Broadband wireless networks bring us closer to the Internet's ultimate destiny of interconnecting everyone, everywhere. But wireless networking can be a bit geeky and nerve-wracking without a proper guide. Let's face it: Networking can be hard.
If you're one of the last holdouts still connected to the Internet by a wire, The Book of Wireless, 2nd Edition is the book for you. You'll learn how to set up your own home (or small office) wireless network and how to use public wireless networks, safely and securely. This plain-English guide demystifies configuring and using wireless networks-everything from shopping for parts to securing your network. Learn how to:
Select and configure hardware and software for your Wi-Fi network and configure access points to minimize interference
Discover open networks and maintain your privacy while surfing in public
Use VoIP over a wireless connection to talk on the phone for next to nothing
Evaluate wireless data services based on cost, speed, and coverage
Extend your network to give your neighbors free wireless Internet access
You'll also learn about new and forthcoming broadband wireless standards and how to choose the right service provider and equipment. With up-to-date information on wireless routers, network interface cards, antennas, security, and software, The Book of Wireless, 2nd Edition will help you navigate the confusing wireless landscape to find the perfect solution.
Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION TO NETWORKING
Moving Data Around
The ISO OSI Model
Chapter 2 INTRODUCTION TO WIRELESS NETWORKS
How Wireless Networks Work
Benefits of Wireless
Wireless Data Services
Choosing a Service
Chapter 3 HOW WI-FI WORKS
Wi-Fi Network Controls
Wi-Fi Network Protocols
Wi-Fi Radio Frequencies
Wireless Network Devices
Putting It All Together
Chapter 4 THE HARDWARE YOU NEED FOR WI-FI
Everybody Speaks the Same Language (More or Less)
Adapters for Ad Hoc Networks
It's Time to Buy
Chapter 5 MANAGING YOUR WI-FI CONNECTIONS
Installing PC Card Adapters
Installing USB Adapters
Installing an Internal Adapter in a Laptop Computer
Installing an Internal Adapter in a Desktop System
Loading the Driver Software
Choosing a Control Program
Changing Your Adapter's Configuration Settings
Configuring a Network Connection
Signal Strength vs. Signal Quality
Chapter 6 WI-FI FOR WINDOWS
Windows Network Configuration in General
Troubleshooting the Connection
Chapter 7 WI-FI FOR LINUX AND UNIX
Drivers, Back Seat and Otherwise
Wi-Fi Control Programs
Configuring an Access Point
Wi-Fi for Unix
Chapter 8 WI-FI FOR MAC
Setting Up an AirPort Network
Connecting Macintosh Clients to Other Networks
Using Non-Apple Adapters with a Mac
Connecting an AirPort Card to a Non-AirPort Access Point
Connecting Other Wi-Fi Clients to an AirPort Network
Configuring an AirPort Extreme from Windows
Is AirPort the Answer?
Chapter 9 INSTALLING AND CONFIGURING WI-FI ACCESS POINTS
Installing Access Points
How Many Access Points?
Performing a Site Survey
Advantages of Mixed Networks
Extending the Network
Connecting the Access Points to a LAN and the Internet
Networking Your Neighborhood
Chapter 10 LONG RANGE POINT-TO-POINT LINKS
Extending the LAN
Point-to-Point and Point-to-Multipoint
Installing a Point-to-Point Link
Alternatives to Wi-Fi for Point-to-Point
Antennas for Network Adapters
Chapter 11 CONNECTING TO AN EXISTING WI-FI NETWORK
Public Wi-Fi Is Not Secure
Finding a Wi-Fi Hot Spot
Keeping Your Data Secure
NetStumbler and Other Sniffer Tools
Municipal Wi-Fi Networks
"Free Public WiFi"
Unprotected Private Access Points
Chapter 12 WIRELESS NETWORK SECURITY
Protecting Your Network and Your Data
Wi-Fi Security Tools
Turn Off DHCP
Turn Off the Power
Sharing Your Network with the World
Some Final Thoughts About Wi-Fi Security
Chapter 13 ALTERNATIVES TO WI-FI: WIRELESS BROADBAND DATA
What's Wrong with Wi-Fi?
Broadband Data Services
Choosing a Service Provider
Connecting to a Wireless Broadband Network
Using More Than One Computer
Clearwire, Sprint, and Other Pre-WiMAX Services
Broadband Wireless in Automobiles and Other Vehicles
Chapter 14 SMARTPHONES AND PDAs
Connecting to the Internet Through PDAs and Other Handheld Devices
Choosing a Smartphone
Which Is Best?
Chapter 15 VIRTUAL PRIVATE NETWORKS
VPN Client Software
Using a Wireless VPN
Chapter 16 USING BROADBAND FOR TELEPHONE CALLS
VoIP over Broadband Wireless and WiMAX
Voice over Wi-Fi
Chapter 17 TIPS AND TROUBLESHOOTING
My computer doesn't detect my network adapter.
The wireless control program tries to run, even if I'm not using my adapter.
My computer won't associate with the local network.
My computer connects to the wrong network.
I can see the local network, but I can't connect to the Internet.
I can see the Internet, but I can't see other computers on my LAN.
The signal strength is weak or signal quality is low.
I can't find a public network.
I don't know if I'm within range of a network.
The network is slow.
My computer drops its connection.
My Wi-Fi network has crashed.
Can I improve performance with an external antenna?
What else can I do to improve performance?
When I move to a different access point, the adapter loses the connection.
Where can I find a copy of the Wi-Fi standards?
How can I find out who made my network adapter?
Is the software that came with my network adapter or access point up to date?
I'm having trouble connecting to a broadband network.
I'm having trouble connecting to my VPN.
How can I extend the life of my computer's battery?
Can I use my access point as a network bridge?
I've heard that radio signals from cellular phones might be dangerous. What about Wi-Fi?
John Ross has worked as a consultant on wired and wireless networking for several manufacturers, including Motorola and AT&T. He is the author of Internet Power Tools (Random House), Connecting with Windows (Sybex), It's Never Done That Before (No Starch), and numerous other titles.
Comments about oreilly The Book of Wireless, 2nd Edition:
An excellent guide to the mysteries of broadband wireless networks. It's pretty comprehensive, covering everything from the basics of networking, how wi-fi actually works, the various types of hardware you'll need and encounter, through to chapters on the hot topics of wireless security and wireless on your smartphone.
The text itself is friendly and clear, with great examples strewn throughout. There's a lot of depth to the explanations too - everyone from a techie to a wifi novice will find useful information in this book. There's a great chapter on installing and configuring your wifi access points, which covers everything you'll need to know. Other chapters are slightly more specialised, for example the one on long-range point-to-point links - interesting stuff, but aimed at the more advanced level. There are detailed chapters on setting up wifi for Windows, Mac and Linux - nice to see all three covered in detail.
The book moves onto with a look at the alternatives to wifi - EDGE, EV-DO, WiMax and so on, before finishing off with chapters on smartphones/PDAs and VPNs. Rounded off with a short but useful troubleshooting section, this book really does cover everything you'd need to know about wireless technology