3.1 Setting Up a Wireless Network

Wireless networking has become so widespread that the cost of the hardware has plunged over the last few years. You can easily set up a wireless network at home for under $200 (if you use a third-party base station) or under $300 (if you go with Apple gear). For that amount, you can get wireless cards for one or two computers and a base station.

To set up your own wireless network, you'll need the following:

  • A high-speed Internet connection (via DSL, cable modem, or satellite Internet) or a dial-up Internet connection (if your wireless base station includes a modem; Apple's AirPort Base Stations do)

  • A wireless base station with router functionality

  • A wireless card for each machine that wants to use the wireless network

A typical home/office network is shown in Figure 3-1.

Figure 3-1. A typical wireless network setup