Wireless

Updated: 07/06/2021 by Computer Hope
Tower emitting wireless signal.

Alternatively referred to as cordless, the term wireless describes technology that transmits information or electricity through the air electromagnetically, without wires. The wireless transmission medium may be light, sound, or a distortion of a magnetic or electric field.

Cordless hardware

Cordless computer hardware devices such as a cordless mouse or cordless keyboard can use Bluetooth, Infrared, or RF. However, today most often use either Bluetooth or RF.

Note

Although cordless devices require no wires, they do require some device to broadcast a signal. For example, a Bluetooth mouse requires a USB Bluetooth transceiver to send and receive signals from the mouse. Also, all wireless hardware devices require batteries for power.

Wireless networks

Access point

Wireless networks, more commonly known as Wi-Fi networks, utilize one of the IEEE 802.11 standards for wireless communication. Today, wireless routers that offer Wi-Fi have become common in most homes as a way for computers, smartphones, tablets, and other wireless devices to connect to the Internet.

Wireless broadband

Besides wireless networks in the home, there are other broadband wireless solutions, such as EVDO, Satellite, WiMAX. Users with smartphones can also use their smartphone as a wireless hotspot and connect to that hotspot with their computer.

Smartphones and cell phones

Apple iPhone

Today's smartphones and cell phones use many wireless technologies to communicate with cell towers, Wi-Fi, and other devices. Phone calls use a spectrum of radio waves that allow wireless communication between the phone and cell towers, which relays the signal to other towers or locations.

When communicating over the Internet and not using Wi-Fi, smartphones have many different technologies, including 2G, 3G, 4G, GPRS, GSM, and LTE.

Finally, when communicating with other devices (e.g., car, headset, or speakers), smartphones use Bluetooth.

Other examples of wireless devices

Garmin GPS unit.

There are many wireless devices available today. To help prevent conflicts between wireless devices, each category of devices have a designated frequency area (spectrum).

  • AirPods and other wireless earphones.
  • AM / FM Radio
  • Apple AirPort
  • Apple Pencil
  • Baby monitors
  • Broadcast TV
  • Car key remote
  • CB Radio
  • Cordless phones
  • Garage door opener
  • GPS
  • MySensors
  • Remote control car, airplanes, and other vehicles.
  • Radar for air traffic control.
  • Radar for weather
  • Radar Speed detector
  • RFID
  • Satellite TV
  • Security cameras
  • Standard time broadcast
  • Toll-road payment transponders.
  • Two-way radios
  • Walkie talkie
  • Wireless doorbells
  • Wireless fence
  • Wireless headphones, microphones, speakers, and other audio devices.
  • Wireless health monitors
  • Zigbee

Can I have multiple wireless devices in my home?

Yes. You can have multiple wireless devices in your home. However, if any wireless device shares the same frequency range, you may run into problems if two or more devices are trying to use the same range at the same time. When problems occur, you may have a wireless device temporarily stop working.

Note

Your neighbor's wireless devices can cause problems with wireless devices in your home.

Tip

For more sophisticated wireless devices like a wireless router, it's possible to switch the wireless frequency range to fix conflicts.

AirPlay, Centrino, Chirp, Cord, LPWAN, MIMO, Phone terms, Satellite, Spread spectrum, WAP, Wi-Fi, Wired, Wireless charging