Wireless Networking Basics
- If you currently have an existing wireless network and are unhappy with the range that you are getting, or just want to go further then here are some tips of what you can do to boost the range of your own wireless network, and create a Wireless Bridge between two remote locations. Before you proceed, remember that wireless is a two way system, both the Access Point and Client Device must be communicating at a equal level before a wireless connection can occur. For a professional site survey of your home or small office please contact us today, and avoid purchasing the wrong antenna for your wireless network.
What is WiFi?
WiFi stands for Wireless Fidelity, and is increasingly used in today’s market place.
A Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) or WiFi, is a computer network that transmits and receives data with radio signals instead of wires. WLANs are used increasingly in both home and office environments, public areas such as airports, coffee shops, marinas and universities. Innovative ways to utilize WLAN technology are helping people to work and communicate more efficiently. Increased flexibility and the absence of cabling and other fixed infrastructure have proven to be beneficial for many users. There is no more need to bury cable between buildings, and ruin walls in order to get computers connected. Wireless networks have increased in speed, and have become more secure and reliable.
With lower prices and stable standards, homeowners are now installing wireless LANs at an extremely fast pace; in fact, the consumer market spends more money now on WLAN’s than most large companies.
It’s much easier to install a wireless LAN at home than a wired network. With most homeowners refusing to put holes in walls and ceilings, wireless networking is the obvious choice for home networks. The installation of a typical wireless network requires the installation of a broadband modem, wireless router, and wireless LAN cards in laptops and desktops. No holes to drills, no cables to run.
Wireless Hotspots can be installed practically anywhere that it would be convenient to have internet access. Marinas and RV parks are the latest trend in getting wireless internet connectivity, but it doesn’t have to stop there.
What Is Wireless Networking? The Benefits:
Small businesses can experience many benefits from a wireless network, including
- Convenience. Access your network resources from any location within your wireless network’s coverage area or from any WiFi hotspot.
- Mobility. You’re no longer tied to your desk, as you were with a wired connection. You and your employees can go online in conference room meetings, for example.
- Productivity. Wireless access to the Internet and to your company’s key applications and resources helps your staff get the job done and encourages collaboration.
- Easy setup. You don’t have to string cables, so installation can be quick and cost-effective.
- Expandable. You can easily expand wireless networks with existing equipment, while a wired network might require additional wiring.
- Security. Advances in wireless networks provide robust security protections.
- Cost. Because wireless networks eliminate or reduce wiring costs, they can cost less to operate than wired networks.
How is it Flexible?
With a wireless laptop, you can always work from anywhere in the house. There’s nothing holding you down to a desk in a particular room where the cable modem is located. You’re free to use the Internet, access files on other computers, or print documents while relaxing in a favorite chair in front of the TV. You can be lounging on the patio breathing fresh air, or sitting by the pool, taking in some sun, just like you see in the commercials.
With a wireless laptop, you can work from home and still be in the presence of friends and family. Not having to go back to the “computer room”, makes working from home enjoyable. Wireless LANS at home are also great for desktops as well. As far as running annoying cat5 cable through walls and ceilings, it is non-existent. Wireless Networks allow you to place the broadband modem where ever you want in a home, and place the PC’s or laptops where ever you like as well. Flexibility is unlimited and range is not an issue.
A wireless network allows your business to provide secure wireless access to the Internet for guests such as customers or business partners. Retailers, restaurants, hotels and other public-facing businesses can provide this as a unique value-added service. RV Parks, Campgrounds, Marinas, and other outdoors venues can benefit from a wireless network, including the following:
Increased mobility and collaboration
- Roam without losing your connection
- Work together more effectively
- Improved responsiveness
- Connect to the information you need when you need it
- Provide better customer service
- Better access to information
- Connect hard-to-reach areas
- Improve your processes
- Easier network expansion
- Add users quickly
- Grow your network cost-effectively
- Enhanced guest access
Employees who use your wireless LAN can roam around your office or to different floors without losing their connection. Imagine everyone in a team meeting or in small conferences having access to up-to-the minute communications, and all documents and applications on your network. Similarly, using Voice over Wireless LAN technology, they can have roaming capabilities in their voice communications. Customers want quick response to queries and concerns. A wireless network can improve customer service by connecting staff to the information they need. For example, a doctor in a small medical office can access online patient files while moving between exam rooms, or a retail sales person can check on available inventory necessary to write up orders on the showroom floor. Wireless LANs allow a business to bring network access to areas that would be difficult to connect to a wired network. For example, adding wireless access points to a warehouse can make it easier to check and manage inventory, providing the company with accurate inventory figures in real time.
Internet and File Sharing:
Since having only one computer in the home is a way of the past, wireless LANS can help organize your computers without the confusion that wired networking consists of. With multiple computers in the home, it is extremely cost efficient and beneficial to have them connected to the same broadband modem. You can even share internet access with neighbors that are hundreds, or thousands of ft away. One thing to be sure of is to install a broadband router first, before you install any access points in your home. This will assure you that
1) You will have a hardware firewall between your LAN and the internet and
2) Your LAN will receive the proper DHCP services, and NAT for all your internal computers. (For more information, contact our tech support department)
With everyone on the same LAN in the home, it is easy to check your children’s homework, or proofread a document they are writing for school, all while you are sitting by the pool, surfing the net. You can view what you child is writing without having to go onto his/her computer. Simply share the file that is being worked on and proofread. Install VoIP phones in the same, or seperate buildings. Share internet access with remote warehouses, remote offices, or send internet to a detached garage/office, all using the same Internet modem for your broadband connection.
Sharing the same printer is also helpful. With the addition of a wireless print server, you can place the printer anywhere within reach of the wireless access point or router. No more having to place the printer within 4 or 5 of a computer. Place it in a convenient location, and everyone will be able to use it, saving you time and money on multiple printers.