Wireless Networking Basics
Wireless networking is simple in theory: just install a wireless network adapter in each computer and forget about drilling holes and running cable. When you deal with equipment based on the 802.11b (or Wi-Fi) standard, unfortunately, the reality often falls short of claimed specifications. Your wireless network will have a limited range - you've probably experienced a decrease in speed at a certain distance from an access point. That's why you must adjust the location and configuration of your wireless setup to obtain the best possible performance, range, and reliability. Follow expert advice and your connection will be faster across longer distances--and you'll have fewer dropped connections.
Pick the best location: The farther your wireless networked computer is from a wireless access point--and the greater the number of solid objects that stand in the way--the slower your connection will be. To optimize your network's speed and range, position your wireless access point at least a few feet above the floor and away from metal objects, particularly large appliances like refrigerators. Though most manuals for networking products tell you to position the access point in the middle of the coverage area, it's often better to identify the locations where you expect to use a computer and put the access point where it will be in a direct line of sight (or close to it) to as many of those places as possible.
Don't waste time worrying about "dead spots" if no one is likely to use a computer there. Once your wireless network is up and running, even slight changes in your wireless network card's position (say, a shift in the orientation of your laptop as you recline on the couch) may dramatically improve throughput or even restore a dropped connection.
For larger areas--or areas with many obstructions--your only option may be to shell out the cash for multiple access points. If you go this route, you'll find that wireless setup is easy: Simply make sure that the access points have identical settings. Virtually all wireless network adapters support "roaming": In areas where access point coverage overlaps, the adapter will latch on to the strongest signal.
About the Author: Lana Hampton makes it easy to find the right wireless product for your needs. Visit http://www.yowswireless.com today for the latest wireless information.