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Networking ?Unplugged!

o, this is in no way related to MTV ?Unplugged! But, like the music channel that enables you to have a blast, this technology also helps you to have a blast thanks to the limitless possibilities it provides.

Technology has made inroads into every nook and corner of our lives. It has helped us to make our work and home more organised, efficient and comfortable. Among the gadgets available to us for instant information and communication are personal digital organisers, laptops, mobiles, etc. With the advent of Wireless Networking (Wi-Fi), technology has added one more feather to its cap!

So, what’s great about this technology? The big advantage of Wi-Fi is its simplicity. It provides mobility and connectivity to users at the same time. No more wires to worry about, and hence no mess. You can connect computers anywhere in your home or office without the need for wires. The computers link up with the network using radio signals, and computers can be up to 100 feet or so apart. In an office environment, where standard cabling is a problem, wireless is the way to go. It provides ease of management of PCs for offices having dynamic seating arrangements.

How does this work? It operates in two modes ?Adhoc Mode (peer-to-peer), where two or more PCs/laptops with wireless adapter connect to each other; and Infrastructure Mode, where you have an access point (a device which connects to the network and also has a radio transmitter), which acts as the hub for all the wireless enabled devices. The latest laptops come with inbuilt wireless adapters, which can be configured to connect to access points. Configuring the accesses for this device is very simple and straightforward.

There are many public places such as airports, hotels, etc., which provide accessibility to the Internet via access points (Hotspots). You can directly connect your laptops to these Hotspots and access e-mail, websites, etc. Intel has come up with a list of Hotspot providers, which have been tested for compatibility with the Intel Centrino laptops. These service providers have subscriptions for connecting to their networks via Hotspots and also have pay-and-use facilities.

We have already done the wireless installation in Godrej Infotech Ltd. (Plant 10), and the comfort and performance of the system is almost the same as before, if not better. Around 70 users have been distributed between two access points, and all kinds of applications from e-mail to workflow are being used on this network.

With time, more and more devices will be moving towards adapting this new technology, and, in the near future, we may become the un-wired users of a wired world!

Prosanjit Mallick
Operations and Technology Group
Godrej Infotech Ltd.