Networking: Cabled and Wireless Wi-Fi Networks

The 802.11ac wireless  standard, Powerline Ethernet and Wi-Fi mains networks and Bluetooth wireless connectivity

New names for the wireless 802.11 Wi-Fi network standards

Here are the new names for the 802.11 wireless standards currently in use:

Wi-Fi 4 is 802.11n, released in 2009.
Wi-Fi 5 is 802.11ac, released in 2014.
Wi-Fi 6 is the new version, also known as 802.11ax – expected release in 2019.

Wi-Fi 6 –

Note that Wi-Fi 4, 5 and 6 are backwards compatible with one another, so Wi-Fi 4 and 5 devices won’t stop working when the Wi-Fi 6 standard is introduced.

Here are what would have been the new names for the superseded 802.11 standards:

Wi-Fi 1 would have been 802.11b, released in 1999.
Wi-Fi 2 would have been 802.11a, also released in 1999.
Wi-Fi 3 would have been 802.11g, released in 2003.

What are Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6? Why Wi-Fi is introducing catchy names for different standards –

Wi-Fi 5 is the new name for the 802.11ac wireless networking standard

Note that the current Wi-Fi standard – 802.11ac –  recently renamed Wi-Fi 5, uses the 5GHz band for a theoretical data throughput of 1 gigabit per second (128MB per second). 802.11ac dual-band routers and wireless adapters are available that can use both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. By January 2016, the 802.11ac standard had not been ratified by the, but, as is usually the case, the network-equipment manufacturers brought out draft equipment that supports the standard as they expected that its ratified form would end up being.

Wi-Fi 6 is now the new version, also known as 802.11ax. Its release is expected in 2019.

Gigabit Wireless? Five 802.11ac Routers, Benchmarked [January 2013] –,review-32609.html

Dual-band routers

Mote that dual-band routers can broadcast on both the 2.4GHz and 5.0 GHz bands, but they cannot swap between them in order to broadcast the best signal. What they do is make it possible for client network adapters on computers that support either or both of the bands to receive broadcasts. For example, some older network adapters on laptops might only support the 2.4GHz band, so they will be able to receive a signal as well as laptops set to use the 5.0GHz band.

Dual-Band Wireless Networking Explained –

Ethernet and Wi-Fi Powerline networks

Information is provided in this section on routers (broadband modem routers and dedicated routers) that can become the centre of a combined cabled Ethernet and a wireless Wi-Fi home network and other types of networks, such as cable-based networks that use Cat5/Cat6 network cables and Network Interface Cards and Virtual Private Networking (VPN) and Powerline networking, which uses the electricity mains cabling and connection points within a home or building instead of network cables to create a wired network that can be used to extend a cabled or wireless network depending on the Powerline adapters that are used – Ethernet adapter or Wi-Fi adapters. Ethernet cables are connected to the Powerline adapters (marketed as HomePlug) from network interface cards (NICs) on the computers in the network. Powerline adapters can have built-in Wi-Fi as well as an Ethernet cable connection point, enabling a wireless network to be extended using Powerline. The following two videos show how easy that is to achieve.

Note that you must not plug Powerline adapters into a surge protector. They won’t work unless you plug them directly into mains-supply sockets.

NETGEAR Powerline White Board Video –

Extending you wireless network using Powerline –

Throughput of a home network using Powerline network adapters doubled by using a Gigabit Ethernet router

I use Powerline network adapters for my home network. According to the configuration software, my Netgear Powerline AV 200 Adapter Kit only provided 85Mbps (megabits-per-second) throughput with an older 10/100 router, so I purchased a 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet router. The Powerline (HomePlug) adapters connected at the higher throughput immediately, providing 195Mbps between the two adapters.

However, you should note that no matter how fast the connections transfer data between the computers on a home network, if you have a slow broadband connection, it will won’t work any faster than the service that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) provides. If, say, your Internet connection speed is approximately 6.5Mbps, that’s what it will remain no matter how fast your network itself can transfer data from one computer to another.

The slowest and least-expensive networking equipment – 10.0Mbps Ethernet and 11.0Mbps 802.11b Wi-Fi can handle a slower 6.5Mbps inbound data stream. An 802.11g, 54.0Mbps Wi-Fi network is over 8 times faster than a 6.5Mbps broadband connection. Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11n Wi-Fi networking is 15 times faster a 6.5Mbps connection.

Bluetooth wireless connectivity

Bluetooth technology allows wireless communication between devices such as gaming consoles, printers, keyboards, mice, USB dongles, mobile phone headsets, etc. It can connect several devices, interference-free.

Bluetooth has a relatively short working range, which makes it less susceptible to electronic interference than is the case with 802.11 wireless systems.

Bluetooth wireless protocols have improved since first becoming available. It is now an ideal way of connecting small devices. By 2014, the Bluetooth protocol was up to version 4.2.

Bluetooth –

Bluetooth Overview –

Now, it is faster, provides improved security, increased range (up to 300 feet) and is even powerful enough to handle streaming music and HD video. Version 4.0 was released in 2010. It provides support for both high-performance and low-power applications. Bluetooth can be added to a PC via simple USB adapters.

Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 provide built-in support for Bluetooth. It can be added to earlier versions of Windows, which don’t provide native support for it, by making use of a cheap USB/Bluetooth adapter. Here is an article on how to add a Bluetooth device to Windows Vista and Windows 7, which differ from each other:…

Why isn’t Windows finding my Bluetooth or other wireless device? [Windows 8.1]

The following click path gets you to the Bluetooth settings in Windows 10 – Start => Settings => Devices => Bluetooth.

For less than U.S. $20, tiny, state-of-the-art Bluetooth 4.0 adapters, made by manufacturers such as IOGEAR and Medialink, are available that are backward-compatible with previous versions of Bluetooth. Moreover, the adapters can be upgraded to the latest version of Bluetooth by upgrading their firmware if it is made available from the device-manufacturer’s website.

Bluetooth security has been improved a great deal since Bluetooth first became available, but it is still a cause of concern.

How Bluetooth Works – Security –

Bluetooth Connectivity Threatens Your Security [2013] –

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