Wireless Networking FAQ

When to Go Wireless

Our expert explains what wireless can and can't do for your business. (1:48 min)

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When to Go Wireless

Our expert explains what wireless can and can't do for your business. (1:48 min)

This wireless networking FAQ addresses common concerns about wireless networks. Learn the differences between wireless and wired networks and get an overview of the equipment you'll need for a wireless network from these frequently asked questions (FAQ).

Wireless Networking FAQ: What is a Wireless Network?

A wireless local-area network (WLAN) uses radio waves to connect devices, such as laptops, to the Internet and to your business network and applications.

Wireless Networking FAQ: How Far Does the Signal Reach?

A wireless router or access point's signal typically extends up to approximately 300 feet.

Wireless Networking FAQ: What is a Wired Network?

A wired network connects devices to the Internet or other networks using cables. Some believed wired networks were faster and more secure than WLANs. But continual enhancements to WLAN standards and technologies have largely erased those differences.

Wireless Networking FAQ: Who Uses WLANs?

WLANs are frequently offered in public places such as cafes, hotels, and airport lounges. In addition, many businesses have wireless networks throughout their office buildings or campuses for employee and guest use.

Wireless Networking FAQ: What Equipment Do I Need?

Many routers act as WLAN access points. They connect multiple computers (and wireless-capable printers) to a single WLAN and to the Internet.

You can extend WLANs throughout an area by placing additional wireless access points in various locations. The access points extend the wireless signal's range and strength.

Most laptops have built-in wireless networking. If yours doesn't, you'll need a wireless network adapter card, which is typically inexpensive and easy to install.

Wireless Networking FAQ: How Can I Secure a WLAN?

There are many ways to secure your WLAN, including:

  • Data encryption, which only gives authorized users access to information over your wireless network
  • User authentication, which identifies computers trying to access the network
  • Secure access for visitors and guests
  • Control systems, which protect the laptops and other devices that use the network.

Wireless Networking FAQ: What are the Benefits of a WLAN?

Small businesses can experience many benefits from a WLAN. A few examples:

  • You can access network resources from any location within the wireless network's coverage area.
  • Wireless access to the Internet and to company resources help your staff be more productive and collaborative.
  • You don't have to string cables, as you do with wired networks. Installation can be quick and cost-effective.
  • You can easily expand WLANs where and as needed, because no wires are involved.
  • By eliminating or reducing wiring expenses, WLANs can cost less to operate than wired networks.

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