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Wireless Wide Area Networks (WLAN) : History and Use

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As we peep in the history of Networking, we will find that in 1971, the researchers at the University of Hawaii developed the world’s first WLAN, or in full form the wireless local area network which was named as ALOHnet. The ALOHnet was supposed to be the bi-directional or two-way directional star topology of the system which included seven computers deployed over four islands to communicate with the central computer on the Oahu Island without using phone lines for connection or Data Transfer.

Genuinely, WLAN or wireless Local Area Network hardware was so expensive for the companies that it was only used as an alternative method to cabled LAN in places where cabling was supposed to be difficult or impossible for data transfer. The Early developments and improvements included the industry-specific solutions and proprietary protocols but at the end of the 1990s, these were replaced by standards, primarily the various versions of IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi) protocols.

The alternative ATM-like 5 GHz standardized technology, the HIPERLAN, has so far not succeeded in the market and that’s why had little demand for installation. But with the release of the faster 54 Mbit/s 802.11a (5 GHz) and 802.11g (2.4 GHz) standards, almost very fast and fruitful and authentic means of Wireless technology.

While in November 2006, the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) won a legal battle in the US federal court of Texas against Buffalo Technology which established the US manufacturer had failed to pay royalties on a US WLAN patent CSIRO had filed in 1996. The CSIRO is currently engaged in the legal cases which are related to computer companies including the IT giants Microsoft, Intel, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Net gear which argue that the patent is invalid and should negate any royalties being paid to CSIRO for WLAN-based products or applications.

Introduction
The wireless LANs or Wireless Local Area Network utilizes and uses the electromagnetic waves which are spread by spectrum technology and are based on radio waves to transfer information in form of signals between devices in a limited area and the main server.

According to kinds of WLANS they are of two types 1.infrastructure WLANs and two. Independent WLANs.The Infrastructure WLANs are used where the wireless network is linked to a wired network or with the cables, is more commonly used today.

In an infrastructure WLAN, the wireless network is usually connected to a wired network such as Ethernet, via access points, which possesses both Ethernet links and antennas to send and receive signals as well as making them powerful to transmit. These signals span microcells, or circular coverage areas (depending on walls and other physical obstructions) or buildings in the way of access points and transmitter, in which devices can communicate with the access points, and through these, with the wired network.

In a wireless LANs the devices can move within and between coverage areas without experiencing disruption or obstruction in connectivity as long as they stay within range of an access point or extension point which is similar to an access point at all times and occasions.

The wireless Local Area Network or WLAM is a network which is the linking of two or more computers without using wires or cables. WLAN utilizes spread-spectrum technology based on radio waves to enable communication between devices in a limited area, also known as the basic service set. This gives users the mobility to move around within a broad coverage area and still be connected to the network.

As regards the home user, the wireless has become most popular and economical due to ease of installation, and location freedom with the gaining popularity of laptops and PDAs. For the business, public businesses such as coffee shops or malls have begun to offer wireless access to their customers and some are even provided as a free service for the facilitation of local customers.

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Large wireless network projects are also being set in many major cities for the increasing population as well as killing the cable Costs due to the huge distance from their server. In this regards, the best online advertising Companies and Search engine Google is providing a free service to Mountain View, California and has entered a bid to do the same for San Francisco also for better facilitation. The New York City has also begun a pilot program to cover all five boroughs of the city with wireless Internet access so that data can be accessed remotely by connecting them through wireless Local Area network.

How Wireless LANs Work

The other model which is connected through cables and it can be compared to those of wired LANs where devices connect via cables to hubs, or common wiring points, and from these to a central server. However, in wired networks, each hub has a finite number of jacks, and thus, can only connect a preset number of devices. Wireline networks are also confined by the existence of fixed cables, which limit connection to specified locations.

WIRED LANS

In a wired LAN, devices are connected to the network via cables. Devices are generally anchored to a set location depending on the placement of the network lines.

While WLANs provide some key benefits, including security, mobility, and scalability, they are currently much slower as compared to the wired LANs. For instance, a wired LAN using 10BaseT Ethernet ranges from 10 – 100 Mbps. and Other pros and cons of wireless LANs (in comparison with wired LANs) are listed in the table below:
Wireless LAN Pros and Cons

Pros

Easier to deploy and configure
More secure
Ultimately more cost-effective (scalable)
Facilitates office relocation (network portability)
Easier to maintainMakes available real-time data in a broader range of coverage areas

Cons

Slower – Ethernet speeds ranging from 10 Mbps to 100 Mbps; corporate networks require high bandwidths
Signal interference often causes disruptions in connection
Systems from different vendors may not be interoperable
Costly installation
Source: WR Hambrecht + Co

Wireless LAN Glossary:

· Access point-it is a device that connects the wireless network to the wired network. As a transceiver, it sports an antenna to send and receive signals from the various devices, providing coverage areas in which devices can roam freely.· Extension point-it is a device that acts as an access point and connects the wireless network. Unlike access points, extension points do not connect the wireless network to the wireline but rather extend coverage areas between and beyond access points.

· Infrastructure network-the more common form of a wireless LAN. Infrastructure networks are comprised of WLANs connected to wired LANs and contain access points to channel network traffic.· Independent network-a peer-to-peer network containing devices (with network adapters) connected, independent of a managing server or other form of administration.
· LAN adapter-generally a PC card in the portable device with an integrated antenna to receive signals from the access point/extension point. Can also be integrated into handhelds.

Micro cell-a coverage area in which devices can roam freely with a wireless connection. Microcells are generally circular (depending on the existence of interfering objects such as walls) and overlap to enable seamless connection as a user wanders through the wireless network. Spread spectrum-a radio frequency technology most commonly used in WLANs. Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) and Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) are two examples of the spread-spectrum technique. Transceiver-a device, such as a LAN adapter, used to receive signals sent by the transmitter. the transmitter-a device that sends signals to the transceiver (typically an access point or an extension point in WLANs.

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Benefits

In recent years the popularity of wireless LANs is a testament primarily to their convenience, cost efficiency, and ease of integration with other networks and network components for the better facilitation of Clients or customers. Today, the majority of computers sold to consumers today come pre-equipped with all necessary wireless LAN technology for the safe facilitation and hassle-free uninterrupted Internet service.

The benefits of wireless LANs include:

Convenience: The wireless nature of such networks allows users to access network resources from nearly any convenient location within their primary networking environment (home or office). With the increasing saturation of laptop-style computers, this is particularly relevant.

Mobility

With the emergence of public wireless networks, users can access the internet even outside their normal work environment. Most chain coffee shops, for example, offer their customers a wireless connection to the internet at little or no cost.

Productivity

Users connected to a wireless network can maintain a nearly constant affiliation with their desired network as they move from place to place. For a business, this implies that an employee can potentially be more productive as his or her work can be accomplished.

Deployment

Initial setup of an infrastructure-based wireless network requires little more than a single access point. Wired networks, on the other hand, have the additional cost and complexity of actual physical cables being run to numerous locations (which can even be impossible for hard-to-reach locations within a building).

Expandability

Wireless networks can serve a suddenly-increased number of clients with the existing equipment. In a wired network, additional clients would require additional wiring.Cost: Wireless networking hardware is at worst a modest increase from wired counterparts. This potentially increased cost is almost always more than outweighed by the savings in cost and labour associated with running physical cables.

Disadvantages

The Wireless LAN technology, while filled with the conveniences and advantages which are described above. It has its share of downfalls or demerits also. I think of nay networking solution, the wireless LANs may not be desirable for several reasons. As most of these have to do with the inherent limitations of the technology because they are sometimes dependent devices.

Security

The Wireless LAN transceivers are designed to serve computers throughout a structure with uninterrupted service using radio frequencies. Due to this space and cost, the antennas typically present on wireless networking cards in the end computers are generally relatively poor.

To receive signals properly using such limited antennas or devices throughout even a modest area, the wireless LAN transceiver utilizes a fairly considerable amount of power. It means that not only can the wireless packets be intercepted by a nearby adversary’s poorly-equipped computer, but more importantly, a user willing to spend a small amount of money on a good quality antenna can pick up packets at a remarkable distance as the case may be.

Perhaps, the people in hundreds of times the radius as the typical user so they are also vulnerable as they are not secure data transmitters. There are even computer users dedicated to locating and sometimes even hacking into a wireless network known as war drivers which hampers all transmission.

whereas On a wired network, an adversary would first have to overcome the physical limitation of tapping into the actual wires, but this is not an issue with wireless packets. To tackle this problem, wireless networks users usually choose to utilize various encryption technologies available such as Wi-Fi_Protected_Access which is a useful tool for security purposes. Some of the older encryption methods, such as WEP are known to have weaknesses that a dedicated adversary can compromise.

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Range

As regards the typical range of a common 802.11g network with standard equipment is on the order of tens of meters. While sufficient for a typical home, it will be insufficient in a larger structure. To obtain additional range, repeaters or additional access points will have to be purchased. Costs for these items can add up quickly. Other technologies are in the development phase, however, which feature increased range, hoping to render this disadvantage irrelevant.

Reliability

Like any radio frequency transmission, wireless networking signals are subject to a wide variety of interference, as well as complex propagation effects (such as multipath or especially in this case Rician fading) that are beyond the control of the network administrator. In the case of typical networks, modulation is achieved by complicated forms of phase-shift keying (PSK) or quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM), making interference and propagation effects all the more disturbing. As a result, important network resources such as servers are rarely connected wirelessly.

Speed

The speed on most wireless networks (typically 1-54 Mbps) is far slower than even the slowest common wired networks (100Mbps up to several Gbps). There are also performance issues caused by TCP and its built-in congestion avoidance. For most users, however, this observation is irrelevant since the speed bottleneck is not in the wireless routing but rather in the outside network connectivity itself.

For example, the maximum ADSL throughput (usually 8Mbps or less) offered by telecommunications companies to general-purpose customers is already far slower than the slowest wireless network to which it is typically connected. That is to say, in most environments, a wireless network running at its slowest speed is still faster than the internet connection serving it in the first place.

However, in specialized environments, the throughput of a wired network might be necessary. Newer standards such as 802.11n are addressing this limitation and will support peak throughputs in the range of 100-200 Mbps.

Wireless LAN architecture using an infrastructure BSS

WLAN can be connected through a cell phone card via GSM network, satellite hardware from your satellite company, or the most common an 802.11 router and either a network card for PCI/PCI Express slot on a desktop or PCMCIA card for a laptop. Some laptops already come prepared with built-in wireless.

Stations

All components that can connect into a wireless medium in a network are referred to as stations. All stations are equipped with wireless network interface cards (NICs). Wireless stations fall into one of two categories: access points and clients.

Conclusion 

If the functions of Wireless Local Area Network are analyzed and compared with cabled Local Area network, it will be clear that WLAN has many features and has spared the cost of wireless and other disconnection which is usually found in cabled Wireless Area Network.

But besides its numerous facilities, it has some disadvantages which need to be rectified for improving the wireless Local Area Network. Firstly the WLAN should have proper security while the transmitter and receiver receive and send their data.

Secondly, The Speed and the data sent from the main server should be strong so that it may not get slow as the distance go increasing. Thirdly the wireless data can easily be caught by the Users who use strong antennas while the remote users just have to carry on low signals and low speed. As the low signal has a low speed.

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The Right-Wing Politics in United States & The Capitol Hill Mayhem

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The radicalized right-wing politics during the Trump Administration is responsible for creating severe unrest in the US, and subsequently, in the global community. There is a dire need to change the political structure in the US to safeguard the true spirit of democracy.

The US witnessed one of the tumultuous transitions of power as the republicans shook the very roots of a model democracy in the US after the Capitol Hill mayhem.

Trump administration during the four-year Presidential Term has been worst on all fronts -be it Internal Policy, Health Policy, unemployment, Governance, Foreign Policy, security and Trade policy.

Trump, being afraid of defeat resorted to inciting voters, supporters and workers to attack Capitol Hill, and his racial tirade and overtures drowned him in last year’s most trumpeted Presidential Elections when the country appeared divided between the rightist and leftists.

Trump and his attack on democracy

The elections witnessed the bloodshed, torture, violence and sheer violation of legislative laws that warranted immediate legal action. From his election to the Presidential slot, Trump behaved like an amateur.

He ran the political affairs as a personal business rather than a statesman. He, being an actor, took the job as a mere role but the presidency demands prudence and sensible decisions to avoid any worst repercussions.

Trump’s aggressive response to matters of importance further exacerbated the situation, especially with China and Iran.

The leftists or change agents wanted a people-friendly government where the rights of people should be protected regardless of their political affiliation or association, caste, colour, creed, religion, ethnicity.

For the years, US democracy has been a model for many developing countries owing to its non-radicalized and people-friendly Governments.

All the democratic forces were stunned over the unfortunate incident of  Capitol Hill mayhem and were shocked that even developed nations like America can be enthralled, enticed and incited to the level that will shake the very roots of  Democracy i.e  Capitol Hill.

The world responded with regrets that it was unfortunate that Trumpism radicalized supporters to the extent that they were instigated and incited to influence the Presidential Elections results so that Biden’s Victory may not be validated.

America in disgrace

The world might have moved to tears when Trump supporters and workers ransacked Capitol Hill and brought disgrace for America around the world.

All experts, analysts and pro-democracy leaders condemned such act since it was against the norms of civilized nations of the world.

All the mayhem that stormed the US was orchestrated and masterminded by a Business Tycoon, Actor turned Politician Donald Trump who already lost his credibility for his election to the office of President since he was facing rigging and horse-trading charges in his first term that led to his impeachment Trial but luckily he was set free twice from impeachment during his presidency.

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Furthermore, his complete failure to tackle the issue of pandemic also contributed to his humiliating defeat since he ridiculed the pandemic by terming it China Virus owing to trade war with China.

Later, when the pandemic went out of control, he took initiative but it was too late to restrict the covid-19 infections since the US had the highest ratio of infections in the world.

Diplomatic relations ruined by Trumpism

Trump escalated the situation with Iran by killing General Qassem Suleimani in Iraq. Later, Iran attacked American Military bases in Iraq but there were no causalities reported for the incident. Iran also shot down a passenger plane by mistake and all passengers were killed.

Trump’s diplomatic relations with China worsened due to the Trade war. American relations with North Korea did not improve though both Trump and KIM met in Singapore to reach a possible peace agreement.

His amnesty or pardon for his friends also came under heavy criticism since he was afraid that they might be prosecuted as his term ended.

His blunders contributed a lot to his worst defeat though, being stubborn did not accept defeat but later, Supreme Court rejected his claims of any rigging in elections.

Republicans being a right-wing party radicalized the political workers and community to that extent that people violated law without any fear as they enjoyed the support from the white house.

The right-wing politics of Donald trump sowed the seeds of hatred and hostility that will have serious repercussions in the long run as long as the Trumpism pandemic exists among the people.

His failure to implement a deal of the century plan in the Middle East that was aimed merely on supporting Israel by giving a greater share of settlements. The deal came to a logical end as it was heavily criticized and Palestinians called it to suicide if accepted.

Despite signing the deal with the Afghan Taliban with the help of Pakistan to end 20 years longest war on terror and paving the way for US troops’ withdrawal, the law and order situation has not improved so far as the peace dialogue between the Afghan Taliban and Government yet to take place.

Biden as a saviour

Right-wing politicians led by Trumps have serious implications that will ultimately create problems for Biden to cope with during his presidency.

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Biden has to overhaul the whole system to restore the Trust and reputation in the world and strengthen the US through unity by abolishing the discriminatory approach.

The Selection of an Afro-American lady as Vice President has already laid the foundation to put the country on right track and building the trust of all the communities whether voted for him or not as he called himself the president of all Americans rather than of those who voted and supported him during his victory speech.

The Vote is the great tool of people to bring in the choice of leadership as it is the constitutional right of every American and can be exercised on free will without any pressure

The Afro-American community still recalls the cold-blooded murder of George Floyd by Police, supported Joe Biden after he chose Kamala Harris as Vice President candidate.

On the other hand, though Trump was given clean chit in impeachment since he was charged with inciting the supporters to attack Capitol Hill that will be marked as a black day in American history, yet he has sown the seeds of intolerance, political victimization and radicalizing the peaceful Americans.

This aspect of populist or right-wing politics always plagues the peaceful and vibrant societies in a developed nation like the US, UK, France and Germany.

Trump promoted racism through his flowery speech that incited and enthralled mob violence to exert pressure through street power as practised in Asian states such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, China and Japan.

How will Biden make America ‘great’ again?

Political analysts term Trump as an existential threat for Biden as he still enjoys the second largest votes in key states and may create problems especially the legislation for key issues.

Biden will have to fix diplomatic relations with all nations of the world especially Tehran and Beijing as Former President Donald Trump escalated the diplomatic relations with these countries with his insensible and aggressive attitude.

He will have to take immediate steps to clear the mess that was stalled by Trump’s radicalized and extremist approach to right-wing Politics whose price is being paid by citizens through isolation and hatred.

Biden and Kamala Harris will have to chalk out such policies that deal with communities with equality and justice and especially deal with the pandemic situation through vaccination drive to minimize the covid-19 infections. The causalities have surpassed thousands whereas long lockdowns have created unemployment and an economic crisis impacting many industries.

They need to sit with health experts and Economists to get the country out of the crisis. It will be better to take help from the nations that managed to defeat this pandemic with SOPs and measures.

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Beyond ego, the US may seek help from Russia, China, Singapore and the UK to win against the pandemic situation, though the ratio of the infections dropped worldwide as the cold winter departs.

Joe Biden will have to support Kashmiris against the unilateral move of India as he had promised in the election campaign.

He should play his role for the Middle East peace plan of the two-state solution so that Palestinians may have a state as per their wishes and the map they have in mind.

It was the sensible decision from him that troops’ withdrawal option was postponed, given the critical situation in Afghanistan. Rather, he should not jeopardize or sabotage the peace deal with the Taliban.

Biden should engage person like Zalmay Khalilzad to strengthen the dialogue process between the Afghan Taliban and other stakeholders including the existing Government of Ashraf Ghani so that peace could be restored as it will benefit all the countries and play a pivotal role in regional stability and prosperity.

The pandemic has united the world as human conscience has roused again.

Republicans and Democrats

Finally, Democrats have always saved America and promoted justice, equality and opened doors for the world for immigration but Trump wreaked havoc with all the social norms and promoted intolerance, racism and inequality that shook the very roots of the country and gave birth to happenings of Capitol Hill and distrust on the electoral system.

Biden Administration is expected and mandated by the masses to clear that mess and pave the way for his second term if he succeeds to bring change to the country.

Right-wing politics has its pros and cons but the version introduced by Republicans radicalized the whole system and divided the country even in times of emergency.

Populist leaders all around the world have impacted various governments, especially in the Asian States as they are elected on popular vote.

The version introduced by Trump may give birth to the dissent voices as left-wing whose critique may be beyond rectification whereas the ethnic divide, will promote separatism as happened in the UK, Spain, Russia and the Subcontinent when people’s rights were compromised and the freedom of expression was annulled.

The US cannot afford further isolation and division of communities on the basis of ethnicity, colour or radical thoughts since it has already paid the price during the Trump regime.

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The Development of microfinance industry depends upon the resilience and risk management: SECP Chairman Amir Khan

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Islamabad : SECP Chairman, Aamir Khan emphasized that in these challenging times the development of microfinance industry depends upon the resilience and risk management, achieved through quintessential pillars of liquidity-tapped through private capital and technology embracement. Khan was addressing the Non-Bank Microfinance Companies Stakeholders Forum organized by SECP to devise a way forward and collaborate strategic response to cope the challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdowns.

The SECP Chairman Amir Khan, along with Commissioner Specialized Companies Division, Farrukh Sabzwari chaired the session. Representatives of Pakistan Microfinance Network (PMN), State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company Limited (PMIC), Karandaaz Pakistan and multilateral donor agencies including the World Bank, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Department for International Development (DFID) attended the session.

 The Chairman SECP advised NBMFCs to go far product diversification to insurance solutions and saving products and build capacity of their workforce to attain business development and operational efficiency. He endorsed formation of a working group consisting of nominees from SECP, PMN, PMIC and NBMFCs to further analyze the situation. The working group will also take up the matters with relevant forums including ministry of finance, SBP and multilateral donor agencies for possible solutions.

Khan expressed SECP’s firm commitment to providing all possible support to industry not only during the current pandemic times but also in developing the industry on a strong footing. SECP Commissioner, Sabzwari highlighted the measures taken by SECP to provide relief and flexibility to the NBMFCs and their wholesale lender in managing funding requirements. He also talked about SECP’s advice to NBMFCs to defer and reschedule borrower loans.

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Participants acknowledged SECP’s timely intervention to provide regulatory relief to NBMFCs in managing their credit lines and funding requirements. However, industry representatives expressed their concerns on potential defaults by borrower and liquidity crunch that may lead to capital crisis in the industry.

They raised the need of new money injection into the industry through collaborative efforts of microfinance regulators and the government. Representatives of international donor agencies attending the Forum expressed their resolve to extend fullest possible support to Pakistan’s microfinance sector.    

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Gov’t releases Rs 533.33 billion for various development projects so far

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Islamabad: The federal government has so far authorized release of Rs 533.33 billion for various ongoing and new social sector uplift projects under its Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2019-20, as against the total allocation of Rs 701 billion.

Under its development programme, the government has released an amount of Rs 230.3 billion for federal ministries, Rs 175.65 billion for corporations and Rs 43.46 billion for special areas, according to a latest data released by Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform.

Out of these allocations, the government released Rs 38.5 billion for security enhancement in the country for which the government had allocated Rs 53 billion during the year 2019-20.

An amount of Rs 81.37 billion has also been released for the blocks managed by finance division under the government’s 10 years development programme.

Similarly, for Higher Education Commission, the government released an amount of Rs 27.07 billion out of its total allocation of Rs 29 billion while Rs 301.47 million were released for Pakistan Nuclear Energy Authority for which the government had allocated Rs 301.48 million in the development budget.

For National Highway Authority, the government released Rs154.94 billion. Under annual development agenda, the government also released Rs 10.7 billion for Railways Division out of total allocation of Rs16 billion, Rs 7.7 billion for Interior Division, and Rs 8.38 billion for National Health Services, Regulations, and Coordination Division.

Revenue Division received Rs 4.3 billion whereas the Cabinet Division also received Rs 30.18 billion for which an amount of Rs 39.986 billion has been allocated for the year 2019-20.

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The government also released Rs 26.9 billion for Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) block and other projects out of its allocations of Rs 27.26 billion and Rs 16.54 billion for Gilgit Baltistan (Block and other projects).

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