Although computers came pretty late, it did not take long to combine the powers of many computers and hauling them into a network in the university campuses of USA that were flooded with research money during the early Cold War years. The need to communicate, to exchange data and other information, and the need to collaborate even though situated far away, was overwhelming, and networking as a solution to bring them about became a viable option. However, computers were still bulky and connectivity meant wires, making you fixed to one position. Fixed computers meant one could not carry one’s computer home, resulting in loss of productivity, among others. So mobile computing became another rallying point for innovation, which resulted in the devising of portable computers. But still, wiring fixed one’s coordinates, making one fixed to his workbench. Wireless connectivity solved the problem.
Wireless internet connectivity is a late invention which provided internet and network access without wires, making mobile computing a true reality. Wireless is a way of communication that uses low-powered radio waves, IR waves, or other technologies like Bluetooth, Wifi, etc to transmit data between devices. The mechanism usually involves the broadcasting of data at the transmission end and its reception at the user end, usually through the mobile device. Such broadcast has a typical range within which connectivity exists. Depending upon the technology used, there can be various pitfalls, like data bandwidth, range, line-of-sight connectivity, interference, data insecurity, etc. The choice of a certain technology would depend on the usage pattern, objectives and, of course, the price factor. Today, various vendors offer wireless internet connectivity. With time, more innovations are coming up that are sure to revolutionize the way we connect to other intelligent devices. With the advent of connectivity through cell phones and sat-phones, the true connected world is already a partial reality.
In this section, we provide links to resources on various wireless technologies, reception and broadcast hardware, information on various wireless standards and guides, etc.