Building Your Home Network Part 2: Wireless Networking

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A wireless network is the same as a wired network, but cleaner in that it doesn’t use cables to connect everything. Instead, the devices are connected using radio wireless connections or Wi-Fi. If you want to set up a WiFi network, check out these basic terms.

Access Point

The access point is a device that sends out the Wi-Fi signal. This signal is what allows different devices to connect to the network. You are probably already familiar with access points if you’ve ever connected to the internet on your phone. All those different Wi-Fi networks are different sources. Most are locked and require a password to connect. You can buy a switch to add Wi-Fi support to your wired network, but it is best to just buy a wireless router if you want a wireless network.

Wi-Fi Client

The Wi-Fi Client or the WLAN client is a device inside the device that can connect to the Wi-Fi network. Most new devices come with them already built-in. However, if you have older computers, you can purchase a device that connects to a USB and allows the computer to access the Wi-Fi network. The Wi-Fi client is like the network port and cables in a wired network, but they are invisible and use radio waves to work.

Wi-Fi Range

Wi-Fi can’t stretch for miles. In fact, it is usually only good about 150 feet from the access point. So, while a wireless system is great if you have a laptop and don’t want to stay in one place, you won’t be able to take the network with you wherever you go. The further you move away from the access point, the worse your connection gets, and in some cases, it may get slower too.

Frequency Bands

Frequency bands is the term that refers to the radio frequencies that the Wi-Fi uses. The most commonly used frequency bands are 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Some devices come with both frequency bands, but most only come with one. 5GHz is faster than 2.4GHz, but 2.4GHz has a wider range.

Now that you know the basic terminology associated with wireless networks, you are on your first step toward creating your own network for your HOA.

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