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Chapter 1. Entering a World Without Wires > Why Wi-Fi Is Important - Pg. 5

Entering a World Without Wires 5 But if you're reading this book to learn to travel with Wi-Fi, I've got lots of information and goodies for you (see Chapter 3, "Hitting the Road with Wi-Fi," and Part III, "Going Mobile with Wi-Fi"). On the other hand, if your primary interest is in setting up a wireless network, you may just want to turn straight away to Part IV, "Creating a Wi-Fi Network." You'll find everything you always wanted to know about buying and configuring a Wi-Fi device in Part II, "Setting Up Your Computer for Wi-Fi." Part V, "Securing Your Wi-Fi Computer and Network," provides plentiful information about that per- ennially pesky topic, security and wireless computing. Why Wi-Fi Is Important The 802.11 standard is important because millions of people all over the world are using this stand- ard. They use it to connect without wires to the Internet when they are on the road and away from their home or office. They are also using 802.11 to create wireless networks in their homes and offices. Although Wi-Fi is only a few years old, it's important because it provides an assurance of compat- ibility for 802.11 devices. Each Wi-Fi device will "talk" to every other Wi-Fi device--and the Wi-Fi Alliance has certified that this is the case! (For more information about the Wi-Fi Alliance, see the sidebar "The Wi-Fi Alliance" earlier in this chapter.) The Wi-Fi Alliance makes the unequivocal statement that "Wi-Fi labeled equipment will work with any other piece of wireless networking gear that also has the Wi-Fi logo." Without the assurance of Wi-Fi compatibility, you would probably go mad trying for interoperability in a world of widely diver- gent wireless devices.