Posted by: lrrp | November 9, 2004

Wireless Pursuit By Wilson Rothman

TRY IT AT HOME, AT WORK OR ON THE ROAD



Where does wi-fi sit on the winding road of wireless technologies? Nicely in the middle. Unlike with cell phones, however, you can’t yet switch seamlessly from one wi-fi antenna to another

SHORT-RANGE RADIO

Typically found in a cordless computer mouse or keyboard sending little bits of data. Must be near a receiver

INFRARED

Used in nearly every remote control on earth, this powerful short-range system is also found in PDAs

BLUETOOTH

Short-distance radio popular in phones, headsets and, lately, car speaker phones. It’s also used in some computer devices

WIRELESS ETHERNET(WI-FI)

In a home, office or “hot spot,” wi-fi allows Internet access and creates networks of computers and printers

RANGE FINDER

Short-range radio 6 ft. to 20 ft.

Infrared 20 ft. to 50 ft.

Bluetooth Up to 30 ft.

Wireless Ethernet (wi-fi) Up to 300 ft.

CORDLESS PHONES

The cord on your home phone probably disappeared more than a decade ago. Now some phones have ranges greater than 1 mile

FAMILY RADIO SERVICE

A good way to keep track of the kids at ski resorts and amusement parks, these walkie-talkies stretch a low-powered radio signal a long way

CITIZENS BAND

“Breaker, Breaker, what’s your 20?” A radio so popular it spawned a whole new vocabulary, CB remains a vital form of communication

MOBILE-PHONE NETWORKS

Cellular phones have a wide reach, but call congestion and obstacles like buildings and trees often force carriers to build extra towers

SPACE AND BEYOND

From 22,000 miles out in space, satellites beam TV, radio and phone signals to nearly the entire planet

RANGE FINDER

Cordless phones 500 ft. to 7,000 ft.

Family radio service Up to 3 miles

Citizens band Up to 5 miles

Mobile-phone networks 2 miles to 12 miles per cell tower


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