How should you Place the Wi-Fi Modem for Best Network Coverage?

WiFi Modem Placement - Asianet Broadband

Wireless modems work on radio waves using the 2.4g Hz slice of the electromagnetic spectrum. And regardless of what brand of Wi-Fi modem you use, where you place it, is what really matters. The placement impacts the quality of your connection throughout your home. As the modem emits signals in all directions, you need to ensure that your modem isn’t next to a wall. Brick and cement walls tend to slow down transmission of signals leading to those nail-biting moments as you wait for the site to load.

The further away your modem is from your device, the weaker the signal. Hence placing the modem in a central location would ensure the best connectivity. The signal strength depends on a number of factors including your home’s design, your modem, your ISP and various other household things that can interfere with signal transmission.

Here are some placement tips for optimal signals from your modem:

Central location

Since there is no end to the number of mobile gadgets that can be connected to the wireless modem, its location becomes key to optimal signal transmission. You could always get an extension Ethernet cable if it’s a limiting factor. And if that’s not possible, wall mounting your modem is another great option. If it’s a double-storey house, then try placing it on the second floor as radio waves tend to spread downwards, not upwards.

Remove obstacles

While radio waves travel through walls, a significantly weaker signal is received on the other side of brick walls as they tend to absorb part of it. The water in your large fish tank works in the same way by creating resistance for the signals. Metals and mirrors also tend to deflect signals so you need to be careful about your modem’s location.

Kitchen troubles

The kitchen is a hotspot for radio wave interference as appliances like the microwave work at the same radio frequency as the modem. When operating the microwave, it interferes with your Wi-Fi signals. Similarly, metal objects like the fridge, stove and other appliances absorb the Wi-Fi signals too. Even cordless phones work at the same frequency as modems and can interfere with its function. Unless needed, keep baby monitors, motion sensors, Bluetooth devices, etc, should be kept switched off.

Signal repeaters

If there are too many obstructions in your home, investing in signal repeaters might save you a lot of gnashing of teeth. These smaller features can be placed in strategic locations in your home to ensure strong Wi-Fi signals throughout.

Global Bandwidth Concentration

Global Bandwidth Concentration - Asianet Broadband

The rampant expansion of internet services globally has enhanced the development and application of information and communication technologies worldwide. This has resulted in a lot of important changes in both the social and commercial sectors. The world has become smaller with maintaining virtual relations and businesses via the internet, adding a whole new dimension to life and work.

Social networking sites enable people to stay in touch and promote rapid dispersal of information on an international scale within a very short time. Internet technology has also enhanced business and commercial communications, both domestically as well as at the international level. There is less wastage of time and resources in sharing important and confidential information, making transactions more simplified.

According to a study by the International Telecommunication Union, broadband subscriptions have been on the rise globally, with some regions and countries showing greater concentrations. However, while counting the numbers, one needs to keep the population of the country in mind too. Currently, Gibraltar has the highest concentration of fixed broadband subscriptions, percentage-wise. (Fixed broadband here refers to internet access via satellite, cable, fibre, DSL, etc). This is closely followed by Falkland Islands, Netherland, Denmark, France and South Korea, respectively. Number-wise, the highest concentration is in China followed by the USA, Japan, Germany and France. India, however, holds the 10th position for the greatest concentration of broadband users, even though it is the second most populous country. Percentage-wise however, it’s dismally low.

Worldwide broadband subscriptions have also been on the rise over the years with fixed broadband users in developed nations standing at 18% in 2007, and rising to 27% in 2014. In developing countries, it went up from 2% in 2007 to 6% in 2014.

As far as regions go, Africa has the lowest percentage of broadband subscriptions, standing at 0.4% in 2014. The highest density was seen in Europe, standing at 28%. The Americas were second, having a 17% concentration while the Commonwealth of Independent States stood at 14% in 2014. Asia and the Pacific regions stood at 8% while the Arab states had the second lowest concentration of subscriptions, standing at 3% as of 2014. As bandwidth concentration has been on the rise globally, year-on-year, the values given above have gone up much higher than mentioned in the aforementioned study.

Global internet network density was less than Tbps in 2002 and by 2011, it stood at 55Tbps. This figure is expected to have doubled by now, however. Global internet bandwidth transfers are believed to be a good indicator of transnational internet traffic flows, connecting countries more deeply.

What is a MAC Address?

What is MAC Address - Asianet Broadband

There are millions of internet-enabled devices around the world, and each one needs to be identified uniquely. It was for this reason that the MAC (Media Access Control) address was created. Just as you would put a specific address on a letter sent in the mail, similarly, when you send out any data from your internet-enabled device like a PC or an I-phone, it will be sent to a unique address specific to the computer on a network.

A MAC ID or address is a unique hardware identification number that puts an identifier on each device on a network. The MAC address is manufactured and imprinted onto each device’s network card – such as the Ethernet card, Wi-Fi or wireless network card or Bluetooth. It’s sometimes also known as the ‘burned-in’ address (BIA) or the Ethernet hardware address (EHA).

Since there are millions of networkable devices across the globe, each MAC address has to have a very wide range of address possibilities. For this purpose, the MAC addresses are formed in accordance with the rules of the three numbering system with spaces in between. This is managed independently by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). The full MAC address consists of 6-bytes (48-bits) in length and consists of the following format:

MM:MM:MM:SS:SS:SS

These six sets of hexadecimal digits may be divided by a colon or a hyphen. The first three set of bytes (MM) are unique ID numbers of the manufacturer of the product and assigned by an internet standards body. For example manufacturers like Apple, Dell and Cisco come with their own unique identifier numbers in the MAC address. The next sets of three digits (SS) are assigned by the manufacturer. Not only this, your computer may have more than one MAC address – in cases where your computer has an Ethernet as well as a wireless port. Your smartphone could also have two MAC addresses – one wireless and one Bluetooth address each.

You will next want to know the significance of this MAC address. Well, it becomes important when you are having trouble connecting with a network or if your computer has been hacked. The repair folks will need the code to get your system operational again.

The MAC ID also garners significance when trying to recover data. You can also use it to prevent strangers from accessing your network by setting your router to only accept specific MAC addresses.

MAC addresses generally cannot be modified or changed, as they are defined by the manufacturer. However, it’s possible to change the IP address of MAC addresses and certain security agencies use this to track specific people’s movements.

Similarities between the Internet and the Intranet

Compare Internet and Intranet - Asianet Broadband

Computerization networks and the internet have taken over modern-day life to a very extensive level. A situation has been created where it’s impossible to get anything done without referring to the internet first – be it at work or at home. The World Wide Web has also introduced numerous terminologies; two common ones that stick out are the internet and the intranet; though they are similar-sounding, they are two different entities.

Internet

It is available to every person on a global scale. Anyone can access it for uploading and downloading files. It consists of a global interconnection of networks from different computers globally and consists of numerous sources of information. These connections are governed by a standard protocol such as IP (internet protocol) or TCP-IP with each computer having a separate IP address. Aside from this, there is the DNS (Domain Name Server) which gives a name to an IP address.

Interestingly, an internet can consist of numerous intranets.

Intranet

Intranet, on the other hand, consists of a smaller system of private interconnected computers within an organization. The intranet could be designed for use within a school, a company or some government office. It enables sharing of information and files within a defined area among a bunch of PCs – such as within a company’s secured website. An intranet only offers specific web information.

An intranet offers greater security as well as easy access, management and maintenance of data. This data is hidden from the public and only available to the organization’s employees.

The internet is a public network while the intranet is a private one. They are however interconnected as the intranet is a part of the internet. Now that you have an idea of how they both function, take a look at factors that make them similar… aside from their similar sounding names!

Similarities between the internet and intranet

-Both the internet and the intranet need an IP (internet protocol) address for communication purposes. These include protocols like the FTP and TCP-IP.

-Both have instant messaging platforms. The intranet has a messaging service similar to G-Talk or yahoo messenger.

-Both need to be accessed through a web browser. Both have websites – with intranet users also needing a customized web browser to access their own specific hosted websites.

-Both use similar security features enabling data encryption and decryption, as well as a firewall. Intranet users might use different encryption techniques, however, to protect their data further.

Though there are differences exist between the two also, at the end of the day, the intranet servers are dependent on the internet too.

Is Access to the Internet a ‘Human Right’?

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While it’s common to joke about people spending too much time on the internet and ‘webaholism’, the internet has become an integral part of daily living. At the same time, it has also lead to the introduction of a plethora of new nomenclature in the medical field related to syndromes and medical conditions associated with over-use of the internet.

However, taking away or disrupting a person’s internet access is now considered wrong and contrary to international law. So much so that taking it away from a person is akin to the human rights violation. At least that’s what the UN Human Rights Council says. Access to broadband is no longer a luxury, but a necessity – and every person deserves to exercise his/her right to freedom of opinion or speech through the internet.

Countries like Sweden, Finland, Greece, Spain, France, Costa Rica, Estonia, Canada, etc, have made net connectivity a human right factor for its people and ensure that internet access is available to them. The worst violator of this ‘rights’ is believed to be North Korea where only about 4% of its citizens are suspected to have internet access.

Unfortunately, many countries are also opposing this UN resolution of 2016, including countries like Russia, China, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cuba, Pakistan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, South Africa – and India too, ranking at number 47. There are numerous benefits to the use of the internet; one important facility offered by the internet is the vast opportunity for affordable education globally as well as access to so much information on almost any topic.

It offers sustainable development with the great potential of accelerating human progress and development. The internet offers you access to the latest news, both local and global, access to unlimited information, offers you job-hunting opportunities, access to shopping online for things that aren’t available locally as well as helping you make banking transactions and pay bills from within the comfort of your home. There doesn’t seem to be a limit to the number of things you can do with the internet, making it an essential factor in life.

In March 2017, Kerala announced its intention of becoming the first state in India to make the internet accessible to all its indigenes. Kerala in india has declared the right to Internet access as a basic human right. The state plans to offer free internet connectivity to economically-backwards indigenes and subsidized rates to others. It has launched a big campaign for its e-literacy program called ‘Akshaya’ to empower those without network connectivity.

With the government heading towards e-governance and cashless transactions, it’s now even more important to have access to the internet.

Different Types of Modems

Different Types of Modems - Asianet Broadband

To begin with, the word modem is actually an abbreviation for the words ‘Modulator’ and ‘Demodulator’. A modem is an electronic device that is used to transfer data from one computer network to another. Modems are capable of converting digital signals from the transmitting computer, into analogue signals before sending them. At the same time, they are also capable of converting analogue signals into digital signals when at the receiving end.

The modulator converts digital signals into analogue signals at the transmitting stage while a demodulator works along the lines of converting analogue signals into digital signals at the receiving end. This whole process is known as digitization. The data is converted using a Data Terminal Equipment (DTE) at both ends.

They can easily use switched telephone circuits or a dedicated circuit to achieve the data transfer. When a switched telephone circuit is used, the modem is connected to the local telephone exchange and data transmission is established through the telephone exchange.

Here’s a look at some of the different types of modems available:

Half-Duplex Modem

In these modems, the signals can travel in either direction, but transmission can only happen in one direction at any given time. Such modems can only send or receive signals at any single given time and need more bandwidth to function. The speeds for data communication are also slow.

Full-Duplex Modem

Unlike the half-duplex, the full-duplex modems can transmit in both directions simultaneously and make use of two carrier frequencies. It also enables utilization of higher speeds.

2-Wire Modem

Such modems use a single pair of wires for both the outgoing and incoming carriers. Since only one pair of wires is leased and extended into the subscriber’s location, it also comes out cheaper.

4-Wire Modem

The 4-wire modems have separate wires for incoming and outgoing carriers. Data transmission can be done on half or full duplex mode here. Also, the same carrier frequency can be used for both incoming and outgoing as the physical path (wire) is separate here.

Synchronous Modem

Here, the data is transmitted in frames along with synchronization bits; this ensures that there are timely transmission and reception of signals. Synchronous modems are usually used with dedicated leased lines.

Asynchronous Modem

While transferring data through such modems, every byte is positioned in-between a start and stop bit. Accordingly, it lacks the timing signal or clock signal between the modem and DTE. However, it can successfully manage a continuous flow of data bits as long as a clock signal is used.
Other types of modems include the Ethernet modems, wireless modems as well as modems using a combination of the two afore-mentioned technologies.

Cyber Safety Information

Cyber Safety Tips - Asianet Broadband

The internet is one of the best resources available to us. But just like the proverbial serpent in the Garden of Eden, danger lurks behind this splendid resource too. Most users, especially the younger ones, are unaware of the extent to which scammers and hackers would go to collect vital information off them. It’s up to the users to be wary and use the internet with precaution.

Here is a brief guide to cyber safety:

Identity theft

This happens when someone steals another one’s identity by accessing their personal information and using it for wrongful gains. The easiest way scammers can steal your identity is by accessing your Aadhaar card information, credit card information, bank account information, important passwords, etc. Be cautious what information you share online.

Passwords

Passwords are used to protect almost everything on your computer – including important files, documents and personal information. This makes it imperative you make your passwords as strong and effective as possible. Create a password that doesn’t contain any personal information like names, initials or birthdays, as hackers can easily get into it. Go for lengthy passwords that hold relevance to you but are gibberish to others. Use different passwords for different accounts and change them at regular intervals.

Phishing

This refers to a form of online scamming where one’s personal information is retrieved and used for harming them. Known as phishers, they usually lure their victims into opening fake emails or websites that seem harmless enough. Phishers typically ask for personal information including username, passwords, credit card numbers, date of birth, etc. These emails will usually purport to be from some respectable organization and sport a nearly identical email/web address. Avoid filling forms, or clicking on links in emails or instant messages from sources that look dubious – even if they appear to provide a secure website.

Plagiarism

This refers to the wrongful appropriation and purloining of someone else’s work and presenting them as their own original ideas. Directly copying someone else’s work is a very serious offence and can even land you in court with heavy fines or expulsion from academic institutions and places of employment.

Computer viruses

This refers to computer programs that can replicate themselves and spread from one computer to another. Be careful when downloading files from the internet as they may have viruses attached to them – and only open those files that look safe. Your best bet is to install strong anti-virus software that can filter out these vermin.
Be careful what information you share on the web and who you interact with online – privacy is just an illusion on the internet!

What is Wireless Application Protocol?

WAP - Asianet Broadband

The world of web-related technologies includes a number of protocols. One of these is the Wireless Application Protocol or WAP. As per the dictionary, the definition is as follows:

Wireless

Without the use of wires or wires for the use of radio transmission

Application

A computer program or software which is designed to do a specific task

Protocol

A set of rules pertaining to the reception and transmission of information from computers.

WAP is the worldwide standard for delivering a set of communication protocols (internet communication and telephony services) on smartphones, personal digital assistants, pagers and other wireless devices. These could be for the purpose of accessing emails, the World Wide Web, instant messaging or even news.

To simplify matters further, WAP refers to the set of rules governing the transmission of data by computer applications onto wireless devices like your mobile phone. WAP allows these wireless devices to access specifically designed pages from the internet with plain text and simple black and white pictures.

This technology is optimized for:

  • Low display capability
  • Low memory
  • Low bandwidth devices

It is applicable on PDAs (personal digital assistants), wireless phones and pagers. WAP is a standardized technology that is designed to scale across a wide range of wireless networks ranging from GSM, IS-95, IS-196 and PDC.

The Wireless Application Protocol formation is as a direct result of the joint efforts of giant companies like Motorola, Ericsson, Nokia and Unwired Planet. These companies took the initiative to set-up a rapid creation of a standard for providing advanced services within the wireless domain. By December 1997, the WAP Forum was formally launched and by April 1998, WAP 1.0 was made available to the public.

The Forum now has over 500 members, but the initial founders (Ericsson, Nokia and Motorola) are still a very much part of the forum. The eventual aim of the forum is to offer a license-free standard which provides information and telephony services to all wireless devices.

Before the advent of WAP, the computer was used as a computer and the phone was used as a phone. Surfing the net, emails and social media could all be accessed, but only on the computer. But with the advent of WAP, the mobile phone can also be used to access a vast amount of data resources via the internet, making the phone a very convenient communication tool.

And since WAP is an open and secure space, it is also suitable for accessing other varied applications including weather forecasts, stock market updates as well as games and enterprise data.

How Does a Wireless Router Work with a Modem?

Modem and Router - Asianet Broadband

With the internet being so much a part of daily life, there is no doubt that words like modem and router have been part of your vocabulary for some time now. However, while most people may know the words, understanding the real deal behind them is what really matters.

Routers and modems are among the two most commonly used devices connected to a computer. The major components of a computer system include a PC and/or some wireless devices, a modem, a router and an internet source. In most cases, the modem and router come as separate entities, but to tie in things neatly, there is a hybrid device that consists of both the modem and router in one unit.

While the modem and router look similar, their functions are entirely different, but not too difficult to understand. A router comes as a small box wired to the modem, allowing multiple computers and internet devices to join the same network. It is commonly used in homes and small businesses. While the router connects to the modem, the modem connects to the internet, which could be as coaxial cables or DSL phone lines – thus connecting the computers on it to the internet source.

The early routers came with several Ethernet ports to provide connectivity to various devices, but the current generation of wireless routers allows multiple computers and devices to get linked to the network via one or two moveable antennas. Connecting to a router might get you access to a local area network (LAN), but that doesn’t mean you are getting access to the internet. To access the internet, the router has to be connected to the modem first. For this reason, all routers come with a specific Ethernet port designed to connect with the Ethernet port on a modem.

The router works by routing the internet–bound traffic from various devices to the modem and keeps track of the internal traffic such as computer-to-computer or computer-to-printer internalized within the network.

The modem, on the other hand, works as a bridge between the internet and your local network. It establishes contact with the internet service and converts signals from and to the router as needed. The modem connects to a cable port on the wall to access the ISP. And by connecting to the modem, your wireless router connects all the devices to the modem. The router provides a local IP address to each device connected to it, but all the devices will have the same external IP address as provided by your ISP.

Distinguish between Intranet and Extranet

Intranet and Extranet - Asianet Broadband

Technology is being used in every hemisphere of life and there is no end to the kind of nomenclature the internet world throws at you. While intranet and extranet are both methods of accessing the web, they are increasingly becoming more popular with businesses bent on securing their data. Here’s a look at the factors distinguishing these two networks.

Intranet

To begin with, intranets are private networks that are available to only the members of an organization. They are also connected to the internet but are insulated from the global network by a customized secure web browser to access a limited number of websites.

The intranet mainly consists of a number of interconnected computers of a company or organization. Data can be shared securely within this network and is usually used for streamlining day-to-day activities, help organize employees and data, internal memos, company policies, company news, in-house applications, etc. They basically save a lot of time and paperwork for the organization, while maintaining security for the online web information. The intranet portal contains all the information needed by the company staff to keep the organization running smoothly.

To operate the intranet, an IP, FTP and firewall are needed just like with the internet. It’s also very effective for remote employees to access the intranet away from the traditional office setting; however, a VPN is needed. This ensures that all communication between the two systems is encrypted and safe. With companies getting more decentralized, intranets are increasingly gaining more importance in the business arena.

Extranet

To understand this better, the word needs to be broken down. The ‘extra’ in the extranet refers to anything that’s important to the business, but exists outside it; this could mean vendors, clients, suppliers, etc.

This makes the extranet a private virtual extension of the intranet and enables private communication, collaboration and sharing of data and documents between two organizations. Large volumes of data can be exchanged between the company and its clients/vendors and can save a lot of time spent on the phone, emails, etc. It can enable companies to track consignments or brainstorm back and forth with their clients, suppliers or vendors within a secure network.

An extranet can, therefore, be defined as a full-fledged virtual interactive community that includes the company and its clients and customers.

Differences between Intranet and Extranet

The major difference between the two is that an intranet allows its employees to work together in a virtual space without involving any outsiders. An extranet, on the other hand, allows businesses to have controlled access to clients and vendors too.