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The Role Wi-Fi Plays in Our Lives

The Role Wi-Fi Plays in Our Lives

Wi-Fi is a wireless network technology that uses radio waves to transmit and receive information across electronic devices. Many people believe that Wi-Fi stands for Wireless Fidelity, however, this is not true. Wi-Fi doesn’t stand for anything. Wi-Fi is a trademark name. The wireless technology is used practically everywhere. Wi-Fi networks can be found in homes, businesses, hotels, restaurants, transportation, bathrooms, streets, and the list goes on.

Devices such as routers, computers, mobile electronics use this technology for any operation that requires an internet connection. Today, there are numerous wifi providers available around the world to meet the increasing demand for wireless communication. Many Wi-Fi services offer free Wi-Fi in public areas. It’s somewhat uncommon to use a wired connection for daily conveniences such as watching videos on the internet. While wired connections are certainly still used in homes, they mainly prevail in areas that require powerful communication technology.

It is a standard for most businesses to have Wi-Fi because, in many cases, this is the most convenient method to communicate between devices. In today’s digitally connected society, it would be very difficult for a business to thrive without wireless technology. From a consumer standpoint, lack of Wi-Fi could drive people away because most people expect Wi-Fi the moment they step foot into any establishment. It’s one thing if you are in the wilderness, where technology is scarce, but the expectations shift once you enter a modern setting. Many people carry their lives on their phones, and without a Wi-Fi connection, that all comes to a halt, which would discourage consumers from spending too much time inside that establishment.

One challenge that companies face when offering Wi-Fi is providing a strong and consistent connection. There are a couple of reasons for this. While Wi-Fi is convenient, it is still limited in some aspects. Wireless signals are not an unlimited supply. Therefore the more people connected to a network, the more it slows down. Not only that but in many crowded urban areas, where there are competitors around every corner using wireless technology, the signals start to interfere with each other. This interference affects the quality of the signals. Signals can also be affected by the physical environment, bad weather, or poor maintenance of the hardware technology that supports Wi-Fi. That said, there is advanced Wi-Fi technology available that does not suffer from these issues as much. However, this technology is much more expensive, and may not be worth the financial investment for many companies. There are also other factors that must be changed to improve the quality of Wi-Fi that cannot be changed overnight, such as a city’s infrastructure.

While wireless technology has made life simpler for many of us, it also comes with its fair share of problems. Gaining access to a person’s device is easier over wireless technology. Much of that information that transferred wirelessly uses similar sources of storage. These sources are shared among millions of people, including hackers. The storage services have advanced security defenses, however, this does not make them full-proof from hacking.

Many cyber attacks can be done easily from a home on a laptop. All someone has to do is open their computer’s terminal and enter in the right lines of codes, and they’re in. There are also many classes that teach hacking, albeit these are ethical hacking classes. Nevertheless, if this information gets in the wrong hands, it could mean disaster for some unsuspecting person.

This may seem concerning, but fortunately, there are many companies, services, and programs dedicated to protecting the integrity of online security. It is equally important to take personal responsibility. Using secure passwords, avoiding suspicious sites, and backing up files are just a few of the ways to remain protected.

Sometimes, it is best to enter airplane mode when not using a personal device. Services like airdrop allow people to communicate with anyone else who uses airdrop. If the privacy settings are not set to private, any random person can send information to a person’s device without their permission. This is not really a hack, as much as it is an annoyance. Methods that allow anonymity are one of the best ways to avoid such cases.

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by Rebecca Jones // Contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.