February 22, 2008 by EH Staff
No drilling, no wires, and some very respectable coverage. Wireless networks are here and adding one to your home network has never been easier. Eric Deming, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Linksys’ consumer business organization, answers some questions on the topic of basic home networking.
What are the basic costs involved in setting up a wireless home network?
Not including the computers themselves, there’s the Internet connection, which varies based on your selected service provider, and a wireless router, which varies by technology and quality but generally can cost anywhere from $19 to $279 for an ultrapremium dual-band model.
What will the consumer get for his money in terms of good, better, and best wireless networking products and price ranges?
A basic router for $70 provides simple wireless and home networking capabilities. The right customer for this would be looking to perform basic networking tasks and wouldn’t be too worried about superfast speeds. A jump to about $100 increases the distance and speed of your wireless coverage. Moving another rung up the ladder adds even more speed and range and retails for $120. This is the first level where basic streaming video becomes a viable option. When you get above the $150 barrier, you will start to see additional features, such as network storage, media servers, gigabit ports and dual-band capabilities.
What steps are involved in setting up a wireless home network?
Assuming there is an existing broadband Internet connection, do the following:
1. Determine what you are going to use the network for. Surfing the Internet? Streaming media? Voice over IP telephony?
2. Check the packaging to decide which router is right for your newly determined needs.
3. Run the setup CD and follow the instructions to hook up the router to your broadband connection. Linksys encourages you to enable security when given the option during setup.
4. Install a notebook or PC adapter to the computer by running the corresponding setup CD.
5. Connect any additional devices to the network
What are the differences between the 802.11 wireless technologies?
Given that the performance and range always varies by environment, the technologies offer the following:
802.11a: 54 Mbps theoretical throughput with 22 Mbps of potentially usable throughput in the 5-GHz band.
802.11b: 11 Mbps theoretical throughput with 5 Mbps of potentially usable throughput in the 2.4-GHz band.
802.11g: 54 Mbps theoretical throughput with 22 Mbps of potentially usable throughput in the 2.4-GHz band. Also offers additional wireless coverage versus 802.11a and b.
802.11n: 300 Mbps theoretical throughput with 180 Mbps of potentially usable throughput in the 2.4- or 5-GHz band. Offers dramatic improvement in range over 802.11 a, b and g.
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