How Computer Mice Work

RF Mice

The other common type of wireless mouse is an RF device that operates at 27 MHz and has a range of about 6 feet (2 meters). More recently, 2.4 GHz RF mice have hit the market with the advantage of a longer range -- about 33 feet (10 meters) and faster transmissions with less interference. Multiple RF mice in one room can result in cross-talk, which means that the receiver inadvertently picks up the transmissions from the wrong mouse. Pairing and multiple channels help to avoid this problem.

Typically, the RF receiver plugs into a USB port and does not accept any peripherals other than the mouse (and perhaps a keyboard, if sold with the mouse). Some portable models designed for use with notebook computers come with a compact receiver that can be stored in a slot inside the mouse when not in use.