Wi-Fi: As essential and intangible as the wind. We know that we can’t live without it, yet many have a limited grasp of what it actually is. Here at My Port we’ve put together five essential facts that you probably didn’t know about your Wi-Fi.
Wi-Fi can travel much longer than you may think, from a few metres to many kilometres
You might that think that because you can’t get a stable internet access in your room, that Wi-Fi only travels over a few metres. While many Wi-Fi networks are typically for home use, and commonly have a range of around 30m, special Wi-Fi networks can reach more that 275 km in distance. This is done by network technicians creating special Wi-Fi range extenders. Don’t get too excited – the domestic Wi-Fi signal may fall far short of 10 metres if there are heavy obstructions.
Wireless is so much more than Wi-Fi
While many people commonly refer to Wi-Fi as the only form of wireless network, there are so many more forms of wireless technology in use today. Mobile phones use a combination of Wi-Fi and cellular internet services using ‘3G’ systems. Despite Bluetooth users suspiciously looking like they are talking to themselves, this technology remains a popular wireless way to connect devices together. Though less popular than Bluetooth, Infrared is also a way to wirelessly connect devices, though it requires both devices to be in very close proximity, making it less convenient.
If there are a number of wireless devices around you, your Wi-Fi will drop in performance
Wireless performance dramatically drops once more devices connect to it. Theoretically, many routers announce that they can support up to 255 devices connected to a router, while in reality an internet connection will be near unusable at this point. The major problem is bandwidth, which can vary depending on your router. Another problem is if there are many Wi-Fi networks around you, your device may slow down as multiple signals can interfere with the clarity of your signal.
Wi-Fi networks can be affected by microwaves
Ever wonder why your YouTube video of People Falling Over or Cats Falling Over slows to a stop when heating up that week-old Chinese takeout? Microwave ovens release an enormous amount of energy when in use, which can interfere with your Wi-Fi signal. Microwave ovens produce about 1,000 watts, which is 10,000 times more than the signal your Wi-Fi gives off. Usually this is contained by the outside of the microwave, but it only takes a tiny leak for it to disrupt your entertainment.
Wi-Fi is not a health problem
There is a common misconception that Wi-Fi signals can be hazardous over time and need to be shut off overnight. Through our day-to-day lives we are all swimming in all sorts of waves, from radio waves to mobile phones. In fact, Wi-Fi signals are much safer than mobile phones. There has been no scientific evidence of reported illnesses attributed to Wi-Fi signals.