Executive Summary to Wireless Networks
This paper is about the use of wireless networks and it discusses the advantages and disadvantages of using wireless networks in several different areas. Especially during the last decade, wireless networks have become very popular and it is today being used for various purposes from communication to entertainment. In order to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of wireless networks, several academic articles were used in this study such as (Goldsmith, 2004), (Gross, 2004), (June Jamrich Parsons, 2012), (Kim, 2008) and also the reports from different researches such as (Pew Research Center, 2016), (Network Startup Resource Center, 2015).
The purpose of this paper is to show that wireless networks have both advantages and disadvantages but the advantages of wireless networks over weigh the disadvantages of wireless networks.
First of all, the paper starts with the advantages of wireless networks. The first advantage of wireless networks is explained to be the removal of cable problem which is more economic and easy to use. Secondly, wireless networks are compatible with tables and smartphones which are the most popular technological devices of our time. Thirdly, wireless networks let communication easier and faster and this happens in several areas such as social communication and industrial communication.
Second of all, the disadvantages of wireless networks are explained. The first disadvantage is low bandwidth problem which ends up with slower network speed and the second one is the exposure to wired network attacks which decrease the safety of the network.
Lastly, the paper concludes that wireless networks have both advantages and disadvantages but the advantages of wireless networks over weigh the disadvantages.
Introduction to Wireless Networks
In 2000s, internet is being used by billions of people due to fast development of technology, usage of social media like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and being aware of the fact that internet let people to communicate faster no matter the distance. By the end of 20th century, the usage of internet has been going in a different pathway by development of wireless network which let people to benefit from internet every day and wherever they want. However, this fact brought some arguments. Some people supports that wireless networks have helped the removal of the problems caused by wired internet such as cabling which was limiting mobile use of internet. Also, these people agree with the idea that wireless network is very compatible with the use of tablets and mobile phones which are the favourite devices used for social media and communication. Beyond that these people also claims that it helped people communicate easier and more practically. On the other hand, some people says that wireless networks bring low bandwidth that means slow network performance limiting the compatibility of communication and quality of internet used by the society is limited in that way. These people also claim that wireless networks cause people to be exposed to wired network attacks. This would lead to an unsafe and less useful usage of network.
The internet has been started to be used by government researchers in 1960s in order to share information. But it wasn’t the official start of service of the internet. The internet was officially served on January 1, 1983 when a new communication protocol called Transfer Control Protocol/Internetwork Protocol (TPC/IP) was established. January 1, 1983 is when the internet era has started (USG, 2016).
Wireless network has been developed step by step. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) enabled commercial development of wireless LANs and wireless LAN products for public use, but these LANs and products had very low performance. Most of the wireless LAN companies and products have started to show themselves in early 1990s for higher performance. The second generation of wireless LAN operated in United States. Then it operated in Europe in HIPERLAN (high performance radio LAN) standards. Nowadays we use very high performance wireless network systems thanks to these revolutions of the wireless network LAN and other wireless networks (Goldsmith, 2004).
Professor Andrea Goldsmith from Stanford University describes the visions of wireless networking in her article called “Wireless Communications” with those words; “The vision of wireless communications supporting information exchange between people or devices is the communications frontier of the next century. This vision will allow people to operate a virtual office anywhere in the world using a small handheld device – with seamless telephone, modem, fax, and computer communications. Wireless networks will also be used to connect together palmtop, laptop, and desktop computers anywhere within an office building or campus, as well as from the corner cafe” (Goldsmith, 2004).
This paper has been written in order to compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of wireless networs. This report will emphasise that wireless network has many possible advantages on society. Although it has some disadvantages, development and usage of wireless network might help us use networks easier and more practically.
To support the ideas claimed in this document some articles and websites with “edu” and “gov” extensions have been used.
The first part of the document emphasises the advantages of wireless networks, the second part focuses on the disadvantages of wireless networks and the conclusion is based on why the advantages of wireless networks overweigh the disadvantages.
Advantages of Wireless Networks
To start with the advantages of wireless networks, it can be stated that there are several advantages that are brought about with the use of wireless networks and first of these advantages is the removal of. As stated in the earlier parts of this paper, internet has become an irresistible part of people’s lives in our century and people want to use internet wherever they want. Instant access to internet has become a very important issue for mostly everyone such as students and professionals. That is to say, in today’s world, people need internet access to get their jobs done.
In addition to using internet for work, one other crucially important use of internet is for entertainment. Even the kids today are using internet on a daily basis in order to watch cartoons, play games and etc. This issue is underlined by scientific studies by stating that over the last decade, adolescents’ use of internet started to grow in an exponential manner (Gross, 2004).
In that sense, it is an undeniable fact that the removal of cables for the use of internet is a concrete advantage in wireless networks. It is because, as stated before, there is always a need today for reaching internet whenever and wherever needed. This issue is touched upon in some books as well. It is stated by (June Jamrich Parsons, 2012) that wireless network has distinct advantages and the book states the removal of cables by the aid of wireless networks as one of the most important advantages of the use of wireless networks. (June Jamrich Parsons, 2012) exemplifies this advantage by the aid of using the concept of connecting to the wireless network in a garden or wherever the users want, just like explained and exemplified in the earlier parts of this paper.
In addition to all these, the removal of cables by using wireless networks can be evaluated as an advantage in terms of economic issues. It is a fact that, in the absence of wireless networks, there is a need for cables to connect to internet and it costs extra money to buy and set up these cables in order to connect to internet and this may not be a low amount of money in all cases. At that point, the economic benefits of wireless networks come to the forefront by removing all the work related with the cables used for internet connection.
(Papadimitriou, 2003) supports the economic benefits of wireless networks that arise from the removal of cables. It is stated by (Papadimitriou, 2003) that the prohibition of cable deployment in wireless networks brings economic benefits with it such as in the case of needing internet in historical buildings.
In addition to removal of cables, wireless networks have another advantage which is the compatibility with the use of tablets and smart devices. Today, the use of tablets and smart devices are on the rise and this issue is stated in some academic researches as well. Pew Research Center carried a research about the use of smartphone ownership and according to this research, the number of people that use smartphones is climbing in emerging economies (Pew Research Center, 2016). In addition to this, according to (Pew Research Center, 2016), the advanced economies have even higher rates of using smartphones and tables and the research adds that the number of adults in the advanced economies that report owning a smartphone constitutes the averagely 68% of the total number of adults in societies with an advanced economy.
Having the information in hand, it becomes a fact that the compatibility of the provided wireless network with the smartphones and the tablets is crucial for the users and thus it becomes a great advantage of wireless networks. This is because the smartphones and tablets are used today as the bases to reach internet connection and they have taken the place of computers and laptops in most cases. Thus, the compatibility of wireless networks with the smartphones and tablets creates a great advantage in terms of wireless networks.
In addition to all these, there are some research carried out that reveal how the compatibility of smartphones become important in different areas. (Morón, 2014) studies in her article how smartphones are getting widely used in the health industry as they are now capable of performing as communication gateways as they have compatibility with the wireless networks. As a result, it can be said that wireless networks make it possible in the medical industry to work in a faster and more effective way. In that sense, heading away from what is stated by (Morón, 2014), it can clearly be stated that the wireless networks create an absolute advantage in different industries by being compatible with smartphones and tablets as it creates more effective mediums to work.
Additively, there is another study by Sang Hyun Kim which states the advantages of wireless networks being compatible with the smartphones for the companies. (Kim, 2008) states that the intention to use mobile wireless technology has opened a way to perceived cost savings as well as the companies’ willingness to fund. In that sense, it is a crystal clear fact that the compatibility of wireless networks on the mobile level can create advantages for the companies in terms of economic issues as well.
Last but not the least, opening the way to communicate in an easier and more practical way is another advantage of wireless networks in addition to the two very important advantages of wireless networks which were stated in the earlier parts of this paper as the cable and compatibility advantages.
It was mentioned in this paper several times that internet and wireless networks has become an inevitable part of our time. Communication is one of the main needs between the modern people as people need to communicate with each other about social issues, their work and etc.
Toshiya Tamura and Isao Masuda digs into how the device connectivity technologies have begun to use wireless communications. It is stated in the article that, “Seamless device connectivity in a multi-network environment is an essential technology for achieving a human-centric intelligent society as proposed by Fujitsu. In particular, device connectivity enabled by short-distance wireless communication technologies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and near field communication (NFC) can provide users with ideal services regardless of place or circumstances in the fields of entertainment, health and communications” (Tamura & Masuda, 2013). This issue is exemplified by (Tamura & Masuda, 2013) by using the hands-free in-vehicle device connectivity and also healthcare connectivity which helps collecting data that is obtained by several measurement devices. In that sense, it can be stated that wireless networks have great advantages in several different areas by increasing the communication possibilities.
Disadvantages of Wireless Networks
Even though wireless networks have a handful of advantages, it is possible to give some disadvantages of wireless networks as well. The first disadvantage of wireless networks is the low bandwidth problems. Low bandwidth basically means slow network performance which is not user friendly at all. Today, even seconds matter for the wireless network users and people want their devices to connect to the network as fast as possible and this want of the users make the low bandwidth that comes with the wireless networks such a huge problem.
It may be useful for this paper to know the concept of the bandwidth issues in wireless networks and how it works. The issue with the bandwidth usage in wireless networks is explained by E. M. Royer and Chai-Keong Toh by stating “In order to facilitate communication within the network, a routing protocol is used to discover routes between nodes. The primary goal of such an ad hoc network routing protocol is correct and efficient route establishment between a pair of nodes so that messages may be delivered in a timely manner. Route construction should be done with a minimum of overhead and bandwidth consumption” (Royer & Toh, 1999).
The relationship between the speed of connection to the wireless networks and the use of bandwidth in the network is given by Sophie Curtis. According to Curtis, it is stated that “If you are unwittingly sharing your connection with unauthorised users then they will be using up valuable bandwidth. This means that the speed of your connection and download allowance could take a battering, not to mention the security threat this poses” (Curtis, 2013). Thus, it can be concluded from what is stated by (Curtis, 2013) that the increasing use of bandwidth eventually ends up with problems of speed of the wireless network. As the wireless networks cannot provide high amounts of bandwidth, it is a problem with the wireless networks to have slow connection speeds because of low bandwidth.
The second problem that arises with wireless networks is the exposure to wired network attacks. Security is the key issue when building a network and the users in that wireless network should be comfortable with using it in a secure way. Issues such as stealing information can result in really hazardous situations at times. So, the low levels of security in wireless networks in terms of being exposed to wired network attacks becomes a quite important problem with wireless networks.
This issue is taken into consideration in a workshop of Network Startup Resource Center and it is stated that “Because of common network layers, most of the attacks in the wired network will also work against wireless clients” (Network Startup Resource Center, 2015). Acording to the same resource, the wireless network attacks can be done in the forms of password grabbing, password attempts, buffer overflows, spoofing attacks, flooding, redirection using ICMP, ARP, STP, MTM Atttack or masquerading (Network Startup Resource Center, 2015).
As a result of all the information given above, it can be stated that wireless networks are open to attacks in terms of several different issues and this makes wireless networks a less safe place for the users and thus one of the disadvantages of wireless network is the openness to wired network attacks.
Conclusion to Wireless Networks
To conclude, heading away from all the information and the facts given in the earlier parts of this paper, wireless networks have become widely used in several areas for several reasons such as fun, entertainment, industrial jobs etc. The increasing popularity of wireless networks raises a question mark about whether wireless network is good or bad. In that case, there are a lot of advantages of wireless networks such as removal of the cable problem, compatibility with the use of tablets and smart devices and communicating easier and more practically. On the other hand, wireless networks have some disadvantages as well and these disadvantages
are low bandwidth and exposure to wired network attacks. But when all the advantages and the disadvantages of wireless networks are analysed and compared, it can be stated that even though wireless networks have come disadvantages to use, the advantages of wireless networks overcome the disadvantages and as a result it can be stated that wireless networks are useful overall.
Curtis, S. (2013). 12 tips for improving your broadband connection speed. telegraph.co.uk: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/broadband/10520185/12-tips-for-improving-your-broadband-connection-speed.html
Goldsmith, A. (2004). WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS. Stanford University.
Gross, E. (2004). Adolescent Internet use: What we expect, what teens report. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 633-649.
June Jamrich Parsons, D. O. (2012). Computer Concepts: Illustrated Introductory. Cengage Learning.
Kim, S. H. (2008). Moderating effects of Job Relevance and Experience on mobile wireless technology acceptance: Adoption of a smartphone by individuals. Information & Management, 387-393.
Morón, M. J. (2014). On the Capability of Smartphones to Perform as Communication Gateways in Medical Wireless Personal Area Networks. ETSI Telecomunicación, 575-594.
Network Startup Resource Center. (2015). Common Network Attacks and Exploits. nsrc.org: https://www.nsrc.org/workshops/2008/ait-wireless/kemp/network-attacks.pdf
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Pew Research Center. (2016, 02 22). Smartphone Ownership and Internet Usage Continues to Climb in Emerging Economies. pewglobal.org: http://www.pewglobal.org/2016/02/22/smartphone-ownership-and-internet-usage-continues-to-climb-in-emerging-economies/
Royer, E., & Toh, C.-K. (1999). A review of current routing protocols for ad hoc mobile wireless networks. IEEE Personal Communications , 46-55.
Tamura, T., & Masuda, I. (2013). Device Connectivity Technologies Using Short-Distanca Wireless Communications . Fujitsu Sci. Tech, 213-219.
USG. (2016). A Brief History of the Internet. www.usg.edu: http://www.usg.edu/galileo/skills/unit07/internet07_02.phtml