An access point provides wireless access, it is linked to a hub, has a switch and broadcasts wireless signals. Once your access point is working fine, you can connect any Internet-ready device to a wired network wirelessly. Access points are usually utilized to strengthen the Wi-Fi signal for public internet hotspots, or to support wireless connections in large buildings. An access point is in fact a small device that looks like the broadband routers that many of us have at home; it consists of antennas, radio transceivers and device firmware.
A standard Wi-Fi hotspot uses an access point, in order to extend the range of the Wi-Fi signal. In some cases, people may decide to expand the signal coverage in their houses by adding an access point, and not necessarily a second router. Businesses can also choose to use an access point to provide a strong Internet connection for the entire building, for example.
According to George Hardesty, CEO at http://www.data-alliance.net, the old access points used to serve up to 20 people, while the new ones can meet the needs of over 250 people.
Access points offer increased mobility and collaboration; since the risk of losing the connection is significantly diminished, people can move around freely, without losing access to the Internet. Another positive aspect is the improved responsiveness, which translates to providing better customer service to the clients, for example. This feature is crucial for clients who demand a rapid solution to the problems that they have encountered.
As your business grows, you can add access points as new desks and new offices are being added, without the need to reconfigure Internet access.
Wireless access points may sometimes be linked to a wireless repeater, also known as a wireless range extender, which receives the Wi-Fi signal and resends it, creating another network. Often times, repeaters are used when the area has no wireless hotspots, or when it has a high level of interference. Interference is usually determined by environment elements like microwaves, metallic appliances or metallic coating. When there is a big distance between the computer and the wireless access point, a repeater will solve the problem for good most of the time.
Wi-Fi repeaters, extenders or boosters are often times treated as being the same device, even though they may have slightly different roles and features. A repeater may contain two wireless routers that picks up the existing signal, boost it, and then resend it, for example.
The internet of Things (IoT) is a concept that has recently gained more and more popularity, both at workplaces and at home. This is just one example of a technology that has grown a lot during the past decade, impacting many areas of our lives. Basically, the internet of things connects the physical world with the online world, opening new opportunities not only for consumers, but also for companies that want to operate in this field.
IoT represents a network of devices that are able to collect data and can communicate with each other. This network can be built using cell phones, coffee makers, headphones, intelligent lamps and almost everything you can think about, including sophisticated components like jet engines.
The analysts have already estimated that by 2020, there will be about 50 billion such different devices, all connected between them. Under these circumstances, it isn’t a surprise that most experts state that in the near future, all devices that can be connected to the IoT will in fact be connected.
There are a few questions that need to be asked, though. First of all, are these devices safe? Should we trust a car that is connected to the IoT, even though it may be hacked? Not only that, but do we really need connected devices?
In a world led by the IoT, your car could know whether it should drive you to work or not, depending on the info that it has read from your online calendar service. Another example: the alarm clock, after waking you up, could tell the coffee maker to start brewing the coffee.
Of course, these are just a few simple examples. When the IoT will be used by the public transportation system, for example, it is estimated that there will be no crowds waiting for a bus, as well as less fuel consumption and an increased efficiency.
In fact, there could be endless usage scenarios for the IoT, and we can only imagine a part of them right now. As mentioned above, the most important problem when it comes to these connected devices is security. How can the info be secured when so many devices are connected together? When a hacker will get into your coffee maker’s computer, would this mean that he can access all your data? Properly encrypting and storing data is a major challenge for all companies now, as the IoT is gaining more and more popularity.
The very existence of IoT means that people have access to more information. And when one has access to more info, the decision making process is definitely a better one. IoT has also proved to be very useful as a process monitor. The fridge can, for example, inform you that you are running out of milk, and thus it can save you a trip to the grocery store by ordering it for you. The Internet of Things can save us time, energy and lots of resources.
On the other hand, it is important to know that there isn’t an international standard for all the devices yet. IoT is still in its infancy, but it looks like the things may change within the following few years.