The use of WiFi as a means to connect to the Internet has become commonplace. It is now a demanded service for those attending conferences and events. Let alone the want of customers to have access to the Intenet at their favorite coffee shop. Despite the proliferation of WiFi services several misconceptions still pervade the technology, in this article we will look at the four most common of these misconceptions.
Function vs Service
Many of these misconceptions are encountered when businesses are looking to upgrade their WiFi network. This is then followed by conducting a wireless site survey whose importance is often underestimated due to business leaders lacking an in depth understanding of WiFi. To this extent WiFi is often confused as a service and not a function. Even in the introductory paragraph WiFi was referred to as a service but this is technically incorrect.
Your Internet service is brought to you by a line installed by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). The ability to connect to the Internet over a WiFi connection is a function provided by your hardware that the ISP installs, typically your router. It is true that you can provide WiFi as service to customers while in your business premises but it is the WiFi functionality of your router that will allow them to connect.
Secure WiFi is not necessarily Secure
The Internet can be dangerous place and one of many a hacker’s favourite methods of compromising a network is by unsecured WiFi connections. To this extent several misconceptions exist regarding a secure connection to a WiFi enabled device. The most common of which is that a secure connection is inherently secure, meaning that everything that is done on the Internet is secure. This is not the case.
It is important to remember that while your connection to the device is secure, it then connects to the wider, far more dangerous, Internet. Then what is needed is end-to-end security, as can be found if connecting to an HTTPS connection, or other security and encryption focused protocol. So while your your connection to your router is secure that does not necessarily mean your connection to the Internet is secure.
Related: How to Hack Wifi Password
Signal Stregnth is not Equal to Good Quality
The higher your WiFi signal strength is not indicative of the quality of the signal. In many instances a 2.4 GHz signal can perform better than a 5 GHz signal despite the latter been far higher in terms of signal strength. This is due in part to 5 GHz not being capable of travelling as far and penetrating concrete walls. The advantage of this is that interference between devices in your neighbourhood or office space is greatly reduced. This in turn can improve your signal quality.
The Curious Case of WiFi Extenders
As is often the case when shortcomings in the WiFi infrastructure are found people will apply the DIY solution of purchasing then installing a WiFi extender. This more often comes with varied results favouring the bad. This is because extenders will broadcast the signal on the same channel as the router and by cutting the capacity of the channel in half in order to cover a wider area. This can also cause high levels of interference further impacting the WiFi connection.
It is east to see why WiFi can become a headache for any business leader or home owner. Conducting a comprehensive wireless site survey can help mitigate these misconceptions and the problems that arise from them.