It is certainly not uncommon to have multiple computers in a home or small office. And most home and small office users have dealt with the problems of connecting these computers so that they can share files and other resources such as printers and a single high-speed Internet connection.
Evidence of these forays into computer connectivity is often quite apparent in the form of network wires underfoot and overhead. A better solution is the creation of a wireless network or WLAN (wireless local area network). Not only do you do away with most network cabling, you also place an "intelligent" device, a wireless router, to act as the intermediary between your wireless network and your broadband Internet connection.
In this chapter, we take a look at how computers communicate and how wireless networking actually works. We also discuss wireless networking components and how you can get the most out of your home or small office wireless network.