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What is a Wireless Keyboard?

By Michael Giuffre
Updated May 16, 2024
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Sometimes sitting close to your computer monitor at a desk can be uncomfortable. Other times, there may be so many tangled wires behind your computer that you are unable to organize them. Regardless of which scenario you find yourself in more often, a wireless keyboard can help.

A wireless keyboard is exactly the same as a normal computer keyboard except for one major difference: it transfers typing data to the computer via infrared beams. A beam of information is sent from the keyboard, as you type, to a receiver, which is plugged into the computer. This allows for a cordless experience, which eliminates the potential for another tangled cord behind your computer. It is also common for many consumers to purchase a wireless mouse to complement a wireless keyboard. This being the case, two wires are now eliminated from the clutter behind your desk.

Wireless technology also allows you to place your wireless keyboard or mouse in a position that the corded-version may not reach. However, the infrared keyboard receiver must be placed in a location that is easily reachable by the infrared beam. This distance may vary from model to model, so check specifications before purchasing a wireless keyboard. If the keyboard is not pointed in the general direction of the receiver, or if the line-of-sight between the wireless keyboard and receiver is blocked, then the signal will not be transmitted to the computer. This can create a problem for the user if someone is walking between the keyboard and receiver or if the keyboard is not angled correctly.

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Discussion Comments
By MissDaphne — On May 07, 2012

@anon124588 - Most devices these days are "plug and play" (or, don't plug and play, in this case); that is, they are designed to work as soon as they are plugged in. It should be pretty simple to install.

I've been thinking about getting a wireless keyboard to use with my notebook computer. I do not use a desktop computer, so the notebook is all I have, but when I do a lot of typing on the small keyboard, my hands hurt. I do like for it to be easy to move the notebook from room to room, though. It seems like a wireless keyboard that I could leave on my desk in the office might be the ideal solution.

By anon124588 — On Nov 06, 2010

If I buy a wireless keyboard will I be able to install it? I don't have a single techie molecule in my whole DNA.

By GameGuru — On Jul 14, 2010

@djs-- Yes and no. There are wireless keyboard/mouse packages that operate off of a single receiver to which both the keyboard and the mouse are tuned. If you buy a different third-party mouse and try to use it with this transmitter, it will most likely not work unless the receiver is a Bluetooth receiver (in which case it would work with any Bluetooth compatible device).

However, if you buy a wireless keyboard and wireless mouse separately, they should almost certainly work together without any problems.

By djs — On Feb 12, 2009

Will any wireless mouse work with any wireless keyboard?

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