The Importance Of Having A Wireless Network

Having a wireless network opens up many possibilities.

Wireless networks provide an inexpensive and easy way to share a single Internet connection among several computers. This means you only need one modem, and you can add additional computers to the network just by plugging in a wireless card and turning them on. The new machines are connected to the Internet immediately.

A wireless network also lets you access files and printers from anywhere in your home. It allows you to synchronize files you have on your laptop with your home computer, and you can easily send files between computers as well. Using a wireless network to transfer files is faster than sending them via e-mail or burning them to a CD! Because printers connected to one of the computers on a network are shared by all the computers on that network, you can write documents anywhere in your home, press the 'print' button, and collect the printed files from a printer that is connected to another computer.

If you are a game player, you've probably noticed that your games often have an option to play over a local area network or LAN. Wireless networks are LANs! This means you and your family can play these games together and don't have to be on computers that are next to each other to do so. Let's face it - it's more fun to play against real people, and it's even more fun to play against people you know instead of strangers on the Internet. Your games will also play much faster over your LAN. Additionally, you can connect game consoles to the Internet and begin playing these games online. It is much easier to experience online play through an Xbox or PlayStation 2 that is connected to a wireless network than have to use a modem!

Wireless network connections are always on. This means you can connect to the Internet whenever you want without waiting for your modem to dial in. Laptops can be carried from room to room, and they will always have access to the Internet. Since wireless networks operate without the need to log in, you don't need to set up usernames or passwords.

The single greatest thing about a wireless network is that it is, well, wireless! The biggest reason to have a wireless network is because it eliminates the need for costly, ugly, and dangerous wires trailing all over your house. You can use your computer in any room you want - no more being trapped near a phone outlet or walking over that tangle of wires in your home. The cost of getting enough Ethernet cables can add up, and sometimes, you may even have to make holes in your walls to set up a wired network. If you're renting, of course, this is impossible. With a wireless network, you don't have these problems - you can even use your computer outside if you want! And if you move, there is no need to disconnect and pack up all those wires, and you no longer have to examine all the wires for damage whenever your Internet connection goes down.

You can see how having a wireless network can simplify your life.

Educators Guide to Planning a Wireless Network - Part 1



There are many things to think about when planning a wireless network for a school environment. Your wireless network must be secure, must be able to handle teachers and staff work loads, and finally provide wireless access for mobile laptop labs for students. Combining all the above could be seem very difficult considering most schools will have about 100 staff members and over 500 students.

The first stage of planning your network is to discuss with staff what a wireless network will and won't do. Find out exactly the areas where the staff will and won't need wireless access. Will the staff or students need access in the gym area? Will the students need wireless access outdoors? How many wireless laptops will be accessing the network? What applications do the staff intend to use while using the wireless network? What applications will the students be using on the wireless network? Keep asking questions until you feel everyone understands the capabilities of a wireless network. If you fail to ask many questions it could cost your district a lot of time and money on something that doesn't fill the schools needs.

Wireless networks in schools will usually have to support the following missions. A common need is to provide access for mobile laptops labs for students. Students use the labs to surf the internet, access network servers and perform research. Your network will need to support over twenty students accessing your wireless network in one area at the same time.

Mission two,, outdoor wireless access. This can provide a great learning opportunity for students to take technology out of the class room and perform science experiments via wireless computers. Great for students, but a large potential headache to secure an outdoors wireless network.

Mission three, provide teachers and staff members wireless network access to move through out the schools with out having to reconfigure their laptop every time they switch rooms. Seamless wireless access is a must for educators who are usually strapped for time and have little technology training. Your network needs to flexible enough to handle staff training sessions and conference rooms.

Mission four, Security. Providing wireless access for schools is one thing, providing secure wireless access in a school environment can be very difficult. Security in schools is often the last concern so when planning for your network explain all the wireless security threats to your planning committee so they know you just can't throw wireless access points around the network and expect things to go well. Students are very smart and often more computer savvy then teachers so if you have an open wireless network it will be exploited with in the first day.

Once you have performed your recon and asked every question you can think of, it's now time to think about what hardware for your wireless network. In the next installment of this series we will talk about wireless adapters, wireless access points, different vendors and how to start your purchasing.

Personal Wireless Networking

If you've got a wireless network for your computers already, well, you might get a bit excited about what I'm going to say next. How would you feel if your PDA, your mobile phone, your mp3 player and almost everything else you connect to your computer could be wireless too? You'd like that? Well, it's already a reality and has been for some time now.

Bluetooth is wireless and automatic, and has a number of interesting features that can simplify our daily lives. Bluetooth is a standard developed by a group of electronics manufacturers that allows any sort of electronic equipment -- from computers and cell phones to keyboards and headphones -- to make its own connections, without wires, cables or any direct action from a user. Read on...

Personal Area Network.

Using wireless networking with your personal gadgets is often called PAN, which stands for Personal Area Network. The idea is that, in the future, we'll all have laptop computers with their batteries charged and no more need to connect any wires to them at all -- you just place your Bluetooth device near the computer, and the computer sees it and can use it straightaway.

Bluetooth has been around and in-use since 1999, and it's only getting more popular. It was designed to be secure, low cost, and easy to use from day one.

There are two classes of Bluetooth that are in popular use: class 1 and class 2. Class 2 is the most common and cheaper standard, allowing you to use a device that is up to 10 metres (32 feet) away. Class 1 is rarer, but you can still find devices that use it easily enough, and it has ten times the range: 100 metres or 320 feet.

How Does It Work?

Bluetooth is more flexible than 802.11 wireless networking, in exchange for the shorter range. Essentially, a Bluetooth-enabled computer has one Bluetooth receiver installed in it, and this receiver can then be used with up to 7 nearby Bluetooth devices. On the other end, wireless devices do not need to have Bluetooth installed if they support it -- it is already integrated.

Like 802.11, Bluetooth works by using radio signals to create bandwidth. It is not, though, the same thing as an old-style wireless mouse or keyboard, which required a receiver to be plugged into one of your computers' ports, and didn't have range or stability anywhere near that of Bluetooth.

Many computers now come with built in Bluetooth, especially Apple Macs. If you want to add Bluetooth to a computer that doesn't come with it pre-installed, you should probably use a USB to Bluetooth adapter, although internal Bluetooth devices to install in your computer are available. If you have a laptop and a spare PCMCIA slot, you can get Bluetooth cards for that too.

What Can You Do With Bluetooth?

Mobile phones with Bluetooth are very popular, and so are PDAs -- the instant synchronisation of addresses and calendars to a computer is a useful feature. Other than that, almost anything that would usually use USB can be done using Bluetooth, including digital cameras, mp3 players, printers, and even mice and keyboards. If you take a look through the comprehensive list of Bluetooth 'profiles' (kinds of devices that could, in theory, be Bluetooth enabled), it includes cordless phones, faxes, headsets, and even video.

Basically, more than anything, Bluetooth is a replacement for USB: some say that while 802.11 wireless networking is wireless Ethernet, Bluetooth is wireless USB.

Not Just for Computers.

Part of the power of Bluetooth is that it isn't just used to connect things to computers -- it can be used to connect almost anything to anything else, if both things are Bluetooth-enabled and recognise each other.

Mobile phones, in particular, take advantage of this. Hands-free headsets often use Bluetooth to communicate with the phone. Some cars, for example, now have on-board computers that will connect with a Bluetooth phone and allow you to make hands-free calls, regardless of where the phone is in the car (even if you've left it in your bag in the trunk!)

On top of that, of course, Bluetooth devices can communicate with each other. This has led to some people sending messages from their Bluetooth PDAs to others in close range -- not an especially useful feature, but quite fun. This is called 'bluejacking', and the first recorded instance of it was a man who sent a Bluetooth message to another man's Nokia phone while they were in a bank together. What did the message say? 'Buy Ericsson'.

Since then, it has become possible to send images by bluejacking, and it is widely believed to be the newest advertising medium -- yes, it lets billboards send messages to your phone, a practice known as 'bluecasting'. Whether you think that's cool or annoying, of course, is your choice.

Verizon Wireless' New MiFi Mobile Hotspot Vs External USB and PC Card Broadband Devices

The newest device to enter the market looking for a portion of your broadband-bucks is the MiFi (pronounced "my-fye") Intelligent Mobile Hotspot from Verizon Wireless. Priced at around $99 (with new 2-year contract), the MiFi is pricey, but within reach for those looking to expand their mobile broadband network.

The MiFi's main difference from traditional external USB and Broadband devices is that it has dual abilities, half modem and half wireless router. After activation the MiFi 2200 will work as a modem when it's connected to a computer, or a router when disconnected. In modem mode it provides an Internet connection to only the computer to which it is physically connected.

In router mode, however, the MiFi connects to the Internet and shares that connection wirelessly with up to five other Wi-Fi enabled devices. This mode works just like any other Wi-Fi hotspot allowing wireless devices to pick up its signal automatically. A very cool feature to have, now that so many devices around the house are wi-fi compatible. Connect your laptop, along with your iPod Touch, Nintendo Wii, TiVo, and have another wireless slot still available for a friend.

Just slightly larger than five credit cards stacked together, the Verizon Wireless MiFi is small and attractive. You can easily keep it in your pocket of purse, which makes this great for grab-n-go with your kids. Imagine a family road trip where your teenage kids are using their Internet, iPod, and you can keep up travel advisories and weather along the way. All simultaneously, and all based on the one single device-your MiFi.

Data plans are different than the standard mobile broadband plans, so make sure you know what you're getting. The most notable difference is that there is not option for unlimited date transfer. Currently, Verizon is offering two plans: either $40 for 250MB a month or $60 for 5GB month, (overage charges are 5 cents and 10 cents per MB for the $60 and $40 plans, respectively).

The bottom line is that if you're looking for cell-based mobile Internet, the MiFi Intelligent Mobile Hotspot from Verizon Wireless is a great option to consider.

Is Android Google's First Step Towards Monopolizing the Mobile Market?

Google appears to dominate every market in which they step foot. For this reason, many believe that Android is the company's first step towards monopolizing the mobile market. And it might be. To really understand the importance of Android to Google, however, you need to determine what mobile market they wish to monopolize. Also, a quick look at the history of Google's moves into various open source projects will shed some light on whether Android is truly its first step towards monopolizing the mobile market.

Traditionally, Google has been a strong supporter of open standards and open source software. The company has used open source code as the base for a number of projects such as the Chrome browser. These projects are important to Google because their open nature ensures that users will be able to access the search giant's content and applications. Google's revenue is largely based on the ads in its various applications. Google depends on people using the search and Google applications to earn money. Android is a clever way for the company to ensure that users continue to use Google products as computing moves to mobile devices. Is this a first step to monopolizing the mobile market? It could be interpreted that way but it seems that Android is definitely Google's first step towards ensuring that it continues to be relevant and earn revenue as computing becomes mobile.

Google has a number of applications that are ad supported such as Gmail. Android is a good way for Google to ensure that their applications will work or be integrated into mobile devices. It would be natural for Google to be concerned that competing applications like Apple's MobileMe would be bundled into the mobile platforms from those companies. Android allows Google to bundle its applications with a mobile device which ensures greater uptake by end users. In this respect, it certainly appears as though Android is the first step to Google's monopolizing the mobile market. By providing an open platform that any hardware manufacturer or carrier can use, the company makes certain that theirs will be numerous devices with Google applications already built in.

Is Android a bid in monopolizing the mobile market for wireless service or is it really a ploy to enter the hardware market? It seems unlikely that Google has much interest in owning market share for wireless services or hardware. In the past, Google participated in wireless spectrum auctions. They got rules adopted that required openness if the bids reached a certain level. Google then bid them to that level and then stopped. That seems to indicate that Google had no real interest in becoming a wireless carrier themselves. In the hardware arena, Google recently introduced the Nexus One phone which is based on Android. However, most indicators are that Google's entry into the hardware arena was intended more to demonstrate to other hardware makers what was possible with Android. Again, the Nexus One is an open system which will allow users to select their carrier of choice. These moves suggest that Android is not Google's first step to monopolizing the mobile market for hardware or wireless.

Google has enjoyed a strong market share of content advertising and search marketing for a long time. However, changes in computing have threatened Google's supremacy. Android is Google's first step to maintaining their market share in the mobile market. Google's recent moves in hardware and in bidding for wireless spectrum strongly suggest that Android is not their first step into monopolizing the mobile market in hardware or wireless. However, Google's business model does require that they continue to gain strong adoption of their search engine and applications. In this regard, Android is definitely a first step of Google's monopolization of the mobile market for advertising and content.

Electronics Gadgets Developments: Can 4G Transform The Shape Of Worldwide Mobile Computing?

Technology seems to be developing faster than ever these days, especially when it comes to wireless technology and broadband networks. 3G has only just been rolled out through much of the developed world and there is already talk of the LTE or Long Term Evolution protocol, better recognized as broadband.

However, this is happening despite the fact that current 3G or third generation wireless technologies have only penetrated only 14 percent of the world's 5.12 Billion mobile phone subscribers. The quantity of 3G subscribers is growing a little over 50 million a month as of September of 2010, much of which are attributed to the deployment of 3G in newer markets such as China, India and Brazil.

Snowballing demand for faster upload and download speeds and larger bandwidth capacities are probably behind this push that could change the manner we perceive technology forever.

The War Between The Standards

The evolution of mobile phone standards is categorized based on the download and upload rates for data transfer. The present technology in wide distribution right now is 3G which is short for the third generation of wireless communication technologies. 3G provides quicker transfer rates not only for voice signals but also for non-voice data allowing multimedia applications such as video telephony to be used more realistically.

But once 3G technologies are rolled out, new releases in the technology followed suit including HSDPA or High-Speed Downlink Packet Access or what is also known as 3GPP release 5 and HSUPA or 3GPP release 6. In due course, these protocols are also being upgraded to HSPA or High Speed Packet Access. HSPA can be used for most GSM frequencies giving users more flexibility and universal roving capabilities.

The world has just begun to see the wonders HSPA is bringing and here comes another upgrade in the form of LTE or Long Term Evolution. With another technology called WiMax, LTE is considered the 4G or fourth generation of wireless technologies. It's architecture is focused on Internet Protocol (IP) and is designed to facilitate easier Internet access through cellular phones and alternative mobile devices.

TeliaSonera was the first to make LTE available to the public in Stockholm and Oslo but prior to that the European Commission made announcements that it will induct much in the investigation and development of LTE and 4G systems. The United States plans to follow suit with MetroPCS, Verizon and AT&T made similar pronouncements to convert their networks to 4G.

Now, there is still a scarcity of LTE-enabled devices but among these include tablet PCs and other portable computers. These tablets and netbooks have dual mode capabilities and can run on both HSPA and LTE networks. As more and more networks continue to shift towards these new 4G technologies, it would be a wise decision for you as a reseller to focus your investments towards devices designed with these technologies in mind.

Enter the Tablet

One device that you should set your eyes on as an online reseller is the tablet personal computer. A portable computer with a touchscreen as its main input device, tablets provide the mobility of mobile phones and the power of laptops in one stylish device. It is different from a personal computer in the implication that it has no tangible keyboard but uses an onscreen virtual alternative. Tablets also use low-powered hardware components and are not designed for use with demanding power applications.

Unlike smartphones, tablet PCs are also not mobile phones although they are designed for Internet and local network connection. Tablets have built in Wi-Fi capabilities as well as 3G / 4G connectivity. This enables the tablet to connect to the internet through any hotspot or if this is not to be had can connect through the mobile 3G/4G network at extra costs. Tablets are preferred by people who want to access the Internet on the go but are not content with the small screen and contained capabilities of smartphones.

Nevertheless, later and newer models of tablets will be designed as a complete communications solution and will have the same functionality and features as mobile phone handsets using interchangeable 3G or 4G connectivity capabilities. More and more people are into online streaming video even while on the go and tablets using the faster LTE network would be the perfect device to provide them with such capabilities - as well as make phone calls.

Right now the tablet trade is occupied by a few original equipment manufacturers such as the Apple iPad and Samsung's Galaxy tablet. People who are looking for alternative devices from China might find a wind variety of products available such the APads or ePads or similar variations using Google's Android system.

There might still be some problems with 3G or 4G connectivity with these Chinese products as these standards are just beginning to take off in new markets such as China and India. As a reseller, you should be well vigilant of this existing limitation and should carefully ask about the 3G or 4G capabilities of these devices particularly with regards to their operating frequencies. However, with the rate of development China-made products are being churned out, it would just be a matter of months before full pledged 3G and 4G tablets with the same functionality and features as branded ones will be made available in the market.

How To Choose Mobile Email Solution For Your Organisation

The workforce mobility is steadily increasing every year. There are approximately more than Billion mobile workers in the world today. If IT applications do not go mobile along with the employees, their productivity level and value decreases significantly. The immediate need of these mobile professionals is for remote access to their email in order to successfully transact business outside traditional work places at all times.

As mobile ways of working become indispensable, it is imperative for working professionals to move out of their organization to realize the significant business benefits. Whether the top management or the decision makers of an organization realize it or not, the majority of their mobile workforce has an inherent requirement for wireless access to e-mail.

If wireless e-mail is such a priority for enterprises, then the question arises

"What is preventing deployment?"

These days various wireless e-mail solutions and client models are available in the market. The enterprises (large or SME's) are still evaluating the right
configuration for their deployment. Most wireless e-mail solutions fall into three categories like Desk Top Client Solutions, Behind the Firewall Server Deployments and Carrier Hosted Solutions.

There are various factors which determine wireless email deployment in an Organization, the foremost being Total Cost of ownership, Mobile Workforce of Organization, security issues, support for wide array of devices and network compatibility.

Many organizations consider those email solutions for deployment that are cost effective and require minimal expenditure. The Basic Components of a wireless email total cost of ownership includes the software cost, service cost, device cost and the support & maintenance cost.

In many cases the organizations are not ready to make such huge investments in the IT department in terms of enterprise server, buying & providing suitable high end devices to all its employees, paying monthly subscription charges to mobile service providers and full time support and maintenance from IT department to keep the entire set up running.

Secondly while talking about the mobile workforce, there are two types of mobile professionals in an organization. On one hand we have the Top management or the senior most executives and on the other hand we have the other set of employees like the sales executives, site engineers, etc who need timely access to information while they are on the move. Many times the company provides for a mobile email solution for its high level employees only, by giving them laptops or high end mobile phones like PDA's, Smart phones, etc. The decision makers realize the fact that other set of employees also have an inherent need to remote access to their emails in order to remain connected with their resources but again the question of making such a huge investment stops them from deployment .

Small and medium enterprises that have a smaller number of remote or mobile employees can avail on move services offered by mobile carriers but then the monthly service charges applicable per person might not be feasible for the company.

Then there are certain email clients/applications which work only on limited Smart Phones & PDA's and are targeted at individuals, hence are not worth so much investment.

Wireless email solutions are also available at monthly subscription which is a cost effective option for enterprises or individuals as compared to enterprise applications but security of data is the major constraint as the server access remains with the third party putting a constraint on the security of company's confidential information.

These days' different kinds of wireless email clients and solutions are available so the Enterprises must evaluate the benefits and potential drawbacks of each configuration and then select a vendor based solution or client on the basis of its ability to deliver the chosen service/solution.

Although issues such as cost and security are some of the top barriers to wireless access to data, several other issues are making enterprises hesitant to adopt wireless email solutions. So I suggest that an enterprise should go in for such a mobile email deployment that is cost-effective, secured, implemented with minimal development & integration, easy for IT department to manage; provide support for a wide array of devices; and works well on today's limited-bandwidth wireless networks.

Uses of Computer Networks

Computer Networks are everywhere. From the distributed systems to the middle ware and to the world wide web, computer networking has proved to be improving in techniques to reach remote areas and applications to serve the purpose.

  1. Business Applications: Resource sharing is one of the most popular use of computer networks in the business applications. For Instance, a printer is shared in a network and hence saves a lot of investment in hardware. The computers connected in a network can make use of the printer in the network instead of having separate printers for every computer. Scanners, Cd burners, Fax machines are few other resources which can be shared in a network. Email facility with the help of Outlook application has enabled communication among the members of the company in sending reports and analyzing data. There would be a server handling the requests of all the computers connected in the network. Clients pass the request and the server works on the request by giving the reply.
  2. Home Networking: Computers are now a days used just for person to person communication with the help of Internet. Internet can be used to have remote access to the information, person - person communication as discussed earlier electronic commerce, Interactive entertainments like games. Interactive entertainments such as XBOX gaming online and online tutorials which used flash for interactive environment. Now a days, people are buying a computer just for the sake of checking their email which enables person to person contact. With the help of VPN ( Virtual Private Network) one can work and access of office data right from home. In peer -peer systems there is no client system. Every computer in a network is connected to every other computer through wire.
  3. Mobile Users: With the advent of technology in improving protocols for better communication, WAP (Wireless Access Protocol is now being increasingly used to communicate in a network. There are two forms of wireless: Fixed Wireless and Mobile Wireless. Desktop computers in an office are neither fixed nor mobile wireless. A notebook computer used in a Hotel room with the help of Ethernet cable is an example of mobile wireless and not of fixed wireless. Networks in old unwired building is an example of typical fixed wireless and not of mobile wireless. Portable office or PDA for store inventory is a perfect example for fixed as well as mobile wireless technology being used. M-commerce is using mobile device for paying cash using credit cards and act as an electronic wallet.

Maybe You Already Have Wireless and Don't Know It?

More and more laptops and desktop computers are coming pre-equipped with wireless networking devices -- it's so cheap that they might as well put it in, to have another thing to list in the system specifications. It is easy to tell if a desktop computer has wireless enabled. Have a look at the rear panel for a small antenna. If its there then you have wireless. Laptops a much more difficult to diagnose.

If you're anything like me, though, you probably don't even know how much memory your computers have, never mind whether any of them came wireless-enabled. When you don't know what wireless networking is, it's easy to ignore it in a computer's specifications, and never take the time to set it up and get it working. Here are some things to look for if you want to check your computer's wireless capabilities.

Intel Centrino

If your laptop came with something called 'Intel Centrino mobile technology', then it's good news for you! Computer manufacturers seem a little bad at explaining what this technology is or does, but it basically means that your laptop has wireless networking built right in, without you needing to do a thing. It is a marketing name for a combination of the Intel Pentium M processor and Intel's Pro/Wireless card.

Your computer should have a 'Centrino' sticker on it somewhere if it is Centrino enabled. If you think you might have taken the sticker off, you can check the name of your processor by right clicking the My Computer icon on your desktop (or in the Start Menu) and choosing Properties from the menu that appears. Take a look at what it says after the word 'Computer' on this screen.

If you're interested, Centrino technology also increases battery life and allows computers to be smaller. Don't worry, though, if you didn't buy a Centrino laptop -- as long as your laptop has a free card slot, installing wireless on it will be no trouble.

Desktop Computers

If you're not sure whether your desktop computer has a wireless connection, the easiest thing to do is to turn it around and look at it. If a wireless connection is present, you should usually be able to see a small aerial sticking out of the back of the computer, towards the bottom.

If there's nothing there, then it's still possible that you have a wireless device in the computer, especially if you bought it recently and you think you do. It's not a good idea to try to open up your computer just to check something, though, so you should probably try and figure it out using Windows.

Checking in Windows

Instead of fiddling around with your computer hardware to see what you've got, you can check easily enough using Windows' Device Manager. To use it, right click My Computer, and choose Manage from that menu. Now click Device Manager.

You should see a list of all the different kinds of things you can install on your computer. Take a look under 'Network adapters'. Ignore anything that says '10/100' or 'Ethernet' -- they're normal network connections, but not wireless ones. If there's anything else there, it could be a wireless device.

If you think you have a wireless device, but it has a yellow warning sign next to its name in the Device Manager, you should take a look at it to see what's wrong by double clicking its name. Windows should tell you why the device is not working at the moment, and may suggest that you go through its troubleshooter program. Do that before you do anything else.

If it turns out to be a driver problem, you should insert the drivers CD that came with your computer. Of course, as is always the way, you probably won't be able to find that CD -- but don't worry, you should be able to find drivers online. First, you should look on the website of the computer's manufacturer, and then you should try searching for the name that the wireless device had in Device Manager.

Of course, you might find after all this that you don't have a wireless device after all. Hard luck. It's better to figure that out now than to buy wireless equipment and then realise you had some already, though, isn't it? Of course, even if you did find a wireless device in one of your computers, you probably still need more. Don't worry either way -- they're getting cheaper all the time!