Wireless & Wired

How many different types of wired connections can you think of?

There have been a number of different cable types over the years that can transfer data between devices.

Originally, serial cables were common, then firewire and now USB:

To make matters worse, some devices are very small so need a small connector, hence there are different sizes of USB cables as well. Here are the main cable ends:



And now wireless connections are common place. Infa-red, Wifi, Bluetooth, GPRS, 3G, 4G and satellite the ones that most people are aware of.

All wireless networks need to have a name. The technical word for the name is called the SSID (Service Set Identifier). Most wireless routers have a set name which is printed on a card or on a sticker underneath the router. A security key will also be printed next to the SSID. This makes makes it easy to set up for a novice.

Both the SSID and security key can be renamed to something you prefer. 5+ years ago lots of people did not have a security key so you could connect to their network and use their internet connection for free. This was known as war driving. With most new routers having security as default, its difficult to find an unsecured network nowadays.

Some people now rename their SSID to be funny or send a message to others. The classic was the SSID which was set to "please stop your dog barking".

Check out google images for some funny SSID names

The security key used for wireless networks use different forms of encryption. These are constantly being developed. The main 2 types are WPA and WEP. Although WPA2 is considered the latest and strongest form.

Create a WPA key or WEP key here .