Software and technology used for wireless networking

If you have read the previous article, you should now be aware of the basic technology behind the Internet connection. Now we are going to talk about the exact types of connection and the software used for it, which I am sure lot of you have already know or at least come across these common terms.


Wireless networking is still activated by a Ethernet cable plugged in, which extends the range or capabilities of wireless networking and enables connecting to a wired network or connecting to a high-speed internet connection and this is done by Wireless Access Point (WAP).

WAP connects and work as the center of network nodes the same way a hub connects wired Ethernet computers. Many of the WAP devices act as both the switches and internet routers. Typically they are powered by the outlets from the wall or Power over Ethernet (PoE) common in a corporate settings.


Bluetooth, is most commonly used in communicating between two devices for data transfer and found in all modern devices, ranging from smartphones, tablets to portable computers to PCs. For the older computers that did not have a Bluetooth connection, the connection can be established by a USB Bluetooth adapter. The most phenomenon example is blasting music on a Bluetooth speaker via your smartphone. There are also, Bluetooth peripheral devices like keyboard, mouse, monitor as well.

Collisions in wireless networking

Wireless devices share the common networking protocols and client that their wired counterparts use. They operate by using the carrier sense multiple access/ collision avoidance (CSMA/CA) networking scheme. Collision avoidance is slightly different from the collision detection standard most widely used in wired Ethernet. The way all of these work is a node listens in on the wireless medium to see if any other node is broadcasting any data. If that is the case, it generally waits for an arbitrary amount of time and retry again. This is almost the same method used by Ethernet networks.

Wireless networks have more difficult time detecting data collisions therefore, they come in with the option to use the Request to Send / Clear to Send (RTS/CTS) protocol. The way it works is, when this protocol is enabled, a transmitting node sends an RTS frame to the receiving node when it determines the wireless medium is clear to use. The receiving nodes then response with a CTS frame, which basically gives out the clearance to send the data. Once the data is transmitted, the sender node waits for an acknowledgement (ACK) from the receiving node before sending out the next data packet. This option is quite elegant but note that using RTS/CLS comes in with significant overhead to the process and can hamper performance.

Configuration of a wireless network

Configuring wireless networking is quite simple than configuring the wired networking. Most of the wireless network adapters are plug-n-play and is immediately picked up by modern Windows or macOS upon installation and prompt to load any necessary hardware drivers needed.

The things you need is a utility to set parameters like network name. All of the recent version of operating system like windows and macOS provide an utility to configure these settings. Some wireless adapters may come in with their vendor specific configuration tools. With this utility, you can determine the state of link, signal strength, configure your wireless networking mode, options for security encryption, power saving and so on.