By reading this article and downloading the NetSpot WiFi analyzer, you can become a WiFi power-user capable of troubleshooting all kinds of wireless issues to achieve the best performance possible.
The term WiFi is used to describe a family of wireless network protocols for local area networking of devices and internet access.
The history of these protocols goes back to 1997. The first WiFi generation, referred to as 802.11b, offered speeds of only up to 11 Mbit/s, while the latest generation, called WiFi 6E or 802.11ax, supports speeds of up to 9,608 Mbit/s.
The impressive performance improvement has been made possible by advanced features such as orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA) and multi user-multiple-input multiple-output (MU-MIMO), increases in WiFi router processing power, and support for additional WiFi frequency bands, among other things.
WiFi works much like other wireless communication standards because it uses radio waves to transmit data over the air.
Whereas the FM radio band is from 88 to 108 MHz, the two most widely used WiFi frequency bands use the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency. There are several reasons why routers have two WiFi frequency bands, and they include faster speeds and decreased signal interference.
The two bands are sub-divided into multiple channels, and configuring a WiFi router to use the least cluttered channel is one of the easiest and most effective ways to achieve excellent performance.
Both business and home WiFi networks rely on the same wireless network protocols, but home networks typically consist of just one or perhaps two WiFi access points, which are devices that allow clients like smartphones and laptops to connect to the local network and the internet.
Business networks, on the other hand, often consist of dozens of WiFi access points. The access points can be arranged in a mesh configuration for effortless scalability and improved end-user experience.
Now that you know the answer to the question “What is a wireless network?” we need to talk about WiFi network security.
Modern WiFi networks are secured using two main wireless security protocols:
As you can probably guess, WPA2 came before WPA3, so it’s not as secure but more WiFi routers support it. When used with a strong password, even WPA2 offers a decent level of protection, but it’s best to go with WPA3 whenever possible.
You definitely don’t want to leave your WiFi network unprotected because that would make it incredibly easy for malicious cybercriminals to steal your personal information and private data.
There are many public WiFi networks, such as those created by local governments to provide a municipal area with wireless internet access, that can be used only after paying a fee.
“Okay, but how to get free WiFi near me?” you ask? It’s simple: use one of the best apps to find WiFi listed in the next section of this article to instantly discover all free public WiFi hotspots near you. That’s how to get free internet anywhere!
“WiFi near me” is a popular Google search term despite the fact that Google seldom provides the answer users are looking for. Instead of wasting time with Google, use the following best WiFi finder apps to quickly and easily find free WiFi near you:
TWC WiFi Finder — a unique WiFi finder that helps users connect to the nationwide TWC WiFi network from Time Warner.
The TWC WiFi network consists of approximately 500,000 hotspots that provide free access to high-speed internet.
WiFi Password Finder — a free WiFi password finder utility that works with all Windows operating systems and can be used to retrieve saved passwords that you no longer remember.
As a WiFi user, you may encounter many different WiFi technologies, and you need to know what they do to take advantage of them:
WiFi is a truly world-changing technology that has seeped into many aspects of our lives. Given its importance, it makes sense for all of its users to familiarize themselves with the basics of how it works. This article serves as a brief introduction to WiFi for beginners, and it links to multiple additional articles that you can explore to further increase your mastery of WiFi networking.
WiFi is a family of wireless network protocols for local area networking of devices and internet access, and it works much like other wireless communication standards because it uses radio waves to transmit data over the air.
For maximum performance and coverage, we recommend you use all bands supported by your WiFi router at the same time because sometimes it’s best to use the 2.4 GHz band and sometimes the 5 GHz band performs better.
If you want to connect to a public WiFi network, then you need to know the network’s name and sometimes even its password. You can then simply select it on your device just like any other network.
You can create a free WiFi hotspot yourself by sharing your smartphone’s cellular data connection, or you can find an existing free WiFi hotspot near you.
Free WiFi hotspots are often clearly labeled, so finding them can be as easy as looking at the available networks in your area. There are also apps and websites that list WiFi hotspots in different locations.
We recommend the following WiFi finder apps:
WiFi Direct is a technology that allows WiFi-equipped devices to establish direct connections with each other without a router.
WiFi calling works by transmitting voice data across the public internet to reach cellular carriers even when there’s no cell tower nearby.
That varies from airline to airline. Fortunately, more and more airlines provide in-flight WiFi free of charge these days.
WiFi RTT, or WiFi Round Trip Time, is a technology that makes it possible to measure the location of WiFi-enabled devices.