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Book Excerpt: "802.11 Wireless Networks: The Definitive Guide"

If you want to deploy your own wireless network—at home or at the office—you must first understand the capabilities and risks associated with the 802.11 protocols. This comprehensive guide is the perfect place to start. The updated edition covers everything you need to know about integrating wireless technology into your current infrastructure.

s you all know by now, wireless networks offer many advantages over fixed (or wired) networks. Foremost on that list is mobility, since going wireless frees you from the tether of an ethernet cable at a desk. But that's just the tip of the cable-free iceberg. Wireless networks are also more flexible, faster, and easier for you to use, and more affordable to deploy and maintain.

The de facto standard for wireless networking is the 802.11 protocol, which includes Wi-Fi (the wireless standard known as 802.11b) and its faster cousin, 802.11g. With easy-to-install 802.11 network hardware available everywhere you turn, the choice seems simple, and many people dive into wireless computing with less thought and planning than they'd give to a wired network. But it's wise to be familiar with both the capabilities and risks associated with the 802.11 protocols. And 802.11 Wireless Networks: The Definitive Guide, 2nd Edition is the perfect place to start.

This updated edition covers everything you'll ever need to know about wireless technology. Designed with the system administrator or serious home user in mind, it's a no-nonsense guide for setting up 802.11 on Windows and Linux. Among the wide range of topics covered are discussions on:

  • Deployment considerations
  • Network monitoring and performance tuning
  • Wireless security issues
  • How to use and select access points
  • Network monitoring essentials
  • Wireless card configuration
  • Security issues unique to wireless networks
With wireless technology, the advantages to its users are indeed plentiful. Companies no longer have to deal with the hassle and expense of wiring buildings, and households with several computers can avoid fights over who's online. And now, with 802.11 Wireless Networks: The Definitive Guide, 2nd Edition, you can integrate wireless technology into your current infrastructure with the utmost confidence.

Chapter 21 discusses four approaches to building a wireless LAN. How do the features of wireless LANs influence network topology? Besides the 802.11 equipment, what other equipment is needed to deploy a network? How should the logical network be constructed for maximum mobility?

Download the PDF of Chapter 21: 'Logical Wireless Network Architecture'

Reproduced from "802.11 Wireless Networks: The Definitive Guide, 2nd Edition," by permission of O'Reilly Media, Inc. ISBN 0-596-10052-3, copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

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