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NavigationIntroduction to networking - I
Introduction to networking - II
Establishing the local network
Configuring the wireless router
Connecting computers to the wireless router
Connecting the home network to the internet
How should I choose what to buy?
Guidelines for a well secured wireless network
Benefits of a Wireless Home Network
How to setup a wireless home network - section 8
How should I choose what to buy?
When you will go to look for products in stores or on the internet, you will notice that there are few technologies and standards. Most of the products implement a subset of these technologies and understanding what every term (bullet on the product package) means, will help you choose the right products. Make sure of course you have a common supported features among all your equipment, so they can connect to each other. I found out that you can find really good prices on the internet for networking equipment.
To make shopping even easier, you can also buy a bundle, such as those available from Linksys, D-Link, Netgear, Microsoft, and Buffalo.
Easy to see that 11g has the benefits of 11a and 11b and therefore it should be the preferred one. One exception is that 11a is less sensitive to RF noises, so if you are in an area that few Microwave ovens and 2.4Ghz cordless phones operate around the clock maybe you should go for 11a. Some devices supports all three standards.
I would go for 11g products.
All products sold support WEP, which is a weak security standard. Experienced hackers can break it using the right equipment within few hours.
Stronger security modes are TKIP and AES with WPA-PSK (Pre Shared Key). AES is preferred, but they are both strong. It is not always specified on the products brochures, but it is quite important that the encryption/decryption is done on the wireless adapter itself and not by the host driver. This is because that these security algorithms require heavy calculations that will burden the host CPU if they are implemented in the driver. You can probably see this info in the product's specifications.
QoS (Quality of Service)
QoS provides packet prioritization, allowing packets containing time-dependent data such as audio or video to be sent ahead of data that can safely wait a few microseconds.
Such technology will play a key role in home entertainment networks set up to pump multiple TV, video and audio streams around the house.
Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA) is an organization that test wireless devices for robustness and compatibility to the standards. Buying certified products (not only compatible) is not mandatory, but will ensure that a specific product is interoperable with other products, even from different manufacturers. This is also a stamp for performance and security quality.
The relevant certifications are (from most important to the least):
In addition to the above considerations, you should take into account the following parameters:
Network adapters wirelessly connect your computer to your wireless router. Make sure you have wireless adapter in each computer you want to connect wirelessly to the network. There are few form factors for wireless adapters:
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