Advantages of WiFi | Disadvantages of WiFi

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of WiFi and its basics. It mentions benefits or advantages of WiFi and drawbacks or disadvantages of WiFi.

What is WiFi?

WiFi network uses radio frequency for its operation in the 2.4 GHz or 5.8 GHz bands. The wifi technology is based on WLAN as defined in IEEE 802.11 series standards which include 11a, 11n, 11ac and 11ax. The standard defines PHY and MAC layer specifications.

WiFi network is established by installing wifi AP (Access Point) or wifi router. The wifi router or AP is connected with the internet using physical or wired ethernet cable or fiber optic cable. WiFi stands for Wireless Fidelity.

WiFi network enables connection between two or more devices wirelessly for data sharing purposes. It is simple and cost effective way to connect with wifi router or with other wifi devices wirelessly without the need of wires. WiFi router in the office and home helps to share single internet connection among multiple users wirelessly without the need of ethernet cables.


• The figure depicts simple wifi network. Let us understand working of two way wifi communication between wifi router and wifi dongle or wifi compliant mobile phone.
• The computer/mobile phone translates data into RF signal using wifi dongle/chip and transmits the same over the air with the help of antenna. The wifi router receives the same and decodes it. The router transmits the decoded information over internet after necessary protocol conversion.
• The process works in reverse when router receives the information from the internet. It translates the data to RF signal. This RF signal is being received by the wifi dongle/chip housed in computer/mobile phone which converts the same into data/information.

Benefits or advantages of WiFi

Following are the benefits or advantages of WiFi:
➨It is easy to add or move wifi clients or wifi stations to the wifi network created by AP (Access Point).
➨Installation is very quick and easy. It does not require technical knowledge of wifi or wlan system and its protocols.
➨Access to the wifi network can be availed from anywhere within the wifi AP (Access point) coverage range.
➨WiFi enabled USB dongles are available at very affordable rates from TP-Link, D-Link, Tenda etc.
➨Latest wifi standard versions such as 11n and 11ac deliver fast data connection rates e.g. 300 Mbps and higher.
➨As it is easy to integrate wifi functionality in the mobile computing devices; it is now being used by millions of people using various devices such as PCs, laptops, PDAs, Printers, Cameras, Games, MP3 players, smartphones etc.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of WiFi

Following are the drawbacks or disadvantages of WiFi:
➨Data transfer rate decreases (to individual computer) when number of clients or computers connected with wifi network increases.
➨Full security is difficult to achieve due to wifi connection being wireless in nature. It requires proper security authentication protocols and configurations.
➨Wifi devices operate in full functionality and without any interruptions when they are within the range of AP and receiving good signal strength. WiFi access is limited to about 30 to 100 meters (i.e. 100 to 300 feet).
➨In case wifi connection does not work, minimal troubleshootings are needed. This requires one to understand basics of wifi device from user manual provided by the manufacturer.
➨Before using wifi device, one need to install software from the CD provided by the manufacturer in the desktop or laptop.

Conclusion: In order to understand advantages of WiFi and disadvantages of WiFi one has to understand WiFi system basics (i.e. various versions of wlan standards) and its technology wise comparison with other existing technologies. Refer LiFi vs WiFi >>, LiFi vs WiFi >> and MiFi vs WiFi >>



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RF and Wireless Terminologies