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Wireless LAN FAQs


What is the area I can expect to target when using a wireless LAN?

What is spread-spectrum technology, and how is it used in wireless transmissions?

How can I get the most "bang for my buck" for my wireless LAN?

What is the optimum bandwidth for most wireless LAN applications?

Should network compatibility be foremost in configuring a wireless system, including jointly used wireline and wireless networks?

What type of server should I have for a wireless business LAN?

What Internet access service(s) should I use with a wireless LAN?
How secure is a wireless LAN?

What are the two best types of wiring available for wireless residences and wireless SO/HOs?



Q: What is the area I can expect to target when using a wireless LAN?
A wireless Local Area Network (LAN) targets a relatively small area, usually within an office, a building, a store, a small campus, a residence or a small office/home office.

Correctly configuring your wireless LAN is critical to ensure maximum range. The throughput of two Wireless LANs advertising the same bit rate may vary. If you intend to cover a large geographical range, test as many physical locations and combinations of your residence/SO/HO, office or area for maximum range.

Q: What is spread-spectrum technology, and how is it used in wireless transmissions?
Most wireless LANs use spread-spectrum technology: Spread spectrum is a form of wireless communications in which the frequency of the transmitted signal is deliberately varied. This results in a much greater bandwidth than the signal would have if its frequency were not varied. Results also include increases in reliability, integrity, and security.

Spread-spectrum transmits a message on ever-changing frequencies that are then reassembled by the receiver. Spread spectrum takes up a lot of bandwidth, but in return the user gains reliability and security for wireless transmissions.

Q: How can I get the most "bang for my buck" for my wireless LAN?
There are many manufacturers of wireless LANs that have a variety of technologies to choose from when designing your wireless LAN solution. Each technology comes with its own set of advantages and limitations. Carefully do your research before purchasing equipment.

Q: What is the optimum bandwidth for most wireless LAN applications?
It is best to use a high rate wireless LAN solution with connections of up to 11 Mbps. This solution allows mobile operators, network operators and ISPs to offer tailored and location-based wireless LAN services in enabled access areas including areas such as airports, hotels, business campuses, and convention centers.

Q: Should network compatibility be foremost in configuring a wireless system, including jointly used wireline and wireless networks?
Yes, it is essential to keep in mind that most products communicate only with products from the same vendor. Since businesses require established standards to ensure maximum efficiency, most vendors have joined the IEEE to create standards. The IEEE specifies standard technologies. Check carefully with your vendor before purchasing equipment. Some products may not communicate with other products. Also, plan ahead for future growth.

Q: What type of server should I have for a wireless business LAN?
It is best to purchase a multiple-processor-capable server with at least 256MB of RAM. This is important to have if your site runs a computationally intensive client-server application. If you run a lot of services, consider as much as 512MB of RAM. If you've already invested in a server, and are experiencing performance drop-off on your network, upgrade the RAM and add a second processor.

Q: What Internet access service(s) should I use with a wireless LAN?
This will depend of course upon your unique voice and data communications needs. DSL, especially ADSL, is ideal for many wireless business LANs. Through BuyTelco high-speed Internet access is available from many top nationwide providers. It is not costly and boosts productivity. However, it may not be available in your area yet.

T1 lines and Frame Relay are also excellent solutions that require very large bandwidth and offer the flexibility of handling both voice and data traffic simultaneously. However, these services come at premium. Consider your unique needs vs. cost ratio when making decisions.

Q: How secure is a wireless LAN?
Wireless has some security limitations and some vulnerability factors inherent in the current technology. Remember -- network security is critical. Check with your network administrator to tighten and ensure maximum security, internally and externally.

Network identifiers usually provide protection against casual users intercepting data. In addition, encryption is an excellent solution for wireless LANs. Many new security techniques are emerging daily to increase security. Always plan for the best and most cost-effective security level for your particular business.

Q: What are the two best types of wiring available for wireless residences and wireless SO/HOs?
You can use either thin Ethernet (also called 10Base2) or unshielded twisted-pair cabling (also called UTP or 10BaseT) to achieve your wireless residential objectives. Keep in mind that Thin Ethernet is much slower than UTP and runs at only 10 mbps maximum.



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