Wireless Ethernet

The proliferation of notebook computers and other portable computing devices has given rise to wireless Ethernet (also irritatingly known as "Wi-Fi") that you do not need to physically plug into a switch or hub. There are two popular consumer versions of the standard: 802.11b (maximum speed 11 Mbps) and 802.11g (54 Mbps).

In principle, wireless Ethernet isn't much different than any other kind of Ethernet, except that it uses radio waves instead of copper wires or fiber. You can configure a wireless card's network interface with traditional tools, such as ifconfig and dhclient. And wireless Ethernet cards have MAC addresses just like their wired counterparts.

With a wireless network, you typically want to be able to send packets ...

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