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Build Your Own Wi-Fi Network (Build Your Own...(McGraw)) Paperback – Import, 22 Oct 2002
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From the Back Cover
Create and configure a cost-efficient wireless network--from scratch!
Take advantage of the freedom and mobility of wireless networking with help from this easy-to-follow guide. Now you can surf the Web from the backyard, access your email from a handheld device, share Internet connections--and save money--without messy wires or cables. This step-by-step photo-filled manual walks you through every stage of the process--from identifying and purchasing all the parts you need to get started to finding the right ISP and enhancing security. You'll also learn how to improve network performance and range by choosing the optimum access point location. Written in clear, straightforward language, this book will show you how to set up and maintain your own wireless network in no time.Get an overview of wireless technology, protocols, and frequencies--including the IEEE 801.11 standard Set up and configure a Wi-Fi network and its components in a new or existing network Manage communication between wireless devices using access points and routers Use accessories--antennas, bridges, and repeaters--to extend network range Connect to the Internet and save money through shared access Play games, check email, and share files and printers on a local network or via the Internet
About the Author
Shelly Brisbin (Austin, TX) has written about technology for fifteen years. Her specialties include networking, the Internet and Macintosh computers. Shelly has been working with wi-fi and this is a natural extension of her involvement with networking during the past 10 or 12 years. She acquired her first Wi-Fi gear in early 2001, quickly "unwiring" her house and office and applied what she had learned to writing and tech editing magazine articles. Shelly has tracked the development of Wi-Fi on a daily basis for more than a year, and recently completed a lengthy review of Apple's revamped AirPort Base Station (access point) for Macworld Magazine. Shelly has authored eight books and contributor to six others, She has also written hundreds of articles for magazines including Macworld, MacWeek, NetProfessional, The Net, NewMedia, WebTechniques, and SunWorld. Most recently Managing Editor/Technology at Powered Inc., Brisbin directed the development of online technical courses for clients including Barnes & Noble.com, IBM and Hewlett-Packard. Brisbin previously served as networking editor for MacUser Magazine, where she earned a reputation as a prolific writer and "geek". Brisbin has also worked as a Webmaster, system administrator and consultant. Shelly is an established and reliable author having written for Peachpit Press, Hungry Minds, Que publishing and co-authored with Bob LeVitus on Osborne's MacAnswers!, which sold over 17,000 units.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
If you want to share your Internet access at home between several computers, be they Macs or Windows machines, wireless networking is becoming more and more affordable. But there is often more to this technology than meets the eye. I have a Mac; do I have to buy Apple-branded equipment? What access point (the Base Station, in Apple-speak) do you buy? What wireless card do you buy? What about security?
Shelley Brisbin's Build Your Own Wi-Fi Network is aimed at end users wanting to learn more than just the basics of how to get your Wi-Fi up and running. Brisbin's extensive experience authoring computer books and articles (nine books and many articles) helps her to thoroughly cover the subject.
Will this book be useful to the average Macintosh owner who wants to go wireless, be it with Apple's AirPort equipment, or third-party hardware? At first glance, the distinctly Windows orientation of the book appeared to make it less-than-useful to Mac users. But Brisbin is careful to be fairly platform agnostic; each section includes Mac information. Since many wireless routers are configured via a web browser, the screen shots are perfectly useful to Mac users. Ironically, Apple's own AirPort Base Station is one of the few wireless access points not configured via a web browser!
If all you want is a quick and dirty overview of wireless networking, Build Your Own Wi-Fi Network may be a bit much. But if you want a basic grasp of the fundamentals of how 802.11b works, without being overwhelmed with too much information, Brisbin provides it. She is able to walk that fine line between too much and not enough detail. All aspects of wireless are covered, including sections on antennas, multiple access points, wireless-to-wired networking issues, and many more.
Build Your Own Wi-Fi Network covers what to look for in both access points, and wireless cards. Several brands are discussed. This kind of information is platform agnostic, so don't let the Windows screenshots and references dissuade you.
Brisbin devotes plenty of time to discuss wireless networking security in detail. Many wireless users are not aware of how exposed their networks can be. Even if they do, they don't know how to decide how much security to implement. The chapters on security are very valuable, and every purchaser of this book should read this section carefully. You may be more exposed than you think! Again, the information Brisbin provides is fully applicable to Macintosh users.
If you want a thorough grounding in wireless networking fundamentals, this book should be high on your list.
MacMice Rating: 4 out of 5