Setting up a Wireless Network at Home or Work

Most people today use a cordless phone or cell phone to communicate and it will not be too long before they also use a wireless computer to connect to their computer network.  Wireless networking has become increasingly popular as prices have come down, new products have been developed, and the technology has improved.

Today there are two standards in the wireless world, 802.11a and 802.11b.  The 802.11a standard was developed shortly before the 802.11b standard but has few products developed for it.  The 802.11a standard offers 5 times the speed of the 802.11b standard.  Compatibility though is its major problem as products from different manufacturers often are incompatible with each other as well as with products on the 802.11b standard.

The 802.11b standard offers acceptable throughput for most home and office applications, good compatibility between different manufactures, and a wider range of products available.

A large concern for implementing a wireless network is security.  A wireless network works by transmitting data over radio signals instead of wires.  This is great as you can move from one room to the next without losing you network connection.  On the other hand though, it also allows nearby unscrupulous people to hack into your data from outside your building or home.  Several measures exist to improve the security such as changing the network name, disabling the broadcast of the network name, sending data in an encrypted format, and purchasing a third party product designed to improve security.

For the 802.11b standard, reviews have listed the Linksys WAP11 as an excellent value for the small business or home user offering ease of setup and configuration.  At less than $200 for the access point and $100 for each wireless card the solution is affordable for many home users.  Cisco’s Aironet 350 series is a top choice for larger businesses.  At $800 for the access point and  $200 for each wireless card the solution is within the reach of many businesses. 

                                                                     

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