Wifi gives us the power to send huge amounts of data through the air. Wi-Fi is a type of electromagnetic radiation; part of the gang that includes visible light, radio waves, x-rays and gamma-rays. Unlike gamma rays, Wi-Fi won’t turn you in to the Incredible Hulk and it does allow you to check your emails on the toilet.
The interesting thing about electromagnetic radiation is that it’s kind of like the force from Star Wars. So, the different types of electromagnetic radiation are pretty similar. But, what makes them different is the length of their waves.
Its wavelength is about 12 centimeters and it bounces around too little for us to see. If we could see all the Wi-Fi in a city, it would look like a massive field of big top circus tents and if we could see all the electromagnetic radiation at once, we wouldn’t see anything. Everything would just be a blur.
Wi-Fi waves are relatively big and it tends to be waves on the nano scale that have the potential to cause damage. Wi-Fi travels out from its source, it’s affected by the objects it encounters. If there are a lot of Wi-Fi signals near you, parts of your signal could be delayed by them, bumping into those making your pages load in a more jittery way.
Interestingly, you can actually buy Wi-Fi paint which blocks other signals from interfering with your Wi-Fi signal. In this case, you’ve protected your Wi-Fi signal and it’s coming through strong.
Simply put, Wi-Fi is essentially just carrying a set of instructions which tell your computer what to do to each pixel on your screen. The instructions are turned into a code which only needs two different modes; on and off. Electromagnetic radiation travels at the speed of light. So, even something really complex, can be transmitted super quickly.
Those two different states; the on and off can be coded into the wave, in a lot of ways. For Wi-Fi, each sent signal has a six digit code and a change in height and the starting place of the wave determines whether the digit is on or off. Between gaps of no signal, so wiggle 1 might be off wiggle 2 might be on, wiggle pattern might be a,etc plus the gaps between the pulses separate the wave symbols just like spaces between words, meaning really complicated instructions can be sent with ease, read by your computer and understood.
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