Lan-wan Routers

Written by Amy Hunter
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A local area network, or LAN, can be anything from the computers in your home to a small office network. If a larger network is needed, several LANs can be connected, via a router, to form a WAN, or wide area network. When making a LAN-WAN connection, a great deal of thought must go into security and the types of hardware to invest in.

Wireless systems are simpler to install. Many computers, both desktop and laptop, come with wireless compatibility. If your machines are compatible with a wireless network, the installation system becomes a simple matter of hooking up your wireless router. Of course, nothing is truly that simple. If security is an issue, and it should be, you need to realize that wireless routers are not nearly as secure as hard wired routers. Even if the material that you transmit would not be considered confidential, privacy is a concern. Unless you take steps to ensure your privacy, a hacker can not only read your data, but actually gain access to your network.

Another concern with wireless connections is reception. In theory, you should be able to place an access point every 300 feet and be on your network. The reality is that floors and walls break up the signal, which consists of radio waves, and decrease the reception area. Also, since you are dealing with radio waves to transmit the data, interference is likely from anything that would normally interfere with these waves, such as microwave ovens, cordless phones, and the weather.

Wireless connections do have their place, and work well for many people. Whether you are hooking up a small LAN or making a larger LAN-WAN connection, you will need to experiment with the arrangement of your access points, stay up-to-date on security concerns, and possibly have some computers hard wired in to have the most secure and effective network.

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