Disadvantages of Wi-Fi

* Spectrum assignments and operational limitations are not consistent worldwide; most of Europe allows for an additional 2 channels beyond those permitted in the US; Japan has one more on top of that – and some countries, like Spain, prohibit use of the lower-numbered channels. Furthermore some countries, such as Italy, used to require a ‘general authorization’ for any WiFi used outside an operator’s own premises, or require something akin to an operator registration. For Europe; consult for an annual report on the additional restrictions each European country imposes.
* Power consumption is fairly high compared to some other standards, making battery life and heat a concern.

* The most common wireless encryption standard, Wired Equivalent Privacy or WEP, has been shown to be breakable even when correctly configured (* WiFi Access Points typically default to an open (encryption-free) mode. Novice users benefit from a zero configuration device that works out of the box but are unaware they are allowing unsecured wireless access to their LAN.

WPA Wi-Fi Protected Access fixes those problems, began shipping in 2003, and is now generally available, but adoption rates remain low. WiFi networks can be monitored and used to read and copy data (including personal information) transmitted over the network when encryption is not enabled.

* Interoperability issues between brands or deviations from the standard can disrupt connections or lower throughput speeds on other user’s devices within range. Wi-Fi Alliance programs test devices for interoperability and designate devices which pass testing as Wi-Fi CERTIFIED.
* Use of the 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi band does not require a license in most of the world provided that one stays below the local regulatory limits and provided one accepts interference from other sources, including interference which causes your devices to no longer function. It is sometimes claimed that Amateur Radio operators have permission to boost the power on their WiFi transmitters up to the legal maximum for their Amateur Radio license class under some conditions; this is not permitted in the US, nor in most locations.

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