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Windows XP Annoyances for Geeks, 2nd Edition by David A. Karp

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Go Wireless

If you’re on a wireless network and you’re not using Windows XP Service Pack 2, it means you’re still suffering with the weak WiFi support built into the original release of Windows XP. Go ahead and upgrade to SP2 now; don’t worry, I’ll wait.

{Sounds of fingers tapping and whistling off-key.}

Got it? Good. The solutions in this section show you how to set up a simple wireless network and connect that network to the Internet, as well as connect your wireless devices to other people’s wireless networks, and prevent others from sneaking on to your network. All of this is possible without wires, and the most amazing thing is that it actually works.

Tip

If you want to do a whole lot more with your wireless network, check out Wireless Hacks (O’Reilly). Among other things, it shows you how to extend the range of your wireless network from a few yards to several miles with home-made antennas. Very cool.

Set Up a Wireless Router

If you’ve read other solutions in this chapter, you’ve probably seen routers mentioned several times (if not, drop back to Section 7.1.2 to read up).

A router allows you to connect your computer (or your workgroup) to the Internet, while simultaneously protecting you with its built-in firewall. A wireless router does the same thing, but it also adds a wireless access point, allowing you to connect any number of WiFi devices to each other and to the Internet.

A typical WiFi setup is shown in Figure 7-3 (see, no wires), but you’ll probably want something closer ...

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