The word network is a simple word of seven letters, but is it that simple? Let's take a broader look to understand it rightly. If putting it simply, whenever we think of or talk about some inter-connected stuff or location, we refer it as a network. But why? The network is a term coming from Information Technology, and it is one of the core terms of IT on which the industry relies the most. In IT, a group of devices that can communicate with each other using a link is called a network. We call these devices as hosts, and all the hosts have their unique identity addresses.

As we can say now, a combination of different devices is a network. A combination of these networks is called the internet. Of course, all of these networks have a unique identity address. It works like the address of the network and then the address of the device. There can be an infinite number of networks on the internet as long as they have a unique identity. That is the reason we see the internet as a single network.

Why do we need a Network and the Internet?

We could not just connect devices. We needed some sort of solution and protocol, and the network was that solution. In the same way, we could not just connect and make them communicate networks together. We needed some systematic way of doing that. The internet comes knocking answering all our questions. Now we connect multiple devices through a network and connect those networks through the internet. Although there are various ways of connecting the networks. When talking about networks, it has many benefits like:

  • Heterogeneity: There are hundreds of networks on the internet, but every network that appears on the internet does not have the same type or address. All of them have a different and unique address and type.
  • Performance: Networking has become very fast and performance-oriented. Segmentation of the networks through routers increase the performance in most of the cases.
  • Security: On the internet, we can configure routers to allow only certain traffic to access the network.

Major Networking Concepts

There are some major concepts of networking that everyone who wants to learn it should know. Let's look into those major concepts of networking.

  1. Layers

According to a study, if a complex system is designed in layers, a human can easily understand it. It is the concept behind layering. The Internet is a complex thing, so it is divided into four layers that are, Application layer, Transport layer, Network layer, and Link layer. All of these layers have their purpose and work. Combining these layers makes up the internet for us.

  1. Packets

There are two types of switching in networking. One is circuit switching, in which data is sent through the pre-divided dedicated route between the sender and the receiver. Another one is packet switching. In packet switching, the data is broken in packets and distributed throughout the network to be sent.

  1. Routing

Routing, as one can assume from the name, is the process of deciding the path from source to destination with the help of routing algorithms.  The routing algorithm designs the route in a way that no router is over or underpopulated. Proper routing helps you increase the performance of the process, and you can configure it for better security as well.

  1. Security

Security is a big concern when we talk about the internet. As we know, it is a shared resource among many users. It needs to be secured to ensure the safety of the network. There can be attacks if there is even a little loophole in the security, and all the users can be at risk. We need to know how to defend these attacks and prevent them from happening in the very first place. Cryptography can be used to stop these attacks.

Introduction to WIFI

It is the protocol of wireless networking that is used to communicate devices without using any direct cable connection. It is a type of local area network that is wireless and follows the protocol 802.11 IEEE network standard. It is a popular network in the modern era to access internet connectivity, and all the latest devices are designed to work with it.

Advantages and Disadvantages of WIFI

Everything in this world has some advantages and some disadvantages. So is the case with WIFI. There are some pros and cons of wifi that we are going to discuss here. One thing is there to keep in mind, over engagement with anything can have disastrous effects on us.

  • Advantages
  • The significant advantage wifi has to offer is the convenience to connect to the internet from anywhere we are. We just need to have wifi signal detection in our device, and these locations and distances are increasing day by day.
  • It helps us increase productivity by keeping us in touch all the time.
  • It is expandable. No matter how many devices you connect with it, it works, keeping in mind the bandwidth of the network.
  • It provides us with mobility, and now we do not need to stay at the office to communicate. We can keep moving and working all together.
  • Disadvantages
  • The range is an issue when it comes to WIFI connectivity. Signals have a limited range that becomes problematic sometimes.
  • As we know, signals and data of wifi travel through the air, and it can easily be intercepted. Security is an issue in wifi connectivity, but using encryption technology can solve the problem to some extent.
  • There can be disruption in the wifi signals due to the home appliances like a refrigerator or microwave oven.

How WIFI Works?

WiFi is nothing but the transmission and receiving of wireless signals. Most of the time, there is a router for this purpose that receives wireless signals from a remote location and transmits them to the devices. A phone or a tablet can also be utilized to receive the signals and broadcast them to other devices through hotspot configuration.

In a typical house, there is a router for this purpose. Regardless of how the wifi is being used, the result of wifi is always a wireless signal that helps devices to connect with the main transmitter. The range and strength of the signal rely on the bandwidth of the network you are using.

You can get all the knowledge and information about networking and different bandwidths by acquiring Cisco certifications. Enroll in our Cisco online training to get started.

What is Bandwidth?

The data transfer rate between two devices through a wired or wireless network is called bandwidth. It is usually measured as the amount of data transferred in one second. There are multiple bandwidths available. Now it is up to your needs which one you choose to have. Let's see which one is the best under the light of performance.

Which Bandwidth is the Best?

When choosing the channel bandwidth for a wifi network, the only thing to consider is that the data rate depends on the channel bandwidth. The transfer rate will be as high as the channel bandwidth. We commonly have three options to choose from that are 20MHz, 40MHz, and 80MHz. One more thing to notice is that higher bandwidths do not have support available as the lower ones do. So we sometimes have to compromise the high speed and go with the better-supported bandwidth.

  • 20MHz Bandwidth

As for today, most of the wifi customers use it for video streaming, and the bandwidth they use is 20MHz with a frequency of 2.4GHz. As there is a large amount of non-overlapping channels in 20MHz, you will not face any problem doing anything, and the internet speed you get is uninterrupted. There is a recommendation to use 2.4GHz frequency with a channel bandwidth of 20MHz and not the 5GHz.

  • 40MHz Bandwidth

If you need a data transfer rate higher than what you are getting at the 20MHz channel, you can always go for 40MHz channel bandwidth. In 40MHz, you will not get as many channels as 20MHz, but you can still get 12 non-overlapping channels if you use it with a frequency of 5MHz. You can use this channel bandwidth with 2.4GHz and 5GHz both.

  • 80MHz Bandwidth

If you need a higher data transfer rate, you should go for 80MHz. But you are likely to find congestion when there is even a little traffic. Because there are not enough non-overlapping channels for you to operate within. So, it is more likely that you will face the channel interference. If you are in not so crowded place, then you can go for 80MHz.

Clearing the Channel

Clearing the channel is a must-do practice for everyone. You can clear the channel by using peripheral devices that are low-bandwidth when there is no need for higher bandwidth. It includes printers, scanners, and other devices that can connect to your network. You just need to set up these devices at 2.4GHz and set your computer at the 5GHz, and that will do the trick for you.

Our wireless networks operate mostly on two frequencies that are 2.4GHz and 5GHz. It can be different for every other network out there. 2.4GHz is the most used frequency that almost every other wireless network uses. Between the 5GHz and 2.4GHz, the later gets crowded most of the time, whereas the former one has relief from this problem. All of this looks confusing and complex, but it can be made easy by taking Cisco online training as there are a lot of certification courses available regarding everything about networking.

Channel Bandwidth for 2.4GHz

Talking about 2.4GHz frequency as we know that most of the networks have this frequency. So which bandwidth suits the 2.4GHz frequency the most? There are 20MHz, 40MHz, and 80MHz of channel bandwidth, and for a 2.4GHz frequency, 20MHz bandwidth would be the most beneficial. As we know, in 20MHz bandwidth there are a lot of non-overlapping channels that disregard the chance of any congestion.

Channel Bandwidth for 5GHz

5GHz is the frequency, not all the networks have, due to the less amount of non-overlapping channels. There is always a threat of channel interference when working with 5GHz. This frequency can work well with the 40MHz channel and 20MHz channel, but the problem remains the congestion. If that problem is cut through, 5GHz is a much faster frequency than 2.4GHz and works well with networks.

About 160MHz

As we have discussed earlier, the data transfer rate depends on the channel bandwidth. And by that logic, 160MHz should have the fastest data transfer rate. But that is not the case because when you try to use 160MHz channel bandwidth, it will create congestion with other networks, especially if you have neighbors. Their network will keep getting interrupted, and neither you nor them will be able to access the internet. An 802.11 ac router will be required, if you want to use 160 MHz that too with two channels of 80MHz. And as we have discussed earlier, the 80MHz channel itself faces the problem of congestion.

To conclude all the discussion about which channel bandwidth to use, and which frequency to use with that channel bandwidth, it depends on the needs and circumstances. If your operation requires a higher data transfer and you go for the 40MHz or 80MHz channel bandwidth, other conditions should be met as well. Otherwise, you will become the victim of congestion and face network interference. Which will make your operations worse. So, the basic idea is to find a combination of channel bandwidth and frequency but with keeping the conditions and circumstances in mind. You can go with the 20MHz channel with a frequency of 2.4GHz, the most suitable with no threat of congestion. If the data transfer rate is that bigger problem, you can go for a 40MHz channel with 2.4GHz frequency, as it will have enough non-overlapping channels.

Talk to our experts for more information.