Who doesn’t love free WiFi? Although we use it often, we rarely think about how it works. If you’ve ever wondered, here’s how…Wifi is an energy field that is transmitted as waves. The waves have a certain height, distance between them and travel at a certain speed. The distance between wifi waves is shorter than that of radio waves and longer than that of microwaves, giving wifi a unique transmission band that can’t be interrupted by other signals. This image shows an idealized wifi data transmitted over a band that is divided into different sub-channels, which are shown in red, yellow, green and other colors.
The wifi pulses are shown here as multicolored spheres radiating out from the source, near the right of the image. Wifi transmitters are basically an antenna equipped with a transmission protocol that splits the frequency band into several segments, referred to as channels. Data can be transmitted over each channel or in order to send and receive greater quantities of data at faster rates. Although color represents its own unique, visible segment of the electromagnetic spectrum, we use red, orange, yellow and other colors to show the invisible wifi channels that make up the overall wifi signal. Wifi fields are usually spherical (like the one here) or ellipsoidal and extend about 20-30 meters, assuming a typical off the shelf wifi box.