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Summary

Before you jump into wireless networking, if you haven't already, there are a few questions you might want to ask.

Is your home or office right for a wireless network? In most cases, the answer to this question will be 'yes' (or a qualified yes in a very large home). The range of wireless networking equipment is its greatest drawback. If your home or workspace is quite large, where your wireless networking equipment will be more than 150 feet apart from each other, you will need to consider mixing wired networking hardware and wireless networking hardware. See Chapter 4, which explains how to set up a hybrid network—one with wireless hardware and wired hardware (such as Ethernet, phoneline, or powerline networking equipment). Another option: You can add more wireless access points, which will extend the range of your network by another 150 feet indoors (or about twice that outside).

Do you really need wireless equipment? If you simply want to connect two or three desktop computers in the same room, there's not much reason to set up a wireless network. In this case, you'll save money and time with a wired network. However, if just one of those computers is a laptop, and you'd like the ability to work on that computer from any spot in the house, wireless is a great option.

Are you willing to spend extra time setting up wireless equipment? While wireless equipment is more flexible, and portable, than wired networking equipment, it takes more time to set up. That said, once your wireless equipment is up and running, you won't need to spend much time maintaining it. If you are interested in the flexibility of wireless, it's well worth the extra time for setup.


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