Wi-Fi explained – How does it work?

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Wifi and the home or office network that sits behind it has fast become an Utility that we cannot do without. Read below about the latest developments in Wifi in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Wi-Fi has become such an ingrained part of our everyday life that we often don’t take the time to stop and think about how it works. The only time we may consider the workings of Wi-Fi is when it isn’t working how it should but even then many of us don’t really understand what’s gone wrong.

With the development of more and more wireless devices such as smart phones, smart watches and smart fitness trackers- perhaps it’s time to find out how Wi-Fi works.

What is Wi-Fi?

Wi-Fi stands for Wireless Fidelity and it works off the same basic principle as other wireless devices such as radios however the radio frequencies themselves, sent between devices, are completely different.

Wi-Fi works using radio waves to produce a connection to a network allowing access to the internet. The radio waves are produced via an antenna in a router and picked up by the adapter found in your computer or wireless device and as Wi-Fi is a two-way street, the same happens in vice-versa.

Wi-Fi frequencies

The frequency level that Wi-Fi network transmits can vary which will determine the speed of your connection. The frequency will also vary depending on the amount of connections needed and data being transferred.

Your Wi-Fi will transmit at either 2.4 gigahertz (GHz) or 5 GHz. The higher the Frequency the larger amount of data can be transferred but at shorter range. Wi-Fi technology has come on in leaps and bounds recently, there is still a problem juggling the data rate versus the range.

A higher frequency allows for a larger bandwidth (amount of data transfer in a given time) and therefore ‘faster Wi-Fi’. However, this high frequency can only travel short distances so the further away from the base station a device is; the lower the frequency required which then slows the connection.

Furthermore, Wi-Fi connections can be slowed by walls, floors and doors and also an increase in the number of devices connected to it as the network has to use some of its capacity to differentiate between different sets of data.

Multiple Devices may slow down you Wi-Fi more than you’d think.

Why do multiple devices slow my Wi-Fi?

A single device located close to a base station will enjoy the full data rate over the Wi-Fi. For simplicity let’s call that 100. Now, when you add another device, or user, the data rates available are split in 2 and then some of the network capacity is used to separate the traffic as well so each user is getting 45 with 10 being used to manage the network. This continues with each user on the same frequency. Modern home networks will now easily have 10-15 devices on the network so each device is limited in how much bandwidth they can access.

What’s the solution to a slow connection?

Here in the UAE, most of our homes are built with reinforced concrete walls and floors. While this makes for secure and sturdy homes, the reinforced concrete can severely impact on how effective our home Wi-Fi systems are and can reduce your Wi-Fi bandwidth. With more and more devices dependant on Wi-Fi, a solution is needed.

Can I use different Frequencies?

If you have a new advanced home router you are likely to have AC Wi-Fi available. This transmits on both 2.4 and 5 GHz frequencies. However, it is likely that each frequency will be a separate network name (SSID) that you will have to join each time which no automatic switching or ‘roaming’ between Frequencies.

What about AirTime Fairness?

Some routers allow heavy users to ‘hog’ the network – so if a device is streaming 4K High Definition TV for instance other users won’t be able to load a webpage. AirTime Fairness allows for light users to have their data while ensuring the heavy users get what they need without hogging the network.

Aquila Wifi Can help you build a strong and stable Wi-Fi network in your home.

Is a single Access Point enough?

A single Wi-Fi base station is always going to struggle to transmit enough signal through the thick walls and floors in the UAE to be able to provide an entire household with a speedy internet connection. It doesn’t matter how big your apartment or Villa is, it is the number of thick walls that will give you the problem. 2 or 3 Access Points that emit your Wi-Fi network are the solution.

Can’t we just boost the Wi-Fi Signal?

Some Routers and Base Stations will sell themselves as being ‘Boosted’ and therefore have greater range. What actually happens is the boosted signal increased the signal to noise ratio and blocks some of its own signal. Hugely counter-productive but a great Sales Technique!

What can I do to get Strong and Stable Wi-Fi throughout my Apartment or Villa?

If you are unhappy with the performance of your home network or Wi-Fi then get in touch with Aquila Wi-Fi. We will visit your home, assess your requirements and provide the advice and equipment that you need rather than what we want to sell you. Our goal is to install a frequency agile system that covers your entire property and is monitored continuously by our server. Get in touch at betterwifi@aquilawifi.com to learn more.