There are several types of wifi hardware available in market which enable us to connect to Wi-Fi Networks around the area. Earlier when WiFi was first started commercially, there were not many devices came built with Wifi network card (Wireless card) which helps connects to wifi network. But now every handset device on mobile comes with Wifi, Laptops comes with built in Wireless connectivity feature, desktop computers comes along with wireless connectivity enabled motherboards. Following are few products which provide connectivity to Hotspots.
Desktop Wireless Wi-Fi Cards
Desktop wireless wifi cards enable desktop computers to connect to wi-fi network available in the area. Wifi network provides hight speed internet if available and can share files with in the clients in the network. This kind of network is mostly used in Colleges and Universities, libraries etc. WiFi desktop cards are mostly plugged in Mother board on PCI slot. Some mother board comes with built in wifi connectivity. External USB Wifi dongle are available in market which works plug and play. All is required to plug usb dongle in usb slot even during the computer is powered on.
Laptop / Notebook Wireless Wi-Fi Cards
WiFi cards uses in laptops / notebooks to connect to wireless internet around through Wifi network. Every laptops now comes with built in Wifi enable feature. Old model laptops which did not come along with built in wifi wireless card can plug in wifi PCMCI slot card to connect to hotspot
Wireless Wi-Fi Routers
Wireless WiFi routers is used to connect clients( having WiFi cards ) with server. Wifi router is attached to server and configure with IP address or in some cases just with internet connection. Now this IP helps connect clients to the server for High speed internet and file sharing with server and other clients. Routers are mostly used when server is expected to handle multiple clients at given time.
Wireless Wi-Fi USB Adapters
There is easy solution for Desktop / laptop owners who do not have wifi card already into their systems, they can use USB Wifi dongle which connects to USB port on systems and performs as WiFi cards. However USB wifi drive comes with relevantly lesser data transfer capability and lesser range.
Handhelds and PDAs
Almost all handsets and PDAs/ Smartphone manufactures install Wireless network card to their products. PDA’s are pretty much out of business now and smartphones have taken the entire mobile industry. These mobile devices scans WiFi network around, if found can connect to network for Surfing and file sharing.
Technologically advances and gadgets shows up in market. Every now and then there is something new heating up wireless industry all the time. But products mentioned above are the ones that are going to stay for sometime before some new wireless equipment takes over them.