Whether you’re a university student who needs to stay connected to truly keep with the flow of on-campus life in these times or a business traveler spending some time in Texas (or one of its hub airports), having a steady and reliable connection to the internet is an important part of daily life. And thankfully, being online from just about anywhere has gotten a lot easier in the past couple of years. Due to a boom in Wi-Fi hot spots as well as a number of new gadgets that make checking email and surfing the internet from just about anywhere possible, now there is no longer the need to worry about how you’re going to spend your time getting online if you’re out of the office, your home, or even your home state.
The first innovation in allowing people to move about more freely knowing that their internet service would continue to work well was the router-based wireless internet. Because it was focused on providing signal for a particular area, this version of wireless caught on very quickly in smaller spots where it made sense to count on a single router to get online. In a coffee shop, the common area of a dormitory for college students, or even in a small office, this version of Wi-Fi was able to do the trick. But the only trouble was–and is–with this form of wireless is that its range is severely limited. Even larger spaces where various routers are used to bounce the signal experience a serious lag time that occurs when more than one person is using the wireless internet to do some serious downloading or uploading.
But more than that, you have to realize that Wi-Fi has built-in limitations. If you are going to only be able to extend a network for a matter of feet, then you are not able to really think about moving about and getting around. And when every single passenger in the American Airlines terminal in the Forth Worth airport is trying to get online to enjoy the free Wi-Fi, the signal just simply isn’t going to be strong enough to support all of those computers.
That’s why it makes sense that so many people, be they local Texans and traveling business people or newly-relocated college students, are embracing the latest form of wireless, which operates on a 4G network and understands the need to branch out and provide more coverage. Borrowing a page from the mobile phone company playbook, this new version of wireless is capable of extending a signal from a single tower for upwards of 30 miles. That means that you could be all the way out in the suburbs online from your laptop, then jumping in your car and driving to your desk job in Dallas, where you can simply flip your computer open and have the exact same signal, just as strong as ever.
This innovation, known as WiMax, is making a big impression simply because it is a way that people are able to get online from anywhere, without having to spend a bunch of time reconfiguring their network settings or trying in vain to get a connection when there are too many other machines clogging the same connection.