Internet & Communication - Wifi

Wifi in Andalucia, pronounced
Wifi in Andalucia, pronounced "wee-fee"

Wifi in Andalucia

WiFi and Hot Spots are becoming easier to find in Andalucia. Described on a discussion about the latest technology on Radio 4 recently, the advent of WiFi was described as lying somewhere between 'Armageddon and Utopia'. With office space at a premium, more and more people are taking to the streets, cafes, libraries, hotels and other public places to get on line, without so much as a plug in sight.

WiFi (Wireless Fidelity - sometimes known as Wireless Networking, is a way of transmitting fast information in wave form and is most commonly used with laptops. It works through a wireless local area network that uses high frequency radio signals to transmit and receive date over distance of a few hundred feet using Ethernet protocol. The term Wi-Fi (a play on the old term hi-fi - high fidelity) has been around for around 4 years. This wireless networking set up took off big time when Starbucks and Microsoft got together to offer Wi-Fi access in the high street coffee shops in America in spring 2001.

If you feel burdened with having to learn all this new jargon, look on the bright side. WiFi was initially revealed to the public in 1999 as 'the IEEE 802.11 High Rate (HR) Standard'!

For setting up your own site, the basic Hot Spot station can cost as little as 70 euros, but this comes without any standard security, which is of some concern, especially to large companies. Make sure you are password protected to avoid outside users from tapping into the company secrets. Be aware of 'whackers' (the WiFi version on 'hackers').

However, the advantages are of WiFi Hot spots are undeniable. As you travel around the beautiful Andalucian countryside, you can stay in touch and on-line. Indeed many bosses will welcome the fact that you can work without using valuable office space, with some 21st century companies no longer offering a permanent desk for every employee. This new found freedom and flexibility is your chance to mix pleasure with business. Simply check out the list of Hot Spots, or ask when making advance hotel bookings if a Hot Spot has been set up.

Once you have located the WiFi Hot Spot, you will then buy a ticket or card with a password. By inserting the password, you are connected through the Hot Spot station. The system works rather like the old telephone scratch card system, which gives you time credit. If you are in a hotel, ask at the reception desk, where the cards are usually sold. They normally offer time bands from one to 24 hours of connection time. When it works well, this is a smooth and easy way to get connected. Unfortunately, if there are any technical problems, the hotel staff will be unable to help you and you will have to go through the often long drawn out process of contacting the provider direct.

After WiFi, which has an average coverage of approximately 50 metres in urban areas, the next generation WiMax is waiting in the sidelines and could take off in the future. This is WiFi on a much bigger scale and covers a distance of around 10 to 20 miles across towns and counties. When you consider that ADSL /Broad Band only has a range of around six miles (and that is of the actual cable installation and not as the crow flies), it really underlines the improved on-line access which is already changing our lives and opening up even more chances for living and working in Andalucia.