Advantages and disadvantages of wireless network and 10 examples

A wireless network is a type of computer network in which devices communicate and exchange data without the use of physical cables or wires. Instead, wireless networks rely on radio waves, infrared signals, or other wireless technologies to transmit information between devices.

Wireless communication is essential for a wide range of applications and industries due to its inherent advantages and specific needs. It enables mobility which allows devices and users to stay connected while on the move. It can be deployed in remote and underserved areas where installing wired infrastructure is impractical or cost-prohibitive. Moreover wireless networks can be expanded to accommodate additional devices and users without the need for extensive infrastructure upgrades.

Wireless network consists of wireless connection between various parts (transmitter, receiver) of the wireless system. This system does not require any wires such as cables, optical cables, twisted pair etc. The EM (Electromagnetic) waves are used between transmitter and receiver to carry information using various modulation techniques. Antennas are used to transmit/receive EM waves to/from the air. Let us explore examples and advantages and disadvantages of wireless networks.

wireless networks-Satellite,Cellular,WLAN,Microwave link

10 Examples of wireless network:
1. Satellite communication network : It uses satellites orbiting the Earth in various orbits to provide various services such as voice, data etc. It provides services to remote and rural areas bypassing the need for traditional wired infrastructure.
2. Cellular communication systems for outdoor communication such as GSM, CDMA, HSPA, Wimax, LTE (i.e. 4G), 5G, 6G etc. The cellular networks require base station or cell tower to be installed to provide service to its surrounding areas. All the cell towers are connected with backbone infrastructure with PSTN and PSDN. The cellular networks provide wireless communication over long distances allowing mobile phones and other devices to connect to the internet and make voice or data calls.
3. Indoor wireless communication systems such as WLAN, Zigbee, Bluetooth, Z-wave etc. All these are short range wireless technologies.
4. Microwave link for point to point long distance communication is mainly used to connect two cellular towers. It is used as backhaul connectivity.
5. IoT wireless networks such as LoRa, Sigfox, LTE-M, NB-IoT etc. used as LPWA (Low Power Wireless Access) networks. IoT devices supporting these wireless network technologies are designed to collect, transmit, and exchange data with minimal human intervention. IoT wireless networks offer the flexibility, cost-effectiveness and scalability required for the diverse and rapidly growing IoT ecosystem.
6. NFC (Near Field Communication) : It allows short range wireless communication between devices commonly used for contactless payments, ' access control and data transfer.
7. RFID (Radio Frequency Identification ) : It uses wireless communication to identify and track objects often used in inventory management, access control and supply chain applications.
8. Infrared : It is used for short range communication between devices such as TV remote controls and some older wireless data transfer methods.
9. UWB(Ultra Wideband) : It is a wireless technology used for its precise location and positioning capabilities. It is used in applications like indoor navigation and asset tracking.
10. CBRS : It is a wireless communication spectrum in the United States used for private LTE networks and other wireless applications.
11. V2V communication : It enables wireless data exchange between vehicles for improved road safety and traffic management.

Benefits or advantages of wireless network

Following are the benefits or advantages of wireless network:
➨Wireless networks are easy to install and maintain. Hence it can be quickly deployed in disaster recovery and special events.
➨They offer flexibility and mobility during usage.
➨The wireless signals are available behind the walls and on hilly terrains and hence it can provide service independant of location.
➨Mobile phone prices are very low due to large number of mobile user devices manufactured from number of vendors. Hence users can use wireless networks at cost effective prices.
➨Wireless networks cover wide coverage areas with the help of appropriate signal strength and modulation techniques.
➨File sharing is easier task using wireless connections such as wifi, bluetooth and so on.
➨Wireless networks support scalability and hence it can easily accommodate additional devices without the need for extensive cabling.
➨Users can connect to wireless networks without the constraints of physical cables, making it convenient for laptops, smartphones and other portable devices.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of wireless network

Following are the drawbacks or disadvantages of wireless network:
➨Wireless network offers lower speed compare to wired network.
➨Wireless network offers less bandwidth compare to wired network as wireless networks use frequency spectrum which is very scarse resource.
➨Wireless networks are less secure compare to wired networks.
➨Wireless networks are prone to interference from nearby wireless networks and from other fading conditions.
➨Quality of service is poor due to jitter and delay in connection setup time.
➨The range of wireless networks is limited and signal strength decreases with distance from the AP (Access Point).
➨In densely populated areas, multiple wireless networks can cause signal congestion and reduced performance.
➨Wireless networks may introduce higher latency compared to wired networks, affecting real time applications such as gaming and video conferencing.

Conclusion: In summary, Wireless networks offer mobility and convenience, allowing users to connect from anywhere within the coverage area and reducing the need for physical infrastructure. They are easily scalable and cost effective for small to medium sized deployments. However, wireless networks are susceptible to interference, have limited range and may suffer from security vulnerabilities if not properly configured. Additionally, they can experience slower speeds and higher latency compared to wired networks, particularly in crowded environments. Refer difference between wired network versus wireless network for more information.

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