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How to Build a Wireless Home Network - Tutorial

Introduction to wireless computer networking


Linksys WPC54G 802.11g network adapter

Linksys wireless network adapter

This tutorial will guide you through the process of planning, building, and testing a wireless home network. Although mainstream wireless networking has made amazing strides in the past few years, wireless technology and terminology remains a bit difficult for most of us to comprehend. This same guide will help small business networkers, too!

Build a Wireless LAN, Step by Step

You can build any typical wireless home network, a wireless LAN (WLAN), using this simple three-step approach:
    1. Identify the WLAN design that's best for your situation
    2. Choose good wireless gear
    3. Install gear and test the configured WLAN
In subsequent pages, I break down each of these steps in more detail.

Ready to Go Wireless?

This article assumes you've already made an informed decision to go wireless rather than build a traditional cabled network. Though prices have dropped dramatically from a few years ago, when wireless gear was quite expensive, wireless networks still aren't for everyone (yet). Unsure that wireless will really meet your needs? Use the following supplementary article to help you choose wisely:

Benefits of Wireless

Wireless offers tangible benefits over traditional wired networking. Ever tried to quickly look up a recipe on the Net while cooking in the kitchen? Do the kids need a networked computer in their bedroom for school projects? Have you dreamed of sending email, instant messaging, or playing games while relaxing on your outdoor patio? These are just some of the things wireless can do for you:

Next Stop - Terminology

The field of computer networking once sat squarely in the domain of techies. Equipment manufacturers, service providers, and "experts" that study the field of networking tend to go quite heavy on technical jargon. The wireless networking industry is gradually improving on this legacy, making products more consumer-friendly and easier to integrate into the home. But there is still much work for the industry to do. Let's take a quick look at the common jargon of wireless home networking and what it all means.
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How to Set Up a Wireless Network

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