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"Wireless Networks first-step" by Jim Geier

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"Wireless Networks first-step" by Jim Geier (Cisco Press)

The Bottom Line

"Wireless Networks first-step" reveals the inner workings of many different wireless technologies. It explains the technical aspects of wireless signaling, architectures for different types of area networks, and wireless security topics. This book is intended for engineers and other industry professionals. Casual users of Wi-Fi hotspots and home networks may not need to know about the inner workings of wireless technology, but this book will satisfy their curiosity, too.
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  • Covers a broad range of wireless network technologies
  • Clearly defines all key technical terms in a Glossary
  • Contains review questions at the end of each chapter to reinforce learning


  • Does not define or mention "WiMAX"
  • Does not mention the proprietary extensions to 802.11b/g
  • Only about 200 pages in length; some readers will want more in-depth treatment


  • Chapter 1 introduces PANs, LANs, MANs and WANs and describes applications and benefits of wireless.
  • Chapter 2 covers wireless system architectures including hardware/software components and data flow.
  • In Chapter 3, the mechanisms of radio frequency and light signaling for networking are discussed.
  • Personal Area Network systems with technologies like Bluetooth and IrDA are described in Chapter 4.
  • Chapter 5 reviews home, enterprise, and public wireless LANs and the hardware gear they employ.
  • In Chapter 6, wireless MAN systems, components and technology are explored.
  • Wireless WANs are covered in Chapter 7.
  • Chapter 8 discusses security issues and policies for wireless networks.
  • The Appendix contains answers to chapter review questions. A Glossary defines key technical terms.

Guide Review - "Wireless Networks first-step" by Jim Geier

Author Jim Geier has created a book that introduces technical and business professionals to the field of wireless networking. "Wireless Networks first-step" explores the technologies underlying not only Wi-Fi wireless computer networks, but also the many other forms of wireless emerging as popular worldwide communication standards.

This book divides the study of wireless into four main areas: Personal, Local, Metropolitan, and Wide-Area. The idea of segmenting network architectures by their range is common in the networking field. Personal Area Networks (PANs) cover very short distances, often only a few feet or meters. Wireless Local Area Networks (LANs) may span a home, a school, or office buildings. Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs) and Wide-Area Networks (WANs) in turn span progressively larger geographic areas. The nature of wireless signaling, required equipment, and limitations varies greatly depending on the type and range of network involved.

Before diving into the details of wireless architectures, the book first describes the basic goals and concepts of wireless networking. In the long term, wireless will be the most efficient, powerful means for computing devices to communicate, though some technical obstacles must be overcome to make this a reality. The book concludes with a chapter on wireless security. By its nature, wireless communications are more susceptible to attack by spies, and careful management of the technology is required to maintain data privacy.

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