In This Chapter
Comparing wireless and wired networks
Comparing wireless standards
Using existing telephone and AC wiring
Making a wireless connection under Windows 7
Welcome to the future: a world where network cables are on display in museums and your PCs can wirelessly access your home or office network from 100 feet away. Fast, convenient, and (most of all) as secure as a wired network, the wireless network of years to come will even bring other types of devices under its umbrella, such as cellphones, netbook PCs, and personal digital assistants (PDAs), just to name a few.
Hang on a second. Now that I think about it, all that stuff is available now! Wireless networks are rapidly overtaking traditional wired networks in homes and small offices. Even companies with extensive wired networks have added wireless access points (WAPs) for the laptop crowd, just to be hip.
In this chapter, I show you how wireless networking works, what's available, and how you can set up a wireless network under Windows 7.
In a sense, wireless networking isn't as revolutionary as you might think. In fact, it operates in the same manner as the standard wired Ethernet configuration, which I discuss in Chapter 2 of this minibook, complete with packets, collisions, and all the hoo-hah that accompanies networking. Of course, the method of transmitting and receiving packets is different when you're using wireless networking; instead of being sent over a wire, ...