Area Networks (LAN)
be surprised the next time you walk into your favorite café and notice
patrons with notebook computers browsing the web, downloading email or
chatting online – all without any cables attached! Just another internet
café? No, it’s a wireless community utilizing a wireless local area
wireless LAN is a relatively new and evolving technology that is destined
to replace some of the cables currently attached to your computer, and
make it possible to access the internet wherever you go.
thousands of small business offices and homes throughout the world
computers are being fitted with wireless network adapters while
conventional “wired” hubs and switches are being replaced with
wireless routers capable of connecting
hundreds of computers in a local area network (LAN).
trend is also moving toward wireless connections in the home. When an old
computer in the home is replaced with a new one, the old system is often
kept to create a LAN. This home LAN allows sharing of the internet
connection, makes backups to the other computer a breeze, enables sharing
of printers and (last but not least) network gaming.
technology is not restricted to just the café, office or home. Wireless
towns and communities are springing up all over the world.
two components that make it happen are a wireless router and a wireless
adapter. The routers commonly cost less than $100 now and allow up to 256
computers to link to each other. The adapter which connects the computer
to the wireless LAN comes in a variety of configurations. For notebooks,
PCMCIA cards are commonly used, although USB adapters are common also. The
industry refers to the technology as 802.11, with a letter appended. For
example, 802.11b is the most common standard, but there’s also 802.11a
and (most recently) 802.11g. Make sure the equipment you purchase is
compatible with the standard of each component.
very important thing to consider: Security. A LAN, by its nature, allows
easy sharing of files over the network, and for this reason, steps should
be taken to make sure your confidential files are not shared with
just think: It wasn’t all that long ago that we were connecting to the
Internet with a slow and simple telephone line. Now we’re wirelessly
surfing the high speed Internet while we sip our latte at Starbucks!
Steele is owner of Easy Computer, a training, repair, upgrade, and new
computer store located at 1649 Kalakaua Avenue, 942-3999.