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.
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.
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
available for your
end-to-end Wireless network.