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Wi-Fi (pron.: /ˈwaɪfaɪ/, also spelled Wifi or WiFi) is a popular technology that allows an electronic device to exchange data wirelessly (using radio waves) over a computer network, including high-speed Internet connections. The Wi-Fi Alliance defines Wi-Fi as any "wireless local area network (WLAN) products that are based on the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' (IEEE) 802.11 standards".[1] However, since most modern WLANs are based on these standards, the term "Wi-Fi" is used in general English as a synonym for "WLAN".

A device that can use Wi-Fi (such as a personal computer, video-game console, smartphone, tablet, or digital audio player) can connect to a network resource such as the Internet via a wireless network access point. Such an access point (or hotspot) has a range of about 20 meters (65 feet) indoors and a greater range outdoors. Hotspot coverage can comprise an area as small as a single room with walls that block radio waves or as large as many square miles — this is achieved by using multiple overlapping access points.

"Wi-Fi" is a trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance and the brand name for products using the IEEE 802.11 family of standards. Only Wi-Fi products that complete Wi-Fi Alliance interoperability certification testing successfully may use the "Wi-Fi CERTIFIED" designation and trademark.

Wi-Fi has had a checkered security history. Its earliest encryption system, Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP), proved easy to break. Much higher quality protocols, WPA and WPA2, were added later. However, an optional feature added in 2007, called Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS), has a flaw that allows a remote attacker to recover the router's WPA or WPA2 password in a few hours on most implementations.[2] Some manufacturers have recommended turning off the WPS feature. The Wi-Fi Alliance has since updated its test plan and certification program to ensure all newly certified devices resist brute-force AP PIN attacks.

Q1What are the main advantages and disadvantages of High-Flying WiFi modules?
Answer: All modules support 802.11b/g/n with integrated TCP/IP protocol. Module can work normally in the temperature range from -40 Degree to 85 Degree. AP+STA networking is also supported. Customized software service is provided. Please contact with 400-189-3180 (sales@hi-flying.com) for technical supported from High-flying.

Q2: What is the obvious difference of these modules WIFI232-A11, WIFI232-A11-SMT, WIFI232-A11-SMA, and WIFI232-A11-LPA?

Answer: WIFI232-A11 series, including WIFI232-A11, WIFI232-A11-SMT and WIFI232-A11-SMA, are embedded WiFi modules with high performance and low price. They are integrated with Ethernet interface and UART interface. They can be networking with both AP mode and STA mode activated. They have been employed by many customers. But they also relatively higher power consumption. So WIFI232-A11 series is suitable for non-portable applications which require high speed and are not sensitive to power cost. As for WIFI232-A11-LPA module, it is very low power consumption, and is the best choice for portable products with battery supplied.

Q3: What is both AP mode and STA mode (AP+STA) activated? How to active it? Which modules support it?

Answer: Actually, AP+STA is very useful in wireless LAN networking. When a module is set to work as an AP device, it also can works as a STA device. For example, mobile phone or PC/laptop access to network via the module as an AP. At the same time, the module is connected to routers or servers as STA mode. So the data from mobile phone or PC/laptop can be uploaded to routers or servers. WIFI232-A11, WIFI232-A11-SMT and WIFI232-A11-SMA support AP+STA. But WIFI232-A11-LPA does not support AP+STA. WIFI232-A11-LPA works at AP mode or STA mode.

AP+STA Setting

AP+STA is activated via input command as below:
Ø AP+FAPSTA=on
Ø AT+WMODE=STA
Ø AT+Z

Attentions should be paid when AP+STA is activated:

Once AP+STA is activated, the STA port shall be connected to a AP router. Otherwise, STA port keeping search router and it brings data lost in AP port.
If customer is sure that no router can be connected to STA, STA port search router is off via setting below:
Ø AT+STTC=on/off: On means enable searching and off means disable searching. The setting is not saving during module restart;
Ø AT+FSTTC=on/off: On means enable searching and off means disable searching. The setting is saved during module restart;

Q4: How long WIFI232-A11 series and WIFI232-A11-LPA module start up? How far do they transmission?

Answer: 4 seconds is the general duration of WIFI232-A11 serial start up. 1 second is the general duration of WIFI232-A11-LPA start up. For wireless transmission distance, 50 meters is when inner antenna is used and about 400 meters is when an external 3dBi antenna is used, both for WIFI232-A11 serial and WIFI232-A11-LPA .

Q5: Hardware consideration when design WIFI232-A11 series and WIFI232-A11-LPA?

Answer: WIFI232-A11 serial and WIFI232-A11-LPA is supplied with a single 3.3v power. High-flying corp. provided a detailed hardware schematics and PCB of WIFI232-A11 serial and WIFI232-A11-LPA. The source files are Protel99 format.

Q6: What certification have the High-flying module passed? Does customer need to provide MAC address for the High-flying modules?

Answer: All the modules of high-flying have passed FCC, CE certification. MAC address is burning into all the modules. So it is unnecessary for customer to provide MAC address.

Q7: How to upgrade firmware of High-flying modules? Is it possible to upgrade MCU program via WiFi connection?

Answer: WIFI232-A11 serial supports upgrading firmware and MCU programmer via WiFi connection. But WIFI232-A11-LPA only supports upgrading firmware via UART interface now.

Q8: How to modify parameters used to configure WiFi module?

Answer: WIFI232-A11 series module provides three methods to modify all parameters. They are AT+command, Web page and iOS/android app. WIFI232-A11-LPA only provides two methods that are AT+command and iOS/android app.

Q9: How to modify many parameters at the same time?

Answer: All series module provides three methods to modify all parameters. High-Flying provides software configure tools for free, or help customer to customize factory default setting as paid service

Q10: How long does the delivery time for modules?

Answer: If the quantity of delivery is not less than two thousand pieces, about 4 weeks for delivery all the modules. In case that software customization is needed, about 6 weeks for delivery. Otherwise if the quantity is less than two thousand pieces, about 2 weeks for delivery. Sample can be obtained by customer at any time.

Q11: Does High-flying provide source code files of modules for customer?

Answer: Source code files of modules are not provided for customs. However, customized software developing is a paid service provided by High-flying to customer.

Q12: What are the key power consumption parameters for WIFI232-A11-LPA ?

Answer:
1. STA mode and connected to network
- Average: 3.6mA, Beacon Interval=100ms; Peak: <220mA
- Average: 2.02mA, DTIM=500ms; Peak: <220mA
- Average: 1.76mA, DTIM=1000ms; Peak: <220mA
2. AP mode and connected to network
- Average: 62.16mA s; Peak: <220mA
3. Deep sleeping mode and not connected to network
- <2uA
(For detail information about power cost, please refer to the document of “Power Cost Testing Report for WIFI232-A11-LPA”)