Light Fidelity (LiFi) is a form of wireless communication similar to Wireless Fidelity (WiFi) that uses visible light emitted from LED bulbs to transmit data.
Currently, LiFi it has not gained much popularity as extensive research continues to be carried out regarding the form of technology before it’s implemented.
As of now, WiFi is popular among users for its utility drawing on radio waves to connect to the internet.
WiFi is popular because it enables users who have smartphones, smart TVs, computers, tablets and other common devices to connect to the internet.
From this, it is evident that persons from all walks of life have adopted the use of WiFi in their daily activities.
The way to connect to a WiFi network is by use of a network adapter. The adapter can be a router or a mobile phone. But using a mobile phone as a hotspot is often costly since in most cases it consumes cellular data.
As such, consumers generally don’t consider hotspots to be the best method for connecting to the internet.
The best option for connecting to WiFi is linking the device to a router, which is already configured to access the internet. By doing so, as long as the device is within the vicinity of the router, the owner of the device can enjoy unlimited internet.
However, WiFi networks are avenues that are increasingly used by hackers in various outlawed cyber activities.
Among the primary methods, a hacker can infiltrate a WiFi network of a home or institution and access all the confidential information they may need is through gaining access to data and CCTV (Closed-Circuit Television) cameras used for surveillance.
Another way is that if a device is connected to an insecure network that’s being controlled by a hacker, then whatever confidential data is stored in the device they are using is already exposed to the third party.
Since WiFi communication is carried out through radio waves, which can penetrate objects such as walls and metals, an alternative is needed to bypass this hurdle.
That’s the LiFi is expected to meet—it can complete the data transmission process while penetrating objects in a more secure and efficient way.
From this, it is evident than in the future, those who connect to LiFi will have less to worry about as compared to those who are using WiFi.
Preliminary tests for the technology prove that LiFi is faster in data transmission as compared to WiFi.
The research indicates that LiFi is over 100 times faster than WiFi—an indication that if LiFi is adapted, then most WiFi users will ultimately switch to the technology to improve their speeds in a bid to enhance efficiency and productivity in the activities they undertake.
But unlike LiFi, which is yet to undergo various stages until it gets adopted by users across the globe, WiFi has gone through the necessary phases and researchers have taken time to study the mode in which it operates.
Various studies indicate that regardless of the level of security on a wireless adapter, hackers can still utilize multiple flaws to decrypt data sent through a WiFi network.
An expert report indicates that a security feature in wireless adapters such as WiFi Protected Access 2 (WPA2)—which as of now is the industry standard—possesses vulnerabilities that hackers can easily use to infiltrate the device.
The flaws will not only leave the data exposed, but they’ll also allow hackers to alter the information by either deleting or adding raw data to the existing system.
The hacks on WiFi occur through Key Reinstallation Attacks, commonly known as KRACKS.
The KRACKS are the major components used in taking control of a device and intercepting all the data.
Technically, this shows that by utilizing the flaw in the WPA2, hackers can steal passwords, monitor all the activities of devices connected to the router and, last but not least, initiate various types of commands in the network.
Even if the attacker is not within the range of the network, a single device connected to the WiFi network can enable the attacker to gain access to the system.
As it is now, the vulnerabilities are not on specific devices but rather on WiFi itself.
And since millions of people across the globe are using the technology, they could all be victims since the same vulnerabilities can be applied to them.
Following these revelations, it is evident that for individuals to have more security, then the devices need fixing—a process that seems tedious and costly.
And as such, not all affected parties will follow suit and fix their devices, thereby leaving them exposed cyber attacks.
It remains the responsibility of the user as well as their ISP (Internet Service Provider) to take all the necessary measures to ensure their activities remain private.
Users especially should update their devices regularly to ensure that they have the latest software versions to protect themselves.
Since the LiFi technology does not use routers (which has the WPA2) but instead uses light, it is more secure as it currently stands.
The only issue is that it has not been adopted to a great extent.
Progress is well known to be a slow process though, and it will likely take years before LiFi reaches users’ homes around the world.
However, since most people have not yet used the technology, it is still too early to say if the technology will ultimately prove to be an even greater risk for data security.
Although, the preliminary research is compelling to predict otherwise.
At this time, attackers have not dug deep into the matter since very few institutions and residences are using it.
But one major con is this: just as one device that’s connected to a WiFi network gives an attacker access to the whole network, then the same principle to applies to the use of LiFi.
If one device is connected to the internet on a LiFi network, then an attacker who can infiltrate a particular device is likely to be able to intercept the activities that are happening in that specific WiFi network.
As it stands, WiFi is the technology of the moment and LiFi is the technology of the future. Based on future developments of both technologies and others, the ground may shift.
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