Wireless 802.11

Written by Seth Cotterell
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High speed wireless internet access is a major concern for many students and professionals. The availability of it is a factor in deciding where to stay and where to eat on the road as well as close to home. Most new computers and personal assistants are designed and built with wireless capabilities standard for greater end user convenience.

Wireless 802.11 Capability and Cards

To be compatible with most Wi-Fi hotspot providers, a businesses' customers will need a PDA or a laptop with what is known as 802.11 capability. Wi-Fi 802.11b capability is what enables a laptop to use the wireless signal provided by the venue. For computers without this feature standard, a wireless 802.11b networking card can be inserted that will do the same thing.

Even without wireless capability standard, Internet users can still access the wealth of information available on the Web cheaply. Wireless cards fortunately do not cost very much money so anybody can buy one for their laptop. I've even heard of some venues that provide wireless cards to customers to borrow or for a very small rental fee.

Whether this capability is built in or achieved through the use of a networking card, end users can expect about the same results. In a large, open area the wireless signal strength should be strong anywhere within several hundred yards. In more confined areas with more obstructions, signal strength will be strong within a couple thousand square feet of the source. Either way, end users have greater flexibility than they ever could with traditional internet access.


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