Benefits of Wireless Networking
Wireless networking offers some benefits that are apparent (no
wires) and some that you might not have
Moving Your Equipment at Will
It's true that a wireless network will allow you to surf the
Internet by your pool, your fireplace, or
If your office uses a wireless network, you can buy networking equipment for your home that is compatible with your office equipment. That means you can pack up for the day and take your computer home, knowing that when you walk in the door, you will instantly be connected to the Internet, printers, and the other computers in your home that you have connected to your home wireless network. No more plugging and unplugging a laptop from the network.
The convenience that wireless networking provides is obviously a good fit for laptops. But if you want to create a network quickly, and place the equipment wherever you want, without worrying about wires, a wireless network is really the way to go.
Taking Wireless on the Road
More and more hotels, airport business centers, convention
centers, and other businesses are setting up public wireless
networks that will help you to access the Internet, at high speed,
while you travel. An airline layover can be used to catch up on
e-mail and surf the Web. You can
Companies, including Boingo (Figure 1.4), Sputnik, and NetNearU, are working to create broadband access for travelers. Sometimes called visitor-based networks (VBNs), you can find Internet access when you travel at hotels, convention centers, and airports.
Figure 1.4. Boingo offers wireless Internet access to travelers with 802.11b network adapters.
You can use your Web browser to search Boingo (www.boingo.com), for example, to find public wireless access points, or hot spots , before you begin your next trip.
Wireless Speed in the Real World
As we discuss various wireless networking technologies, we
invariably discuss speed. All the technologies have a maximum speed
in which they can transfer data. The data transfer rate is often
referred to as bandwidth, or throughput. For instance, Fast
Ethernet, a wired technology, can transfer data over cables at up
to 100 megabits per second. 802.11a and 802.11g, the
Compatibility among Manufacturers
As we mentioned earlier, this book concentrates on Wi-Fi (also known as 802.11b) wireless networking equipment. You can purchase 802.11b wireless networking equipment from different manufacturers, and it should work together. I say should because a few 802.11b devices are not compatible with the majority of 802.11b equipment. To ensure compatibility among manufacturers look for the Wi-Fi logo, which is displayed on equipment that has met the requirement set up by the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (Figure 1.5). You can find out more information about the wireless standard at www.wi-fi.com.
Figure 1.5. The Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance is a