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:: Wireless

Wireless Ethernet

Because they donít require cable, wireless networks are becoming very popular. With the introduction of the 802.11b standard, wireless Ethernet has become reasonably reliable, making it a workable choice for a home network in areas that are difficult to wire.

The 802.11b Ethernet standard, also called WiFi, is based on the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet MAC standard. It supports speeds of up to 11 Mbps. Virtually all wireless networking available for office/home use is compliant with this standard. However, there are still some disadvantages to a purely wireless network.

The basic components of infrastructure mode networks include:

  • The radios embedded or installed within the wireless devices themselves. Many notebook computers and other Wi-Fi-compliant mobile devices, such as PDAs, come with the transmitters built in. But for others, you need to install a card-type device to enable wireless communications. Desktop PCs may also need an ISA or a PCI bus adapter to enable the cards to work.

  • The access point, which acts as a base station that relays signals between the 802.11 devices.

One or many access points?

Access points are standalone hardware devices that provide a central point of communication for your wireless users. How many you need in your application depends on the number of users and the amount of bandwidth required by each user. Bandwidth is shared, so if your network has many users who routinely send data-heavy multimedia files, additional access points may be required to accommodate the demand.

When to use external antennas.

If you plan to install access points, you can boost your signal considerably by adding external antennas. Various mounting configurations and high- and low-gain options are available.

You can also use add-on antennas to connect nodes where the topology doesnít allow for a clear signal between access points. Or use them to link multiple LANs located far apart.

A complete line of products and

components are available for your

complete end-to-end Wireless network.




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