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What is Infrared and how does it work?

Infrared is basically invisible light. Infrared networking works by communicating by using infrared light pulses. This is how remote controls work.  Infrared systems uses very high frequencies, just below the visible light in the electromagnetic spectrum, to carry data.   Infrared rays lie just beyond the red end of the visible spectrum.  IR waves are longer than visible light waves and shorter than radio waves.  It cannot pass through walls or ceilings, but it can bounce off flat surfaces and pass through open door ways.  Infrared networking allows for wireless, line-of-sight connection between computers, personal digital assistants (PDA), and anything else equipped with an infrared port.

Infrared devices use infrared light and they depend on being in direct line of sight with each other. Infrared's invisible beam of light carries a stream of digital zeros and ones to convey instructions. Most IR connections use direct line of sight beam creating a point-to-point connection between two devices.  Unlike communicating via radio frequencies, you can choose an infrared connection partner by simply pointing the invisible beam at a particular device.  Although an Infrared-based network capable of transmitting data at speeds up to 4 megabits per second (Mbps) can be purchased, the requirement for line of sight means that you would need an access point in each room. 

For more information on how it works, click HERE