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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

WiFi Basics

Download, print, surf the web and more—the digital world is better when you cut the cord


Each of these refers to a slightly different implementation of the same technology, with varying capabilities in terms of speed and distance of data transfer. Most new devices use IEEE 802.11b or 802.11g, so you can't go wrong with an 802.11b/g device, as it supports both of the most common protocols (802.11a is rarely seen these days).

The difference between b and g is speed-b transfers data at speeds up to 11 Mbits/sec., while g operates at about 54 Mbits/sec.—roughly 1.4 and 6.8 Mbps, respectively. If you choose a wireless router with the b/g specification, you can connect the widest variety of devices and still take advantage of the faster speed with devices that support it.

Setting Up Your Home Network
Getting past the technical jargon is the most difficult part of going wireless. Once you've acquired the equipment, putting it all together is relatively easy.

First, select a location in your home for the wireless router. It's best to put it in a central location, if possible, to maximize reception throughout the house. WiFi devices can communicate through most walls and floors, but a central location will deliver the best results.

You'll want to place the router near your Internet modem so that they can be connected with—ahem—a wire, however. It doesn't matter what type of Internet connection you have, nor do you have to connect your network to the Internet, but you haven't lived until you've sent e-mail or surfed the web from your couch.


 

 


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