Hey! This is the 50th post in my blog! Thanks for coming along with me for the ride. I trust you’ve learned some stuff and had some fun with me too. Stick around — I’ll have some pretty cool things to share with you in the very near future.
But we have something to go over now… so let’s get to it!
This entry is about wireless networking. For those of you who have it, you know it’s nice to be on the internet without having to bother with wires. For those of you who don’t, you might be nervous about doing it yourself or maybe you thought it’s just not worth it. I want to tell you that it’s really easy to set up and so convenient to be wireless that you just have to do it!
I just upgraded my wireless network in my house and I’m so happy with how it went that I wanted to write and tell you about it here. I’ve been wireless for a few years and it’s been ok…just ok. With the new gear that I bought, it’s totally amazing: its blazingly fast and the signal is really strong! I’ll tell you what I bought so you can do it too, if you want.
First, a quick wireless network primer. I’ll get a little technical but I’ll make it easy to understand; I promise!
Until recently, the fastest reliable wireless networks were G networks. G comes from the wireless protocol 802.11G. That is the fastest IEEE-approved standard for wireless networking. Now, there are 802.11N devices that are up to six times faster and have a greater coverage area than the G devices. The N standard is still not ratified by the IEEE and, therefore, is not ‘official’ but over 130 vendors have had their N products certified so it’s really ok to buy N products now.
I have two active wireless networks that I use every day: one in my house and one in my office. In the office, the whole building is covered with a G wireless network. It’s a large office building so I use some additional equipment from Hawking Technologies to expand the range and strength of the wireless signal to cover the dead spots. I’ve been so pleased with how the Hawking gear works in the office and based on some positive reviews I’ve read, I decided to use their N product set in my house.
In my house, I had a G network that I upgraded to an N network by buying a Hawking Technologies router and wireless adapter. Here’s what I bought:
- HWRN1A Router – Hi Gain 300N Router
- HWUN1 – Hi Gain 300N USB adapter for the pc
In most cases, that’s all you need to buy. The two of them together cost about $170; I ordered them on line and had them shipped to me.
The computer at my house that’s furthest away from the router is beyond the range of most wireless routers so I bought a repeater (Hawking calls it a Range Extender). The Hawking Range extender is HWEN1 and costs about $90. Hawking claims that its repeater works with any brand of wireless network and that it extends b/g/n networks. I use mine to extend the N network for the computer and the G network for my wireless blackberry.
To install the wireless network, you need to do three things:
- set up the wireless router
- set up the wireless adapter on each computer
- reset the internet modem so the router can ‘see’ the internet and make it shareable for the users.
The setup process was very clear and the illustrated instructions that came with the router and adapter worked fine. I accepted all the default settings in the setup process and when I was done, the network was up, fast, and solid!
Just so you know, Hawking provides toll-free tech support for their products; I’ve called support before and they know what they’re doing.
Please note that there are other vendors who make N wireless products. I’m writing about Hawking because I used their stuff and it worked well for me. These networking products are commodities and if your research leads you to another company, that’s fine. The setup process and excellent results should be as described, no matter what you choose.
I know that my description of how to move to a wireless network sounds easy…it is! Give it a try and let me know how it goes.