Can you imagine life without Wi-Fi? I am pretty sure that for many of us, life was just fine without wireless connection as recent as five years ago. With the sudden deluge of Wi-Fi compatible devices, though, life without Wi-Fi (the Internet) could very well be unimaginable for a lot of people today.
Think about it – when you go to a restaurant or a coffee shop, what is one of the first things you consider? When you book a hotel for a vacation, what is on the top of your list? I am willing to bet that Wi-Fi somewhere in there.
So technology has given us so much convenience, but we could all use faster Wi-Fi, right? If the guys at Stanford are successful, we just might enjoy Wi-Fi at double the speed. They have developed a technology that will allow the use of a single Wi-Fi channel to receive and transmit signals simultaneously. The technology is called antenna cancellation, and basically, it deals with the self-interference that occurs when transmitting and receiving on a single channel. The result? Possibly full duplex communication.
The implications of this technology are huge, especially for wireless providers. Even better, the technology is not limited to Wi-Fi – all radio communications can benefit from it.
At the moment, the technology still needs some work, especially with regard to making it commercially viable. The researchers mention the need for antenna separation, but also say that there is no theoretical limit as to the applications of the technology.
As for us consumers, we just need to wait till they get it out in the market, and we just might enjoy much faster wireless connections in the near future.
The Consumer Electronics Show always grabs the attention of tech enthusiasts the world over, and this year is no different. While not everything that is showcased is worth noticing, one can’t deny that some of the most interesting things can be found at the CES. Take TRENDnet’s newest technology dubbed GREENwifiTM for example. It holds the distinction of being the first embedded green wireless technology.
GREENwifiTM is part of TRENDnet’s already existing environment-friendly solutions, GREENnetTM. This networking technology is a wired switch-based solution that saves considerably on energy consumption by determining and providing the right amount of power to each connected device. When calculating the amount of electrical power to supply, the technology takes into consideration things such as the length of the Ethernet cable.
The new wireless technology is based on the same principles being used in the wired set up, with a few specific differences. The allocated power is significantly reduced in the following cases.
- When the wireless device is not connected to another device (such as a wireless router not being connected to a laptop)
- When the wireless device is connected but idle
Another consideration is the wireless signal strength. For example, if a laptop is very near the router and is receiving a strong signal, the router will reduce its power consumption.
Based on tests that TRENDnet has conducted, the whole system can offer up to 50% on savings. This is quite a feat, especially considering the amount of time that the average person spends on the Internet these days.
It’s a dream coming true, isn’t it? Most places you go nowadays, you can access the Internet via Wi-Fi. Most cafes are following the trend – even Starbucks, which has been resistant for quite some time. In some cities, the coverage is especially wide.
While this is pretty convenient for all of us, we should realize that using public Wi-Fi isn’t exactly the safest thing to do. Still, as long as you don’t access and transmit sensitive information, right? You might be wrong there – you cannot deny that there are many ways by which you can be prone to security issues when using Wi-Fi. With a little vigilance, though, you can make your access a little more secure.
Always use SSL, if possible.
That is, use HTTPS instead of HTTP. For example, when accessing Google, key in https://www.google.com/ instead of http://www.google.com/. The good news is that this is where Google is headed anyway. If you take a closer look, Gmail already uses HTTPS as a default. To make it even easier, check out HTTPS Everywhere, an add-on for Firefox.
Make sure your sharing settings are secure.
In other words, turn off all sharing! If you’re like me, you have certain files and folders that are shared for use at home. When you go out and use public Wi-Fi, however, it is better of you turn sharing off. How to do this? Go to Network and Internet -> Network and Sharing Center, then click Choose Homegroup and Sharing Options -> Change Advanced Sharing Settings.
Double check your firewall.
Sometimes, for one reason or another, I turn off my firewall at home. I don’t exactly remember the reasons, but I am pretty sure they were convincing at that time. Don’t take it for granted – operating systems come with basic firewall setups, but they can be your very first line of defense.
Funny and unique Wi-Fi names. Been there, done that, you may be thinking. And I totally get it. After all, we’ve been reading all sorts of Wi-Fi names over the years. Some of them truly creative. Many of them bordering on fail levels – if not that.
Recently, though a BBC entry caught my eye. With the use of the label “passive-aggressive”, how can you ignore the entry? It basically takes a look at the “rise” of the passive-aggressive Wi-Fi names. I am not too sure about the use of the word “rise”, as I think the trend has been going on for quite some time, now, but it sure inspired me to take a look at the Wi-Fi names that have been shared online.
I give you your Friday time waster – Wi-Fi names that are passive-aggressive, funny, and fail. [Read more…] about Wi-Fi Names: The Passive-Agressive, the Funny, and the Fail
What’s your favorite coffee?
I can’t give a single label as the answer, but there is no doubt that Illy is somewhere at the top of my list. While you can find so many other brands that are easier on the wallet, a good cup of Illy coffee does the trick for me.