Last modified on 8 March 2013, at 16:43

The Computer Revolution/Networks/Wi-Fi vs WiMAX

Wi-Fi vs Wi-MAX:Edit

Wifi


Wi-Fi:


Wi-Fi refers to wireless fidelity that allows you to connect to the internet wirelessly. Wi-Fi is mainly used to connect computers and other Wi-Fi enabled devices to a local area network. How this works is pretty simple! A wireless router is connected to a modem which is provided by the internet service provider. Now after it is connected to a modem, it allows users to connect via w/LAN. In other words it allows users to access the local area network wirelessly through any Wi-Fi enabled devices. Good examples of Wi-Fi enabled devices are laptops, smart phones and tablets. However, speed of internet via Wi-Fi depends on several factors:

1. Download speeds provided by your internet service provider.

2. Range of the wireless device.

3. Configuration of the wireless device. For example if the router has 802.11a/b/g/n it will be the fastest and provides more range. Wi-Fi802.11a, 802.11b are kind of old technology and can manage speed up to only about 15-20 mbps. Whereas Wi-Fi 802.11g/n provides speed up to and above 54mbps and longer range.


Wifi


WiMAX:

On the other hand WiMAX is similar to Wi-Fi but the main difference is that it is designed for longer range wireless networking connections. Wi-Max is designed to provide internet access to only fixed locations also called ‘Hotzones’, but it covers significantly larger radius from about 4-6 miles, whereas a good wireless router might only have a range of couple hundred meters. It can also provide internet to the entire city by using multiple wimax towers so packs in a lot of range. We don’t see a lot of Wi-Max towers just yet but it is the new upcoming technology to keep an eye on.


Reference: Morely, Deborah, and Charles Parker. Understanding Computers Today and Tomorrow. Boston: Course Technology, 2011. Print.