What is LiFi? Explained

We're all familiar with WiFi. After all, who doesn't have a router at home these days? 

What is LiFi? Explained

Xiaomi Router

Once upon a time, kids used to ask, "Is there a TV?"

Nowadays, kids always hold their cell phones and tablets and ask, "Is there any WiFi?"

I don't know when it started, but we've gotten used to connecting to WiFi everywhere we go.

What is LiFi? Explained

But along with WiFi comes a variety of issues. Among them, many users are concerned about information security.

Some large shopping malls and public facilities are covered with Wi-Fi, and consumers can easily connect to Wi-Fi with their smartphones, tablets, and other devices.

The mere act of connecting to a wireless network can result in the leakage of information on the smart device.

Unruly elements will find ways to install WiFi probes in public places, devices that look like routers and are not easily detected.

As long as the consumer has WiFi on they will send out signals to the surrounding area looking for a wireless network, which will be detected by the WiFi probe.

After being detected by the probe box, the MAC address of the user's cell phone is identified, converted to an IMEI number, and then converted to a cell phone number. In this way, the user's cell phone number is leaked.

The unscrupulous elements then utilize big data, and soon the user's ID number, consumption records, home address, and other information are exposed one by one.

The mere act of connecting to a wireless network can cause information leakage on smart devices.

What is LiFi? Explained

▲Extreme Route

Unruly elements will find ways to install WiFi probes in public places, devices that look like routers and are not easily detected.

Not only public areas, but even the wireless router in your own home can cause information leakage.

Wireless routers can also be used by crooks to steal personal information and even property if they are not set up securely.

The speed of wireless router password cracking depends not only on the software but also on the hardware. Be careful to make the password settings as complex as possible, and it will be more difficult to crack.

You can use the following methods to set up the router(source: Easybom):

Use WPA/WPA2 encryption, don't use flawed encryption, which is the most commonly used encryption method.

Do not use the initial passphrase and password, when setting the password, make sure to use a long password, more complex, not use birthdays or phone numbers, etc., and change the password regularly.

The user name and password of the background management of the wireless router are usually defaulted to admin, which must be changed, otherwise, the router is very easy to be controlled by intruders.

Disable the WPS function. The existing WPS function has loopholes that make it possible to expose the router's access password and background management password.

Enable the MAC address filtering function and bind the frequently used devices.

Close the remote management port, close the DHCP function of the router, enable the fixed IP address, and don't let the router assign the IP address automatically.

Pay attention to firmware upgrades for regular use. Vulnerable wireless routers must be patched and upgraded in time or replaced with more secure ones.

Security software should be installed on both the cell phone and computer side. For hackers commonly used phishing sites and other attack techniques, security software can be intercepted in a timely manner to remind.

In addition to setting up security settings on your router, there is another alternative - using LiFi.

What is LiFi? Explained

▲ LiFi Schematic (Source: Internet)

What is LiFi?

LiFi (Light Fidelity), also known as visible light wireless communication, is a new wireless transmission technology that utilizes the visible light spectrum for data transmission.

LiFi implanted in the LED on a tiny chip, the use of electrical signals to control light-emitting diodes (LED) to send out the naked eye can not see the high-speed flashing signals to transmit information, this technology is made of the system can be covered by indoor lighting to reach the scope of the computer does not need wires connected to the indoor lights as long as the lights are turned on, without WIFI can also access the Internet.

To put it plainly, LiFi turns WiFi signals into visible light, so that you can connect to unlimited internet wherever the light covers.

What is LiFi? Explained

Advantages of LiFi

The biggest advantage of LiFi technology is that it does not interfere with other radio signals, so it can be used in airplanes and other situations where electromagnetic compatibility is a concern.

Another big advantage is that, relative to the limited frequency spectrum of radio, the visible light band spectrum is 10,000 times larger than the former, which means that the bandwidth of a single data channel in the LiFi network can be made very large, and can also accommodate more channels for parallel transmission, so that the overall transmission rate is greatly increased.

In addition, the widely used cellular networks and WiFi devices have the problems of high heat generation and low energy conversion rates. For example, the cellular network base station equipment, its frequency is not high, but its energy conversion rate is less than 10%, the remaining 90% of the energy is converted into heat and often needs to introduce cooling equipment to maintain normal operation.

LiFi, on the other hand, does not have this problem, and its extremely low heat generation allows it to operate stably without the need for cooling equipment.

The last thing is its high security. First of all, the characteristics of light determine that it cannot transmit signals through walls, which means that its security is very strong, and the phenomenon of "dabbing" that often occurs in the use of WiFi can be effectively avoided.

At the same time, unlike WiFi that shares a common channel, LiFi's uplink and downlink channels operate independently, so a hacker must be in the same room and invade both channels in order to complete a truly meaningful attack.

Disadvantages of LiFi

While LiFi does have the advantage of not being interfered with by radio signals, it also has a number of limitations.

One thing that is extremely limiting about LiFi is that visible light cannot penetrate walls and objects, so if the receiver is blocked, then the signal will be cut off.

While this feature of LiFi improves security, the minimum distance at which LIFI can be received is currently unknown.

In this case, it is very possible to intercept the optical signal using an optical sensor or even a telephoto lens.

This is one of the reasons why LiFi has not yet become popular.

What is LiFi? Explained

LIFI Schematic

Although LiFi has some limitations, it also has some promising applications. For example, it can be used in shopping malls and supermarkets as a guide system:

For example, in shopping malls and supermarkets, cell phones can be used as receivers to guide customers to buy goods as soon as possible through visible light communication systems.

Visual security payment system, the use of visible light communication directional radiation, rapid attenuation and visualization of transmission, and other characteristics, to achieve a new type of cell phone security payment.

Vehicle-mounted positioning system, using LED signal lights before and after the vehicle, as well as LED street lights and LED traffic lights, to establish an outdoor traffic vehicle-mounted positioning system, to realize the spacing control and anti-collision protection between vehicles, high-speed interactions between the vehicle and the traffic control system, such as violation of the monitoring, real-time road conditions, and other data, in order to ensure that the vehicle's driving safety, but also for the vehicle's serious violations of the law, major car accidents, etc., to provide the appropriate clues and bases.

There are many other applications for LiFi, too numerous to mention here.

Currently, there are many other tech companies that are further researching LiFi-related technologies.

In February 2021, OPPO held the OPPO Future Technology Exhibition 2021 in Chongqing, where it demonstrated LiFi technology.

It is reported that OPPO has already applied this technology to its connected ecosystem.

At present, OPPO's connected ecosystem has a large scale, in addition to OPPO smartphones, OPPO also produces a variety of IoT products such as OPPO smartwatch, OPPO smart TV, and OPPO true wireless headphones.

If LiFi technology can be applied to OPPO's connected ecosystem, the interaction delay between devices should be lower, which can bring users a very good experience.

What is LiFi? Explained

Not only OPPO but also Huawei, Google, and other technology companies are actively exploring LiFi technology.

It is believed that with the efforts of many tech companies, the shortcomings of LiFi technology will be overcome and it will be applied to our real life.

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