The onset of wireless communications paved way for the aspect of mobility during communication, which is increasingly becoming a core requirement for organizations due to the nature of the present business environment. This implies that wireless communication is essential for any organization that is to remain competitive in the current business context (Bagad 41). There are various wireless technologies that organizations can adopt depending on the volume of data of the organization, the purpose for the wireless network such as voice and data, and the geographical scope of implementation. The significant challenge regarding the adoption of wireless technologies is that computer hardware is still a major barrier in the use of wireless networks (Bagad 87). This is because of the rapid advancements in wireless technologies, wireless technology standards and vulnerability to security threats. This paper reviews the kinds of hardware used in the implementation of wireless information systems and changes in computer and related hardware over the last few years that affected wireless networks. In addition, the paper also discusses the major wireless hardware issues that are currently unresolved and other things that are not hardware related that have to be taken to consideration when using wireless communications.
Reasons why computer hardware is still a major barrier in the wide use of wireless communications
One of the main reasons why computer hardware is still a major barrier in the wide use of wireless communication is the aspect of rapid advancements in the wireless technologies. Rapid technologies changes results to hardware improvements of the wireless technologies, as a result, hardware that were functioning in the old wireless networks standards are likely to face backward compatibility issues. For instance earlier standards of Wi-Fi are not compatible with the later standards of Wi-Fi, implying that users whose computers are equipped with earlier versions of Wi-Fi standards cannot access wireless networks that are implemented using the latest versions (Bates 47).
Wireless computer hardware has significant limitations regarding bandwidth compared to wired networks. As a result, wired connection is mostly preferred for mainstream connection compared to wireless communication. Another reason why computer hardware is still a major barrier to the wide use of wireless networks is that wireless hardware use Radio Frequency for data transmission, implying that there are more vulnerable to security threats at the physical layer. This is because Radio Frequency signals can be jammed, interfered and are limited for use within a given radius, imposing security vulnerabilities. Due to these potential security loopholes, the use of wireless networks is not widely accepted as secure communication method.
Major Kinds of hardware used in wireless information systems
The first kind of hardware used in the implementation of wireless information systems is the Wireless network adapters, which is needed for each computer on a wireless network. Wireless network adapters are sometimes embedded in laptops, although there are external adapters that can be used for desktops. Wireless network adapters are used for facilitating communication within the various wireless devices on the network (Bagad 78).
The second type of hardware required in the implementation of wireless networks is wireless routers. Wireless routers are used for facilitating central communication and implementation of access points whereby devices can connect to the network. Alternatively, access points can be used to facilitate connection between the wired network and the wireless network.
Changes in computer and related hardware that affect wireless communication
Advancements in computer and other related technology has affected the use of wireless communications systems. For instance, computer and communication devices are increasingly adopting the aspect of mobility by developing smaller devices that are portable. This is a significant milestone towards the use of wireless information systems.
In addition, wireless standards enhancements have played a significant role in enhancing the data rates and security of the various wireless network technologies (Bagad 74).
Major wireless issues currently unresolved
One of the significant issues associated that is yet to be resolved is the issue of data rate enhancements. Wireless networks are bandwidth limited, imposing significant communication constraints in applications that require high data volume (Caslow 85).
User security is also a significant wireless issue that is yet to be resolved; this is because the wireless networks security encryption standards such as the Wired Equivalent Privacy cannot address all the security vulnerabilities associated with wireless networks (Caslow 89).
Device compatibility is also a significant issue in wireless networks; this is because different wireless networks use different standards, which may in turn impose interoperability and compatibility issues within a wireless network.
Things other than hardware that need to be considered when using wireless networks
Wireless security is a significant concern that has to be taken into consideration when using wireless information systems. Various strategies should be implemented at the hardware and software level in order to enhance the security of the wireless networks. Implementing a wireless network means that one is creating multiple access points to the network since there is no method for controlling the transmission of wireless networks (Bagad 149). With regard to this, organizations have the need to implement the security and privacy policies regarding the ways in which the users can access the network. Implementing wireless security implies that the organization deploys various strategies aimed at limiting access to wireless networks (Bates 52). Some of the security and privacy issues associated with unauthorized access that organizations must put into consideration include accidental association, malicious association, ad hoc networks, identity theft, and man-in-the middle attacks. In addition, there are security concerns regarding attacks such as Denial of Service attacks, network injection and Caffe Latte attack (Bagad 147).
Another significant issue that has to be taken into consideration is low-power networking. Most wireless devices have significant limitations associated with the frequency range, size and throughput. These are significant bottlenecks towards the implementation of an effective wireless network. Depending on the spectrum technology deployed by the vendor, wireless network devices can sometimes be ineffective in terms of energy consumption and the resulting throughput of the entire wireless information system.
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Bates, Donald. Voice & data communications handbook. New York: McGraw Hill Professional, 2007.
Caslow, Andrew. Cisco Certification: Bridges, Routers & Switches for CCIEs. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall Pinters, 1998.