These books explain how to properly build and manage a wireless home computer network based on the popular 802.11 "Wi-Fi" technologies. Most titles assume very little prior experience in computer networking and are suitable for beginning- to intermediate-level readers.
Other wireless networking books teach the same material, but this one stands apart for its ability to inspire readers. The "Drive-By Wi-Fi Guide" contains everything the beginner needs to build, secure, and maintain their home WLAN. It also offers plenty of engaging material on wardriving, antenna building, and other advanced topics. This book can turn casual readers into serious networking geeks!
Author John Ross concisely explains all of the basics of Wi-Fi home networking in under 300 pages. Avoiding industry hype, he offers advice on selecting equipment. He explains how to configure Wi-Fi connections on Windows, Macintosh, and Linux, including working with PDAs. Chapters on Wi-Fi security and wireless network troubleshooting educate the inexperienced home networker on these key topics.
Before diving into Wi-Fi network setup, this book explains some computer networking basics of cabling, protocols, and devices. The chapter "How Wireless Works" covers 802.11b, 802.11a, and Bluetooth. Several chapters focus on building, securing, and troubleshooting wireless LANs with Windows and Macintosh clients. "Taking it on the Road" looks at roaming and WLAN access for travelers. 2nd edition.
Although the Dummies titles sometimes oversimply a topic, simplifying wireless home networking makes good sense. Some other Wi-Fi books drown readers in technical detail of interest to engineers but of no use to home networkers. This book sticks to the basics: buying and installing equipment, sharing files and printers, playing games, and maintaining security. Contains first-rate text and visuals.
A solid review of wireless home networking essentials, "Wi-Fi Home Networking" doesn't offer significantly more than competing books in this area. Yet, it covers the basics of home setup, security, and roaming well. It also strikes a good balance between novice and more advanced topics, setting a fun tone that should make it appeal to a wide audience. Contains numerous visuals and a CD-ROM.
Not exactly "complete," this book illustrates building mainstream home LANs with PCs running Windows. The author uses numerous illustrations to guide readers through configuring Windows XP and Windows 98 wireless clients. It covers Internet connection sharing, security, troubleshooting, and print servers. This book best suits beginner-level networkers who do not own Macintosh computers or PDAs.
Published in October, 2002, "Build Your Own Wi-Fi Network" doesn't have the latest information on wireless protocols and products. The information it provides on setting up access points and wireless NICs, though, is still quite useful. This book explains not only the mechanics of setting up a WLAN, but it also nicely explains how the underlying technologies work.
This O'Reilly publication caters more to networking professionals than to home networkers. Most chapters examine technical details and engineering theory of the 802.11 protocols. Home networkers will benefit more from the chapters that cover pratical applications of Wi-Fi. Published in April, 2002, this book is starting to show its age; it does not cover 802.11g or WPA security, for example.