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Chapter 14. Setting Up and Running a Sma... > Setting Up a Wireless Network

Setting Up a Wireless Network

If you have a portable computer, how do you keep it connected to the network? You could try snaking a 100-foot-long cable from your office into your living room, although you’d get tired of tripping over it after a day or two. A much better option is to install a wireless network adapter in your computer and a wireless access point on your network. Using this combination, you can maintain a network connection without any wires.

The good news is that wireless networking hardware has plummeted in price in recent years; the hardware still costs more than the wired alternatives, but with careful shopping and some technical help you can find deals that make wireless networks relatively affordable. Even better news is that Windows XP can automatically detect and configure your wireless adapter. You need to follow the hardware manufacturer’s instructions to set up the wireless access point. After you’ve accomplished this task, connect the wireless adapter by sliding it into the PCMCIA slot on your portable PC or plugging it into a USB connector on a notebook or desktop PC. When you do, Windows displays the Connect To Wireless Network dialog box, as shown in Figure 14-2.


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