How Do Wireless Keyboards Work?

By Jessica Reed

How Does a Regular Keyboard Work?

To understand the difference between a wireless keyboard and a regular computer keyboard, we must first have a basic understanding of how a regular computer keyboard works. A keyboard must send a series of signals to the computer for it to interpret and type the appropriate letters. A laptop keyboard is built into the machine, so the signal is sent almost instantly from the keys you are striking to the computer screen. Most home computers connect to the keyboard through a cable. The signal is sent through this cable and then appears on your screen as the words you typed. Thus, the cable is the connection that makes it possible for your keyboard to work. It intercepts the keyboard's signals as well as provides power for the keyboard to operate.

How Does a Wireless Keyboard Work?

A wireless keyboard, on the other hand, does not connect to the computer through any sort of cord. So how does it transmit messages to and from the computer? It's fairly simple. They work the same way that your remote control or wireless mouse works. The keyboard itself requires batteries or some other form of power to operate since it cannot receive power from the computer itself. Then the keyboard transmits a signal to the computer using radio frequencies, infrared or even a Bluetooth connection with some of the newer models. This takes the signal from the keyboard to the computer and allow you to type without the requirement of a chord.

Choosing the Right Keyboard

If you're considering buying a keyboard, which one is right for you? It depends on what you'll be using the keyboard for. If you have a laptop, it has a built in keyboard and it won't be necessary to buy another. A home computer typically uses a cord, but wireless can be an option too. If you tend to have your keyboard somewhere that the cord gets in your way, wireless may eliminate this hassle. It's also good if you move your keyboard around a lot. If your computer will be sitting somewhere that people might snag the chord and jerk the keyboard onto the floor, wireless will save you the money you would have to spend on a new keyboard. However, if you're not moving around a lot, or you leave your computer keyboard sitting on a desk in front of the screen, a normal keyboard would be more beneficial. They're typically cheaper, and you won't have to keep buying batteries for them. Either one can be a good choice, it simply depends on how you choose to use it.