Broadband Internet WiFi Hotspots
WiFi, which is also called 802.11 networking or wireless networking, easily links computers throughout an office or house by using radio signals, not wires. To simplify this technology, consider WiFi a computer version of walkie-talkie, which provides the means to communicate remotely.
WiFi Hotspots at Home
If your home already has multiple computers connected to an Ethernet network, adding a wireless hotspot is pretty easy. All you need to do is plug a wireless access point into the existing Ethernet network. This final piece of the puzzle is not free, so shop around for the best price.
A wireless access point router is a box that includes a port to connect a DSL or cable modem, router, Ethernet hub, firewall and wireless access point. Standard Ethernet cables or wireless cards will not successfully connect computers to this box.
WiFi hotspots become active when the wireless access point is turned on. Generally speaking, a WiFi hotspot signal spans about 100 feet in all directions. Walls, floors or other physical barriers will decrease the range, but you can expect good coverage throughout the house. Purchase an inexpensive signal booster to increase the range of the hotspot.
WiFi Security Concerns
Wireless networks contain a lot of private information that present different security issues. The main concern is a hacker can easily intercept, receive or interfere with WiFi transmission. However, wireless communications are not suspect to eavesdropping, which is a widespread WiFi fallacy.
WiFi transmissions cannot be received, decoded or interfered with short wave receivers or scanners. Beware that some highly specialized and expensive equipment can cause Internet security problems. Wired equivalent privacy or WEP guards WiFi communications by using encryption that ensures privacy equivalent to that of a conventional wired network. The majority of remote access points and network interfaces support various degrees of encryption to protect traffic from interception.
Wave of WiFi Networking
Cost and other misconceptions initially slowed the spread of WiFi access points, but not anymore. There are a lot of companies competing for the wireless marketplace and prices have dropped considerably since WiFi hit the market. It seems as though hotspots are popping up all over the place. From bookstores to coffee houses, wireless Internet is the way many are staying in touch and getting work done.
WiFi networks can support roaming, meaning a laptop computer can move from one access point to another without disruption. Unlike cellular carriers, WiFi uses a global set of standard and works in different countries around the world.