Wireless Networking

Wireless Networking - An Affordable Alternative to Wires

Wireless networking refers to the ability of one of more computers to communicate with each other using network protocols but without the use of network cables. When it was first introduced wireless networking was quite expensive and reserved only for those who could afford it and who absolutely needed it. However, the technology has improved so much that the price of wireless networking has dropped considerably and it is now a very affordable solution for personal and home use. Wireless networking is also being used more frequently in schools, businesses and in places where cabling a network is difficult.

There are two basic kinds of wireless networking. The first one is a peer-to-peer wireless network where all computers equipped with a wireless interface card can communicate with each other. They can share files and printers in such a manner but they cannot access a LAN network. For that to happen one of the computers must be equipped with a LAN software - this is called "bridging". The second form of wireless networking occurs when a wired computer acts as an access point or hub for a wireless computer from which it can then access an existing internet connection or any file servers.

In order for a wireless computer to network with a wired LAN computer you will need to bridge the computers either with hardware or software. Although you can get hardware, it may cost more in the end because it means buying extra parts for your computer. However, a special software bridge is perfect because it allows you greater flexibility and mobility - and if your computer has enough slots you can get software for all the existing connections rendering you capable of connecting to any network.

The range of a wireless network varies from inside to outside. Typically on the inside you can get anywhere between one hundred to three hundred feet - and even that will vary given the buildings' construction. Whereas outside many wireless hubs quote one thousand feet although the further away you get the poorer the quality will become.

Wireless networking is the way of the future when we will all be completely mobile and be free to log-on anywhere for the ultimate in efficiency and roaming ability.

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