IN THIS CHAPTER
Understanding wireless network standards
Reviewing basic radio terms
Considering infrastructure and ad-hoc networks
Working with a wireless access point
Configuring Windows for wireless networking
Securing a wireless network
Since the beginning of Ethernet networking, cable has been getting smaller and easier to work with. The original Ethernet cable was about as thick as your thumb, weighed a ton, and was difficult to bend around tight corners. Then came coaxial cable, which was lighter and easier to work with. Coaxial cable was supplanted by unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) cable, which is the cable used for most networks today.
Although cable through the years has become smaller, cheaper, and easier to work with, it is still cable. So you have to drill holes in walls, pull cable through ceilings, and get insulation in your hair to wire your entire home or office.
The alternative to networking with cables is, of course, networking without cables…also known as wireless networking. Wireless networks use radio waves to send and receive network signals. As a result, a computer can connect to a wireless network at any location in your home or office.
Wireless networks are especially useful for notebook computers. After all, the main benefit of a notebook computer is that you can carry it around with you wherever you go. At work, you can use your notebook computer at your desk, in the conference room, in the break room, or even ...