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Modes of Wireless Connectivity

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The transition from wired networks to wireless networks is very much evident in the past 2-3 years. Advanced wireless networks are used to run Offices, Schools, Colleges, and many more places. Connections to these wireless networks are usually maintained by a Network Interface Card (NIC) or Network adapters. A wireless network adapter is a device that helps us to connect to wireless networks. It acts as a mediator between the server or other computers and our machine, which helps in sending and receiving files. Also, every computer or machine in a network is known as a Node. It is imperative to understand the different modes in which these network adapters can work and wireless connections can be made. Hence, choose the right mode for yourself, your home, or your company. 

Wireless Connections basically are of 4 types:

1. Ad-Hoc Mode: In Ad-Hoc mode, the nodes are connected to each other without the presence of any Base Station or Access Point. The nodes can communicate directly with each other and also share resources without the presence of any external medium (router etc.), provided they are connected on the same network and on the same channel. 

2. Managed mode : In Managed mode every node is connected to an Access Point or Base Station (router etc.) and it only receives the data which is sent to it by the AP. To connect to a network in managed mode the node automatically changes its channel according to the AP. For example, suppose there is a wifi router and 5 computers are connected to it. Now, the wifi router will send data packets which contains the destination address in the network and the node receives a data packet only if it has its address.


3. Master mode : In the Master mode, a node acts as an access point and other nodes can connect to it. It may provide the same functionality as that of a router. It is basically like a wifi hotspot in which the main node can share internet and resources individually with the nodes connected to it.

4. Monitor mode : In Monitor mode, the node is not connected to any AP or any node but it has the capability to monitor all the data packets traveling in the wireless medium on a given channel in its range. It is not meant for usual day to day communications. 

The usual network cards in laptops and computers come with a default Managed mode. Also, they are not powerful enough to support monitor mode. They can be used in master mode by creating a wifi hotspot or they can be used in Ad-Hoc mode.

Wireless connectivity allows devices to communicate with each other over a wireless network without the need for physical cables. There are different modes of wireless connectivity, each with its own set of features. 

Here are some of the most common modes of wireless connectivity:

  1. Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity): Wi-Fi is a popular wireless networking technology that uses radio waves to transmit data between devices. Wi-Fi networks can be set up in homes, businesses, and public places such as coffee shops, airports, and libraries. Wi-Fi networks offer high-speed internet access and support a wide range of devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and smart home devices.
  2. Bluetooth: Bluetooth is a short-range wireless technology that is used to connect devices such as smartphones, tablets, and wireless headphones. Bluetooth devices can be paired with each other, allowing them to exchange data and communicate with each other. Bluetooth is ideal for low-power devices that require short-range connectivity.
  3. NFC (Near Field Communication): NFC is a short-range wireless technology that is used to exchange data between two devices when they are brought close together, usually within a few centimeters. NFC is commonly used for contactless payment systems, ticketing, and access control systems.
  4. Zigbee: Zigbee is a wireless technology that is commonly used in smart home devices, such as smart thermostats, smart lights, and home security systems. Zigbee devices can communicate with each other using low-power radio signals, allowing them to be controlled remotely.
  5. Cellular Networks: Cellular networks are wireless networks that provide mobile phone and data services. Cellular networks use radio waves to connect mobile devices to the internet and other devices. Cellular networks support a wide range of devices, including smartphones, tablets, and wearable devices.

Each mode of wireless connectivity offers unique features and advantages depending on the use case. The choice of the wireless connectivity mode depends on the type of devices to be connected, the range of connectivity required, and the amount of data to be transmitted.

Last Updated : 20 Mar, 2023
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