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WiFi-nitions

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Bluetooth: A technology developed by Sony Ericsson, which allows devices like mobile phones, laptops, PDAs and digital cameras to wirelessly exchange information. Broadband: Also known as “broadband Internet access,” or “broadband Internet”; a high-speed connection to the Internet that is able to transmit large amounts of data very quickly. Hot spot: A Wi-Fi access point, which allows users with properly outfitted computers to access the Internet without wires. Line of sight: 1. In long-distance Wi-Fi applications, the need for the Wi-Fi antenna to be visible from the receiving antenna and vice versa in order for the system to work. 2. A great hindrance to the further development and success of Wi-Fi. Personal digital assistant: Commonly referred to as a PDA; a small, handheld electronic device that allows a user to access and retrieve information. Increasingly Wi-Fi compatible; may soon replace the mobile phone. Wardriving: The act of driving around in an automobile and using a laptop equipped with a powerful antenna to detect previously unknown wireless hotspots. Wi-Fi: The common term for the process by which a user with a properly outfitted computer or other digital device can access the Internet without wires when in the coverage area of a wireless access point. Wi-Max: A forthcoming technology which promises to replace Wi-Fi; faster and cheaper than Wi-Fi, with a greater range and fewer line-of-sight problems. Wireless card: Also called a “Wireless Network Interface Card,” or WNIC; a wireless antenna which allows a laptop or other device to connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot. Often built into modern laptops and PCs, this can also appear as a small device the size of a credit card which inserts into a port in the computer.

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