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Chapter 4. Wireless Networking > Installing a Wireless LAN

Installing a Wireless LAN

Installing a wireless LAN can be very simple when you have a few PCs and a single WAP. More thought and configuration testing is required for complex configurations involving roaming and bridging. Installing a wireless LAN uses either an ad-hoc operating mode or an infrastructure operating mode. Bridging WAPs operate in a point-to-point mode. These are the three basic wireless LAN configurations that would be used in SOHO LANs.

Ad-Hoc Mode

When a wireless network is small and resource sharing is only with other computers on the wireless network, then the ad-hoc operating mode is used. Ad-hoc mode allows computers equipped with wireless NICs to communicate directly with each other. This obviates the need for a WAP. The most significant drawback of ad-hoc mode operation is that wireless PC hosts cannot communicate with computers on a wired Ethernet network. Further communication between wireless PC hosts is limited by the distance and interference directly between the wireless PC hosts. Consequently, ad-hoc operating mode is used for wireless PC to wireless PC simple peer-to-peer network configurations. It could also be used to connect several PCs to a single server, but because of distance and interference limitations network traffic is more restricted than if WAPs and infrastructure mode were used.


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