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Aotearoa People's Network

A beginner's guide to APNK wifi

by Moata Tamaira

When you think about it, wifi is a bit mysterious.

You can't see it, hear it or smell it, and yet it's the medium by which masses of information is transported every day.

In the last year over 230,000 unique devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops, e-readers etc.) have successfully connected to APNK wifi. That's more than the population of our fourth largest city, Hamilton*.

But how does it all happen? How does a laptop user sitting in a library get connected to the Internet? Is there more than one piece of equipment involved? And what does this equipment do?

Well, if you want to know the answer to a question the best strategy is usually to ask an expert, so I got Glen, one of APNK's trusty IT support staff to breakdown APNK wifi for me and the result is the short video below.

Emboldened by this newly acquired knowledge of the workings of APNK wifi, I made a graphic representation of how it works. The diagram below sort of distills what Glen explains in the video into its components bits (as well as providing a gratuitous "cat clip art" opportunity). Click the image for a larger version.

How APNK wifi works, diagram

So hopefully you've got a slightly better idea of the workings behind that mysterious, wondrous will o' the wisp that is wifi.

*According to the most recent Census data currently available, the population of Hamilton is 209,300.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

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