As far as I’m concerned, wireless networks would have to rank as one of the best inventions in history. They really are the best thing since sliced bread. I mean, really, bread is easy enough to cut yourself, but have you ever tried to wire up a network? Its a lot of hard yakka as many would say.
WiFi is the wireless way to handle networking. It is also known as 802.11 networking and wireless networking. The big advantage of WiFi is its simplicity. You can connect computers anywhere in your home or office without the need for wires. The computers connect to the network using radio signals, and computers can be up to 100 feet or so apart. So, in the spirit of spreading the word, I’m going to give you some great reasons why you need a wireless network.
Sharing Internet Access.
Wireless networking gives you a cheap and easy way to share one Internet connection between multiple computers, eliminating the need for more than one modem. You can even add new computers to your network simply by plugging in a wireless card and switching them on — they get an Internet connection straightaway! There aren’t many wired networks that can say that.
Sharing Files and Printers.
A wireless network gives you access to your files wherever you are in your home, and makes it easy to synchronise the data on a laptop with a home computer. It is much easier to send files between computers with a wireless network than it is to send them by email, or even by burning them to a CD.
Plus, with the printer connected, you can also write things wherever you want, press print, and go and collect them from a printer connected to another computer — printers that are plugged into one of the computers on the network are shared between all the computers automatically.
Always On Connection
A big factor in the spread of broadband was that it let Internet connections be always-on, without needing to dial in. Well, wireless networking lets network connections be always-on, meaning that any of your computers can connect to the Internet whenever you want! You can take laptops from room to room, and it doesn’t matter — they’ll always have access. Plus, there’s not even any need to set up a username and password system, as wireless networks work without logging in. It’s just so convenient!
No More Wires.
This, of course, is the biggest reason why you should switch your network over to wireless. Wires are inconvenient, expensive, ugly and dangerous — you’ll be delighted to see the back of them.
The average Ethernet wire doesn’t cost that much per metre, but once you’ve bought enough metres to do whatever you need to do, well, it tends to add up quickly. Not only that, but if you want to run your wire between rooms or floors, you have to knock holes in the walls — which might not even be allowed if you’re renting. I know plenty of people in rented apartments who had to keep their network confined to one room until they went wireless. With wireless networking, well, you can even take your computer outside, if you want to!
No more wires also means no more spaghetti all over the floor and in the corners. Not only does this improve the safety of your home, as it’s all too easy to trip over exposed wires, but it also means that you don’t have to go to all the trouble of packing all the wires up and re-connecting them at the other end when you move. It also means that you don’t have to examine every wire for damage if your Internet connection breaks down.
Play LAN and Internet Games.
You might have seen an option in your favourite game to play over a LAN. Well, wireless networks are LANs, which means that your whole family can play that game together — without needing the computers to be anywhere near each other. It’s far more fun to play against real people you know than to play against random people over the Internet, not to mention that the game will work much faster. You could even invite your friends to bring their computers and join in — a ‘LAN party’!
An added benefit is that wireless equipment lets you easily connect any games consoles you or your kids might have to the Internet, and start playing online. It’s far easier to play online with a wirelessly connected Xbox or PlayStation 2 than to have to connect it to your modem every time.
If you’re excited, then that’s great — keep reading these articles for advice on how to set everything up. If you don’t think it’s for you yet, well, don’t give up on it — I’m sure you’ll come round when you realize just how easy and cheap wireless really is.