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Complete Wireless Home Networking

Complete Wireless Home Networking

Paul Heltzel

Jul 2003, Paperback, 224 pages
ISBN13: 9780131461536
ISBN10: 0131461532
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This book offers tips and tricks for finding the best equipment for your home networking project and then walks you through the wireless network setup that's right for you. The wireless market is expanding quickly. New standards, including high-speed 802.11a, and the emergence of other "no-new-wires" technologies, such as powerline, are making the home networking market a slightly confusing one for consumers. Connecting and using interoperable equipment from vendors including Linksys, Netgear, Intel, D-Link, and Proxim, among others, can be a genuine plug-and-play experience. Or it can lead to several days, or more, of confusing hang-ups. There are pitfalls to be sure, but they can be avoided with a little planning. This book can help. Looking toward the future, there are a host of new wireless standards coming out in the next two years. Should you wait for faster technology or jump in now? There are some ingenious ways being developed by manufacturers to make interoperable technologies work together (dual-mode wireless access points, for instance, that work with 802.11a and 802.11b), and you can always upgrade later. In a word, "jump."

  • Set up your home wireless network-the quick and painless way
  • Learn time-saving tricks and troubleshooting tips from an expert
  • Enjoy the freedom of wireless computing at home-no experience required!
  • Get simple instructions and tips for Windows 98 through XP

Fast, reliable, secure home wireless networks-the easy way!

Today's home wireless networks offer tremendous advantages over hard-wired networks-among them, unprecedented portability and, of course, the freedom from wires strung all over your house! Unless you have a firm grasp on all the latest networking technologies, though, wireless networks won't free you from digging your way through a collection of confusing, jargon-riddled manuals; dealing with obscure configuration modes; and finally, hoping somehow it will all work once you flip the switch.

If you want a home wireless network without the headaches, then Complete Wireless Home Networking: Windows XP Edition, by wireless networking authority Paul Heltzel, is for you. Written in an engaging, conversational style, this book offers reliable advice on determining your equipment needs, then guides you through each step of building a wireless network-installation, setup, configuration, and troubleshooting. And with minimal fuss, you'll have a home wireless network that's fast, secure, and optimized for your physical environment and computing requirements. Whether you're accessing the Internet from your back yard, sending jobs to a printer downstairs, or transferring files effortlessly, you'll wonder how you got by without a wireless network. Coverage includes:

  • Adding and sharing peripherals and Internet connections, step by step
  • Maximizing and troubleshooting wireless connections
  • Using vital security tools such as firewalls and data encryption, and much more!

This book is intended for anyone who wants to get a home wireless network up and running in no time, with no previous experience in networking required. You'll find simple instructions and tips for computers running Windows 98 through XP, including how to make them peacefully co-exist.


1. Why Network Wirelessly?
What Is Wireless Networking? Benefits of Wireless Networking. Wireless Speed in the Real World. Sharing Your Broadband Modem. Sharing Printers and CD and Hard Drives.

2. Getting Ready.
Learning Some Basic Networking Terms. How Wireless Networking Works. File Sharing. Internet Sharing. Networking Securely.

3. Wireless Considerations.
Your Wireless Equipment's Range. Ad-hoc vs Infrastructure. How Walls, Concrete, and Steel Affect Your Signal. Maximum Speeds vs Real World Speeds. Getting the Most Out of Your Wireless Signal. 802.11a, 802.11b, or 802.11g?

4. Wireless Hardware and Software Setup.
Connection Options. Setting Up Hardware. Software Overview. Using Ad-hoc Mode. Working with Access Points. Access Points with Built-in Routers. Troubleshooting. Placing Your Equipment. Creating a Peer-to-Peer Network. Creating an Infrastructure Network. Setting Up a Hybrid Network. Connecting Network Multimedia Devices. Mixing 802.11 Equipment.

5. Making Use of Wireless Standards.
A Good Start: 802.11b. Wirelessly Networking a PDA. HomeRF. Moving Up: 802.11a. Newcomer: 802.11g. Sending Files via Infrared. Printing through Infrared.

6. Finding Hardware and Help.
Conducting Your Research. Finding Reliable Reviews. Buying Equipment Online. Ensuring Interoperability. Finding Help on the Internet. Checking Out the Web. Finding Answers through Newsgroups. Getting Assistance from Mailing Lists. Looking Toward the Future.

7. Step-by-Step Networking with Windows.
Make Sure Your Hardware Is Recognized. Checking for TCP/IP. Naming Your Computer and Workgroup. Start File and Printer Sharing. Using Network Neighborhood. Share Internet Access Wirelessly.

8. Step-by-Step with Windows XP.
Make Sure Your Hardware Is Recognized. Updating Your Drivers. Change Settings Manually. File and Printer Sharing. Sharing Internet Access. Using the Network Setup Wizard.

9. Routers and Internet Connection Sharing.
Choosing a Wireless or Wired Router. Adding a Router to Your Network. Setting Up Windows ICS on the Host Computer. Setting Up Client Computers.

10. Become Internet Ready.
Setting Up E-mail. Browsing the Web. Adding Instant Messaging. Finding Your IP Address. Checking Your Throughput. Setting Up PPPoE.

11. Troubleshoot Wireless Connections.
Are Your Drivers Current? Finding a Bad Network Adapter. The Trouble with a Mixed Windows 98 and 2000 Network. Configuration Utility Errors. Firewall Hangup. Printer Problems. Other Common Problems.

12. Security.
Firewalls. Choose a Hardware or Software Firewall? Wireless Encryption. Router Filters. How to Encrypt Your E-mail and Other Data. Viruses and Your Network.

Appendix: Adding a Server.
Wirelessly Connecting a New Server. Setting Up File and Printer Sharing. Adding a Wireless Printer Server. Protecting Your Server.


Photo Credits.


PAUL HELTZEL has written extensively on wireless technology, the Internet, and network computing for magazines and Web sites including PC World, Business 2.0 and CNN Interactive. During the late 1990s, he created Web sites for the Discovery Channel, MCI, and Discover Card. He then served as a reporter and editor for PC World in San Francisco. He has contributed articles on technology to the Washington Post, MIT Technology Review, and the New York Times on the Web. He lives in New Orleans, where he serves as an adjunct instructor in the Media Arts department of Tulane's University College This is his seventh book.