requirements and go in for the best wireless routers for your home.