Wireless LAN vs. Cat5 Ethernet LAN
Installation

Installing a wireless network is basically the same a installing a wired network, WITHOUT THE WIRES. There is a possibility of having to deal with interferance when installing the wireless technology, but that but that is the only major difference.

The components required for wireless map directly to the ones needed for a good ethernet. You must install a wireless network adapter in each computer that will be accessing the network (serves the same purpose a NIC). Wireless networks also require a wireless access point or router for anything more complecated than file sharing.

The real brilliance of wireless networks show through in their ease of configuration and adaptability. If you wish to add a workstation within the range of your access point, you must only install a wireless adapter and configure the workstation with the proper protocols. A standard wired network requires an existing location to install the workstation, (or you will have to run new wire). Another instance where wireless can be useful is for renters. If your landolrd will not allow you to run cabling in your home, a wireless netowrk will allow the flexibility to have your LAN span the house without unsightly cable lying around.

The only downfall for installing a wireless lan is as follows: The access point must be installed in a central location where wireless radio signals can reach it with minimal interference. Although Wi-Fi signals typically reach 100 feet or more, obstructions like walls can greatly reduce their range.

In conclusion, I belive that wireless LAN's are easier to install than ethernet LAN's, (unless you have the existing ethernet wiring already in place). Wireless LAN's are particularly useful when it comes to changing room configurations around and using portable devices like laptops and 802.11b enabled pocket PC's.

Sources:
http://www.winncom.com/html/wireless.shtml
http://compnetworking.about.com/cs/wirelessproducts/a/howtobuildwlan.htm
http://www.homenethelp.com/802.11b/index.asp

<<prev | next>>