What Is Wireless Internet/Email?
Up to this point, we've covered Internet connections and gone through Web sites and newsgroups and email and so on. All of those possibilities involve your computer communicating with other computers in other parts of the world through the help of your Internet service provider.
Whether it's a dial-up or broadband connection, whether it's at work or at home, all that data we've been sending back and forth has been traveling through wires and cables.
You plug that phone line into your modem, and the data travels through that wire, out to a bunch of different wires. You hook up your Ethernet card to your DSL modem, and the data travels through those (albeit bigger) wires. At work, when you plug into your network, that network most likely connects to the Internet through ”you guessed it ”wires.
Now, imagine the world without wires. Imagine that as you're riding in the passenger seat on the way to the big sales presentation that you can use your laptop to receive an email with the latest PowerPoint sales presentation. Imagine that right after your broker calls you with a tip on a hot stock, you can end the call and check the stock's current price on the same cell phone you just used for the call. Imagine that you can synchronize your Palm handheld with your computer right before boarding a plane, and read your email and check out your favorite Web sites on the flight, without breaking the no- cell -phone rule.
It's all real. Wireless communication allows your piece of hardware ”be it a PDA, cell phone, laptop, whatever ”to receive information from the Internet over the air. Generally speaking, the data is transmitted from a service provider to some type of antenna that is connected to the hardware device you are using.
There's also another type of wireless Internet/email, like in the preceding airplane example, in which you synchronize your device with a computer that has a wire connection, download the Internet data, then view it later. We'll get more in-depth on both types of wireless in a minute.
Regardless of which type of wireless Internet you use, and regardless of which type of device you use, wireless Internet is what its name implies ”access to the Internet, without wires.