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Wireless Networking

One great way to work “unplugged” is to maintain your network or Internet connection with wireless networking. Radio-based networking technology has advanced rapidly in recent years, and it's being deployed in schools, universities, corporations, airports, and even coffee houses. Whether you're at a client's desk or in an overstuffed chair sipping a café latte, as long as you're within hundred feet or so of a network access point, you're online.

For a portable computer, what you'll need is a PC-card based radio transmitter/receiver. Windows XP has built-in support for the 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g security and signaling protocols used in Wireless networking. These protocols ensure that the data rate is adjusted up and down as the quality of the radio signal reception varies. If you're in the market for a new adapter, you should buy the 802.11g variety because this type of adapter can work at 54Mbps when it talks to other “g” equipment but can also work with 802.11b equipment at 11Mbps.


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