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Broadband

Broadband technology is simply the name given to high-speed Internet access. Broadband
replaced analogue modem. Broadband connection can be delivered in a number of different
methods, ADSL, Cable & Satellite.
With a broadband router, you can connect two or more computers to share in Internet
connection at home or office.
Broadband use a technology called NAT Network Address Translation -, this is the use of a
single IP address by all the computers in your home and office to connect and use the
Internet at the same time.
Broadband connection speed to Internet is extremely high, it supports data, voice and video
information
It is considered broad in a sense that multiple kinds of information can be transmitted
across the wire, or band.
Additionally, with broadband you can surf the web without delay, watch streaming videos
with audio, make phone a call all at the same time.One of the interesting things about
Broadband connection is, its always on, you don't have to waste time dialing in to a service
provider, it comes on as soon as your computer is powered on.

Satellite Internet
Cable Modem
Wireless Router
Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Broadband Speed
The broadband speed difference is huge. It has revolutionized so much more of the way we
use the Internet to the previous dial up Internet.

The broadband like its predecessors, information travels in two directions.


Downstream and Upstream.

Downstream refers to information going from the Internet to your


computer, like when a new web page is loaded.
Upstream refers to information from your computer to the Internet, like the click of the
mouse- that tells a web page where you'd like to go next.
Firstly, Internet transfer speeds are measured in kilobits per second and megabits per
second, dont mistake it for kilobytes and megabytes, we use these terms when we talk
about hard disks and files.

Recommended Broadband Routers

Below is a summary on broadband calculated speeds.

Speed (kilobits)

Load time

Download time

Video Quality

(100 kb)

(5 Mb of data)

56k (dial up)

15 sec

12 min 35 sec

Low Quality

256k

4 sec

3 min

Low Quality

512k

1.5 sec

1 min 30 sec

1Mb

8-9 sec

40-41 sec

2Mb

4-5 sec

19-20 sec

4Mb

1-2 sec

5-6 sec

6Mb

Immediately

Immediately

8Mb

Immediately

Immediately

Medium Quality

High Quality

You have to have in mind that the above data could be affected by your PC processing
speed, viruses etc.

Cable Modem.
Coaxial cable is widely used in urban areas to distribute television signals. Network access is
available from some cable television networks. This allows for greater bandwidth than the
conventional telephone local loop.

Cable modems provide an always-on connection and a simple installation. A subscriber


connects a computer or LAN router to the cable modem, which translates the digital signals
into the broadband frequencies used for transmitting on a cable television network.
The local cable TV office, which is called the cable headend , contains the computer system
and databases needed to provide Internet access. The most important component located at
the headend is the cable modem termination system (CMTS), which sends and receives
digital cable modem signals on a cable network and is necessary for providing Internet
services to cable subscribers.
Cable modem subscribers must use the ISP associated with the service provider. All the local
subscribers share the same cable bandwidth. As more users join the service, available
bandwidth may be below the expected rate.

Satelite Internet.
Satellite Internet Typically used by rural users where cable and DSL are not available. A
satellite dish provides two-way (upload and download) data communications. The upload
speed is about one-tenth of the 500 kb/s download speed.
Cable and DSL have higher download speeds, but satellite systems are about 10 times
faster than an analogue modem. To access Satellite Internet services, subscribers need a
satellite dish, two modems (uplink and downlink), and coaxial cables between the dish and
the modem.

Broadband Wireless.
Wireless technology uses the unlicensed radio spectrum to send and receive data. The
unlicensed spectrum is accessible to anyone who has a wireless router and wireless
technology on the device they are using.
The benefits of Wi-Fi extend beyond not having to use or install wired network connections.
Wireless networking provides mobility, flexibility and productivity to the user.
Until recently, one limitation of wireless access has been the need to be within the local
transmission range (typically less than 100 feet) of a wireless router or a wireless modem
that has a wired connection to the Internet. However, with advances in technology, the
reach of wireless connections has been extended.
Newer PCs, Laptops and other network devices are being manufactured with built in wireless
network adapters and new developments in broadband wireless technology are increasing
wireless availability. These include:

Municipal Wi-Fi

WiMAX

Satellite Internet

Municipal WiFi

Municipal wireless networks are seen to be springing up in many cities. Some of these
networks provide high-speed Internet access for free or for substantially less than the
price of other broadband services. Others are for city use only, allowing police and fire
departments and other city employees to do certain aspects of their jobs remotely.
To connect to a municipal WiFi, a subscriber typically needs a wireless modem, which
provides a stronger radio and directional antenna than conventional wireless adapters.
Most service providers provide the necessary equipment for free or for a fee, much like
they do with DSL or cable modems.

WiMAX
Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) is a new technology that
is just beginning to come into use. It is described in the IEEE standard 802.16.

WiMAX provides high-speed broadband service with wireless access and provides
broad coverage like a cell phone network rather than through small WiFi hotspots.
WiMAX operates in a similar way to WiFi, but at higher speeds, over greater
distances, and for a greater number of users. It uses a network of WiMAX towers
that are similar to cell phone towers.

To access a WiMAX network, subscribers must subscribe to an ISP with a WiMAX


tower within 10 miles of their location. They also need a WiMAX-enabled computer
and a special encryption code to get access to the base station

ADSL

(Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line).

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) is a high-speed transmission technology. ADSL


is an asynchronous system, which means that the data rate allowed is not equal in both
directions. Therefore most ADSL lines have a far higher download speed than upload speed,
which means that capacity is higher when coming at the end user, than it is leaving.
How ADSL Works

ADSL works by isolating the bandwidth of copper telephone lines into diverse frequency
ranges, known as carriers. This enables the accommodation and transmission of several
different signals on the same wire. To accomplish this, ADSL uses a process called
Frequency Division Multiplexing (FDM), the carriers carry each of a different parts of the
same data transmitted simultaneously, This helps to create more available bandwidth and
higher speeds for the end user. In this way, ADSL can accommodate simultaneous highspeed data and voice transmission, such as surfing the web, watching streaming video, fax
and voice call, all on the same line.

How To Set Up A
Wireless Network
Connection.

Wireless broadband has multiple benefits for home users, as well as several benefits that
business users will be able to enjoy. In a home setting wireless broadband will allow multiple
users to share the same internet connection, so there will be no need to fight over a single
computer for internet access.
A wireless network will also make sharing files between your PCs at home extremely simple,
whether it is to backup photographs, stream audio and video to your living room or play
online games. Finally because there is no need to install wiring you do not need to have
dangerous clumps of cables running across the floor and it is a truly unobtrusive option.
Businesses can use a wireless network connection to connect multiple PCs without the need
for expensive wiring and can also offer free wireless internet access to clients and customers
whilst they are on the premises.

Installing a wireless network connection in your own property is simple if you follow these
few quick tips:
* First you will need a fixed line broadband connection, either ADSL via your telephone line
or Cable broadband which uses an underground fibre optic network. When you sign up for a
new ADSLor Cable Broadband connection most providers will usually include a free wireless
router, which is the main piece of kit you will need to set up a wireless network in your own
home. Wireless routers vary depending on the price of the package you pick and the
manufacturers who produce them, so each will come with its own set of instructions to
guide you through the set up process. However, there are a few universal guidelines for
installation which we will deal with below.
* Once you have the wireless router, you will need to plug it into the main to provide it with
power and you will also need to plug it into your fixed line connection. If this is an ADSL
service you will need to first plug the router into a microfilter and then into the phone
socket. This filter will allow you to use your phone line at the same time as you are surfing
the internet wirelessly. Every phone socket in your home will need a microfilter attached
regardless of whether it has a router attached to it to reduce the amount of interference and
improve connection speed.
Many routers will require that you plug in via an Ethernet cable before you can set up the
wireless network, though routers received directly from providers may already be ready to
use straight out of the box. If this is not the case and if you want to alter the options on a
router you have bought yourself you will need to plug in your PC or Laptop and open your
favourite web browser.
* You will then need to enter the IP address of your router. This should be included in the
documentation. You will then need to navigate to the wireless network settings. Here you
can turn on the network, add security in the form of WEPor WPA passwords or phrases and
see which devices are connected to the router wirelessly.

How to Install and Configure your


Wireless Router or Access Points.

On the following pages, you will learn how to configure a wireless router or access point.
This includes:
i. How to set the SSID
ii. Enable security
iii. Configure the channel
iv. Adjust the power settings of a wireless access point.
We will also look at how to back up and restore your configuration settings on a wireless
access point.
Most access points have been designed to function with the default or factory settings. It is
recommended to change the default configurations.
After confirming your wired network connectivity, and the access point installed, you will
now configure it.
In the following examples we will be using the Linksys WRT300N multifunction device, it
also an access point.

Use these steps for configuring the Linksys WRT300N and most linksys wireless access
points:
Make your PC is connected to the access point via a wired connection, and access the web
utility with a web browser. To access the web-based utility of the access point, launch
Internet Explorer, and enter the WRT300N default IP address, 192.168.1.1, in the address
field.
Press the Enter key.
1.
A screen display prompting you for your username and password. Leave the
Username field blank.
2. Enter admin in the Password field (default settings for a Linksys WRT300N). If the device
has already been configured, the username and password may have been changed.
3.

Click OK to continue.

For a basic network setup, we will be learning how to use the following screens
Setup, Management, and Wireless buttons:

Setup on this screen you will enter your basic network settings (IP
address).
i.

ii. Management start by clicking the Administration tab and then select the
Management screen. The default password is admin. To secure the access point, change
the password from its default.
iii. Wireless This is where you make changes of the default SSID. Select the level of
security in the Wireless Security tab and complete the options for the selected security
mode.

When you have finished making changes to a screen, click the Save Settings button, or
click the Cancel Changes button to undo your changes. For information on a tab, click
Help. We will go through these steps one after the other.

How To Configure The Basic Wireless Settings


G, N).

(Linksys Wireless B,

When you access the web-based utility, the first screen you see is the Basic
Setup screen.
Click the Wireless tab and then select the Basic Wireless Settings tab.To configure the
basic Wireless Settings, click on each tab to perform your configuration:
i.

Network Mode

When you click the network mode bar, a drop down menu will be display all devices in your
wireless LAN.
* If you have the Linksys Wireless-N, Wireless-G, and 802.11b devices in your network,
select Mixed, the default setting.
* If you have Wireless-G and 802.11b devices, select BG-Mixed.
* If you have only Wireless-N devices, select Wireless-N Only. If you have only WirelessG devices, select Wireless-G Only. If you have only Wireless-B devices, select Wireless-B
Only.
* Select Disable to disable your wireless networking mode.

ii.

Network Name (SSID)

The SSID is the network name shared among all points in a wireless network. The SSID
must be the same for all devices in the wireless network. The SSID is case-sensitive and
must not be more than 32 characters in length (use any of the characters on the keyboard).
It is recommended that you change the default SSID to a your own unique name to enhance
security.

iii. Radio Band


* If you are using Wireless-N, Wireless-G, and Wireless-B devices in your network, select
Auto (default).
This is recommended for best performance in your network.
* If you are using Wireless-N devices only, select Wide - 40MHz Channel.
For Wireless-G and Wireless-B networking only, select Standard - 20MHz Channel.
iv. Wide Channel
If you selected Wide - 40MHz Channel for the Radio Band setting, this setting is available
for your primary Wireless-N channel. Select any channel from the drop-down menu.

v. Standard Channel
Select the channel for Wireless-N, Wireless-G, and Wireless-B networking. If you selected
Wide - 40MHz Channel for the Radio Band setting, the standard channel is a secondary
channel for Wireless-N.
vi. SSID Broadcast
When you are scanning your local area for wireless networks to connect with, you can
detect the SSID broadcast by the access point. To broadcast the SSID, select Enabled
(default). Select Disabled If you do not want to broadcast the SSID. When you have
finished making changes to this screen, click the Save Settings button.
Click the Cancel Changes button to undo your changes. Click Help for more information.

Filtering Access by
MAC Address.
Wireless routers like the Linksys by Cisco wireless range can be used not only for routing
traffic between networks and computer in your home or office;it can also be used as a
Firewall.
As you must know; every network device is identified by a physical address also known as
MAC address. You can use your wireless router to filter or control access to the internet or
programs by listing and preventing the MAC addresses of devices connected to the wireless
router.
To filter MAC addresses, follow this step:

1.

Click the Wireless tab

2. Click Wireless MAC Address filter


3. Click Enable
4. Click Permit Only PCs listed to access the wireless network
5. Click wireless Client or Edit MAC Filter List
When MAC address filter list window appears,enter the address of each network adapter in
your home or office you want to prevent from accessing the network
Click SaveSetting at the bottom of the window.

Identify Problems with


Access Point
Misplacement.
You may have experienced a WLAN that just did not seem to perform like it should. Perhaps
you keep losing connection with an access point, or your data rates are much slower than
they should be. You may even have done a quick move around the environment to confirm
that you could actually see the access points. Having confirmed that they are there, you
wonder why you continue to get poor service.
Reason
There are two major issues on improper placement of access points:

The distance separating access points is too far to allow overlapping coverage.

The orientation of access point antennae in hallways and corners diminishes


coverage.

Solution
Verify the power settings and make sure the operational ranges and placement of access
points are on a minimum of 10 to 15% cell overlap.

Change the orientation and positioning of access points:

Position access points above obstructions.

Position access points vertically near the ceiling in the centre of each coverage
area, if possible.

Position access points in locations where users are expected to be. For
example, large rooms are typically a better location for access points than a
hallway.

Additional specific details concerning access point and antenna placement are as:

Always mount the access point vertically

Do not mount the access point on building perimeter walls, unless outside
coverage is desired.

Do not mount the access point outside of buildings

Do not mount the access point within 3 feet (91.4 cm) of metal obstructions.

Install the access point away from microwave ovens. Microwave ovens
operate on the same frequency as the access point and can cause signal
interference.

When mounting an access point in the corner of a right-angle hallway


intersection, mount it at a 45-degree angle to the two hallways. The access
point internal antennas are not omni-directional and cover a larger area when
mounted this way.

Ensure that access points are not mounted closer than 7.9 inches (20 cm)
from the body of all persons.

Wireless Error: Incorrect Channel


Settings.
Most WLANs today operate in the 2.4 GHz band, which can have as many as 14 channels,
each occupying 22 MHz of bandwidth. Energy is not spread evenly over the entire 22 MHz,
rather the channel is strongest at its centre frequency, and the energy diminishes toward
the edges of the channel.
Interference can occur when there is overlap of channels. It is worse if the channels overlap
close to the centre frequencies, but even if there is minor overlap, signals interfere with

each other. Set the channels at intervals of five channels, such as channel 1, channel 6, and
channel 11.
Solving RF Interference
Incorrect channel settings are part of the larger group of problems with RF interference.
WLAN administrators can control interference caused by channel settings with good
planning, including proper channel spacing.

Interferences caused
by household or office
appliances.
Other sources of RF interference can be found all around the workplace or in the home.
From the snowy disruption of a television signal that occurs when a neighbour runs a
vacuum cleaner. Such interference boils down to efficient planning on placement of devices.
For instance, plan to place microwave ovens away from access points and potential clients.
Sadly, all known RF interference issues cannot be planned for because there are just too
many them.
The problem with devices such as cordless phones, baby monitors, and microwave ovens, is
that they do not contend for the channel-they just use it.
Solution
Try setting your WLAN access point to channel 1 or channel 11. Many consumer items, such
as cordless phones, operate on channel 6.

WLAN: Problems with


Authentication and
Encryption.
The WLAN authentication and encryption problems you are most likely to encounter, and
that you will be able to solve, are caused by incorrect client settings.
If an access point is expecting one type of encryption, and the client offers a different type,
the authentication process fails.
Note, all devices connecting to an access point must use the same security type as the one
configured on the access point. In essence, if an access point is configured for WEP, both
the type of encryption (WEP) and the shared key must match between the client and the
access point. If WPA is being used, the encryption algorithm is TKIP. Similarly, if WPA2 or
802.11i is used, AES is required as the encryption algorithm.

1. Laptop/Client requests connection


2. Router / Access Point requests for authentication
3. Laptop /Client provides authentication
4. Router / Access Point rejects authentication
5. Laptop / Client lose connection

Reason for no connectivity:


1. Wrong encryption type set on client / laptop
2. Wrong credential supplied to access Point.

Solution:
1. Match encryption type on client / laptop
2. Match same credential on client and access point

How to Add and Configure


Wireless Router to a LAN.
On this page, we will look at how to configure a Linksys wireless router, allowing for remote
access from PCs as well as wireless connectivity with WEP security. We will use the topology
diagram below as sample.
The router R1 and switch SW2 had been configured with the appropriate configurations with
the LAN and VLAN

R1 and SW2 Configurations:

Before you begin, you might like to do a reset on the wireless router. In order to clear any
previous configurations, do a hard reset. Look for the reset button on the back of the router.
Using a pen or other thin instrument, hold down the reset button for 5 - 7 seconds. The
router should now be restored to its factory default settings.
Establish physically connectivity.
1.
Connect a straight through cable from the Laptop PC to one of the wireless routers
LAN ports, labelled Ethernet 1 - 4. By default, the wireless router will provide an IP address
to the laptop using default DHCP configurations.
Open a web browser.
2.
Navigate to the wireless routers Web Utility. You can use the WEB GUI will be used to
configure the settings on the wireless router. The GUI can be accessed by navigating to the
routers LAN/Wireless IP address with a web browser. The factory default address is
192.168.1.1.
3.

Leave the username blank and set the password to: admin.

4.

Configure Options in the Linksys Setup Tab.

By default the start-up page is the Setup screen. Here, you will need to set the Internet
connection type to static IP. In the menus at the top notice you are in the Setup section and
under the Basic Setup tab.
5.
In the Setup screen for the Linksys router, locate the Internet Connection Type
option in the Internet Setup section of this page. Click the drop-down menu and select
Static IP from the list.
6.
Configure the VLAN 99 IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway for the Linksys
Wireless Router.
Set the Internet IP address to 172.17.99.25.
Set the Subnet Mask to 255.255.255.0.
Set the Default Gateway to 172.17.99.1.
Note: Typically in a home or small business network, this Internet IP address is assigned by
the ISP through DHCP or PPPoE.
7.
Configure the router R1 IP parameters.
Still on the Basic Setup page, scroll down to Network Setup. For the Router IP fields do the
following:
* Set the IP address to 172.17.30.1 and the subnet mask to 255.255.255.0.
Under the DHCP Server Setting, ensure that the DHCP server is Enabled.
Click the Save Settings button at the bottom of the Setup screen.
At this stage, you will notice that the IP address range for the DHCP pool adjusts to a range
of addresses to match the Router IP parameters. These addresses are used for any wireless
clients that connect to the routers internal switch. Clients receive an IP address and mask,
and are given the router IP to use as a gateway.
8.

Set the network name (SSID).

Click the Wireless tab.


Under Network Name (SSID), rename the network from Linksys to any name of your
choice, example orbitcisco1.
Click Save Settings.
9.

Set the security mode.

Click Wireless Security. It is located next to Basic Wireless Settings in the main Wireless
tab.
ChangeSecurity Mode from Disabled to WEP.
Using the default Encryption of 40/64-Bit, set Key1 to 1234567890 or any combination of
hex digit only,
Click Save Settings.

10. Set the router password.


Click the Administration tab.
Under Managementin the Router Access section, change the router password to orbit123
or any password of your choosing. Re-enter the same password to confirm.
11. Enable remote management.
In theRemote Access section, set Remote Management to Enabled.
Click Save Settings.
You may be prompted to log in again. Use the new password of cisco123 and still keep the
username blank
12. Enable remote management.
In theRemote Access section, set Remote Management to Enabled.
Click Save Settings.
You may be prompted to log in again. Use the new password and still keep the username
blank.
13. Add Wireless Connectivity to a laptop PC
i. Disconnect the Ethernet connection from the laptop to Wireless Router.
ii: Use Windows XP to connect to the wireless router.
Below is on how to use Windows XP's built in Wireless Network Connection Utility.
Depending on the model of NIC you use, this might be disabled, and you will need to use
the utility provided by the NIC manufacturer.
click Start > Control Panel > Network Connections.
Select the Wireless Network Connection.
Navigate to the File menu and select Status.
Click View Wireless Networks.
Locate the orbitcisco1 or whatever names you gave to your network SSID in the list of
available networks and connect to it.
When prompted for the WEP key enter it as above, 1234567890 or whatever key you used
and clickConnect.
ii. Verify your Connection.
In theStatus window, select the Support tab. Verify that the Laptop has received an IP
address from the Wireless routers DHCP address pool or has been manually configured.

Test your Connection


iv. Ping Wireless routers LAN/Wireless interface.
On Laptop PC, navigate to the command prompt or click Start->Run
Type cmdand select open. This will open the command prompt
In the command prompt type ping 172.17.30.1
v. Ping R1s Fa0/1.99 Interface.
In the command prompt type ping 172.17.99.1
vi. Ping VLAN 10 and VLAN 20 from Laptop PC.
In the command prompt type ping 192.168.10.21 to ping VLAN 10.
Repeat on VLAN 20s address, 192.168.20.22.

The pings should work. If not check or troubleshoot configuration

Wireless Network Security.


Use the following recommendations for additional security on your wireless networks.
Use a network security key
If you have a home or office wireless network, you should set up a network security key,
which turns on encryption. With this, other people (except authorise users) can't connect to
your network without the security key. Also, any information that is sent across your
network is encrypted so that only computers that have the key to decrypt the information
can read it. This can help avert attempts to access your network and files without your
permission.Known Wireless network encryptions are:

Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP)


Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA)
WPA-2.
read more on WEP,WPA,WPA-2

Change the administrator name and password


If you have a router or access point, you probably used a default name and password to set
up the device. Most manufacturers use the same default name and password for all of their
equipment, this enables anyone to gain access your router or access point without you
knowing it. To secure your network, change the default administrator user name and
password for your router. Check the information that came with your device for instructions
about how to change the name and password.

Change the default SSID


Routers and access points use a wireless network name called a service set identifier
(SSID). Most manufacturers use the same SSID for all of their routers and access points.
Changing the default SSID helps to keep your wireless network from overlapping with other
wireless networks that might be using the default SSID. It makes it easier for you to identify
which wireless network is yours, if there are wireless network(s) nearby, because the SSID
is typically shown in the list of available networks. Check the information that came with
your device for instructions about how to change the default SSID.

Position your router or access point


Wireless signals can transmit a few hundred feet, so the signal from your network could be
broadcast outside of your home. You can help limit the area that your wireless signal
reaches by positioning your router or access point close to the centre of your home rather
than near an outside wall or window.
Use Standard or User account
The standard account can help protect your computer by preventing users from making
changes that affect everyone who uses the computer. A very good recommendation is for
you to create a standard account for each user.
When you are logged on to Windows with a standard account, you can do anything that
you would do with an administrator account, but if you want to do something that affects
other users of the computer, such as installing software or changing security settings,
Windows might ask you to provide a password for an administrator account.

Network Security
Software.
If you are connected to the Internet through Wired or Wireless network (USB, broadband
Modem or dial-up), most times you deeply rely on your computer and software for
protection from viruses and other threats. If you are connected through a router, it might be
able to help; because most routers are equipped with firewall. This helps to block any
intruder or malicious software that attempts to penetrate your network through the
Internet.
Viruses and other malicious software cause devastating effect on your PC without your
knowledge.
It is a fact that windows security features has improved over the years especially with the
later editions (windows 8) but, some vital elements are not included such as anti-virus
protection and the windows firewall is childs play to experienced hackers out there!. With
this said, in order to stay and surf the net safely, you need third-party software security
utilities installed.
There are different types of security software products available, for you stay and surf safe,
you need at least three key security software tools: an anti-anti-virus, Firewall and an
anti-Spyware tool.

Anti-Virus
Computer Virus is no news to even non-computer users. Good anti-virus security software
scans your computer for viruses; they are programmed to examine all files in your computer
for hidden infections. If detected, it repairs, cleans or removes infected files from you
computer. They use a set of virus codes known as snippets, to sniff out malicious software
embedded in your compute files. For ant-virus software to do their work properly they need
to be updated daily.

Firewall
Firewalls are computer software programs that are designed to stop malicious softwares
and hackers (unauthorised access) getting into youre your computer; especially through
the Internet.
Firewall monitors your computers network or Internet and examines information that goes
in and out of your network.

Anti-Spyware
Anti-spy-ware works in the same way as anti-virus program does but, anti-spy-ware
products are more specific. An anti-spyware security tool scans your computer and removes
any malicious software that seeks to gathers information about your computer use and
personal information.
Most anti-spyware removes cookies.
Cookies are used by some websites to track your visits and others to post pop-up ads.

Linksys Wireless
Router.
Linksys is one of the leading manufacturers of Ethernet and wireless routers that are useful
for homes and small businesses network.
Linksys wireless routers support most of all the general types of home networking
components. Among the various ranges of Linksys wireless routers is the
wireless-N products range which is equipped with 802.11n capability, while the WirelessG products support 802.11g.
Linksys range of dual-band routers, support more than one of the Wi-Fi standards such as
the Linksys Dual-Band Wireless A+G which supports 802.11a and 802.11g. Most Linksys
routers are specially designed for mobility, some for VPN networking, and some for high
speed connection and easy to set up.

Wireless LAN (WLAN).


There are different network infrastructures (wired LAN, Service Provider Networks) that
allows mobility, but in a business environment, the most important is the wireless
LAN (WLAN). Most modern business networks rely on switch-based LANs for day-to-day
operation inside the office.
Productivity is no longer restricted to a fixed work location or a defined time period. People
now expect to be connected at any time and place, (you are in when you are out...) from
the office to the airport or even the home.

Traveling employees used to be restricted to pay phones for checking messages and
returning a few phone calls between flights. Now employees can check e-mail, voice mail,
and the status of products on personal digital assistants (PDAs) while at many temporary
locations.

Wireless LAN and Wired (Ethernet)


LAN
Wireless LANs share a similar origin with Ethernet LANs. The IEEE has adopted the 802
LAN/MAN portfolio of computer network architecture standards. The two dominant 802
working groups are 802.3 Ethernet and 802.11 wireless LAN. However, there are important
differences between the two.
WLANs use radio frequencies (RF) instead of cables at the Physical layer and MAC sub-layer
of the Data Link layer. In comparison to cable, RF has the following characteristics:
i.
RF does not have boundaries, such as the limits of a wire in a sheath. The lack of
such a boundary allows data frames traveling over the RF media to be available to anyone
that can receive the RF signal.
ii.
RF is unprotected from outside signals, whereas cable is in an insulating sheath.
Radios operating independently in the same geographic area but using the same or a similar
RF can interfere with each other.
iii.
RF transmission is subject to the same challenges inherent in any wave-based
technology, such as consumer radio. For example, as you get further away from the source,
you may hear stations playing over each other or hear static in the transmission. Eventually
you may lose the signal all together. Wired LANs have cables that are of an appropriate
length to maintain signal strength.
iv.
RF bands are regulated differently in various countries. The use of WLANs is subject
to additional regulations and sets of standards that are not applied to wired LANs.
WLANs connect clients to the network through a wireless access point (AP) instead of an
Ethernet switch.
WLANs connect mobile devices that are often battery powered, as opposed to plugged-in
LAN devices. Wireless network interface cards (NICs) tend to reduce the battery life of a
mobile device.
WLANs support hosts that contend for access on the RF media (frequency bands). 802.11
prescribes collision-avoidance instead of collision-detection for media access to proactively
avoid collisions within the media.
WLANs use a different frame format than wired Ethernet LANs. WLANs require additional
information in the Layer 2 header of the frame.
WLANs raise more privacy issues because radio frequencies can reach outside the facility.

802.11 wireless LANs extend the 802.3 Ethernet LAN infrastructures to provide additional
connectivity options. However, additional components and protocols are used to complete
wireless connections.
In an 802.3 Ethernet LAN, each client has a cable that connects the client NIC to a switch.
The switch is the point where the client gains access to the network.
In a wireless LAN, each client uses a wireless adapter to gain access to the network through
a wireless device such as a wireless router or access point.

Wireless
Technologies /
Standards.
The IEEE 802.11 standards specify two operating modes: infrastructure mode and ad
hoc mode.
Infrastructure mode is used to connect computers with wireless network adapters to an
existing wired network with the help from wireless router or access point, while Ad hoc
mode is used to connect wireless clients directly together, without the need for a wireless
router or access point.
The 802.11 standard establishes and defines the mode of channelling the unlicensed radio
frequency bands in WLANs. The 2.4 GHz band is broken down into 11 channels for North
America and 13 channels for Europe. These channels have a centre frequency separation of
only 5 MHz and an overall channel bandwidth (or frequency occupation) of 22 MHz.
802.11a
The IEEE 802.11a adopted the OFDM modulation technique and uses the 5 GHz band.
The 802.11a devices operating in the 5 GHz band are less likely to experience interference
than devices that operate in the 2.4 GHz band because there are fewer consumer devices
that use the 5 GHz band. Also, higher frequencies allow for the use of smaller antennas.
Advantages:
Speed: Uses up to Up to 54 Mbps
a.

Has the fastest transmission speed.

b.

Allows for more simultaneous users.

c.

Uses the 5 GHz frequency, which limits interference from other devices.

Few disadvantages of using the 5 GHz band are;


a.
Higher frequency radio waves are more easily absorbed by obstacles such as walls,
making 802.11a susceptible to poor performance due to obstructions.

b.
Higher frequency band has slightly poorer range than either 802.11b or g. Also, some
countries, including Russia, do not permit the use of the 5 GHz band, which may continue to
curtail its deployment.
c.

Is not compatible with 802.11b network adapters, routers, and access points.

802.11b
This was the first and, until recently, the most common wireless variant used. With
transmission speeds of just 11Mbits/sec it is also the slowest. It also used the 40bit Wireless
Equivalency Privacy (WEP) security protocol, which
was found to have a number of deficiencies. A newer version of this, 802.11b+ maintains
speeds to 22Mbits/sec.
Advantages:
Speed : 11megabits per seconds
costs less
Has the best signal range.
Disadvantages:
Transmission speed is slow
Uses the 2.4 gigahertz (GHz) of frequency the same as some house hold items like
cordless, micro waves ovens etc.
Provides access to few users simultaneously.
802.11g
This is the most recent and popular in use now, offering more respectable data transfer
speeds of up to 54Mbits/sec, but its speed are much lower. It also uses an upgraded form of
Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) security protocol.
Advantages:
Speed: Uses Up to 54 Mbps
Has a transmission speed comparable to 802.11a under optimal conditions
a.

Allows for more simultaneous users

b.

Has the best signal range and is not easily obstructed

c.

Is compatible with 802.11b network adapters, routers, and access points

Disadvantages:
Uses the 2.4 GHz frequency so it has the same interference problems as 802.11b
Costs more than 802.11b
802.11n
The 802.11n draft standard is intended to improve wireless data rates and range without
requiring additional power or radio frequency band allocation. The 802.11n uses multiple
radios and antennae at endpoints, each broadcasting on the same frequency to establish
multiple streams. The multiple input/multiple output technology splits a high data-rate
stream into multiple lower rate streams and broadcasts them at the same time over the
available radios and antennae. This allows for a speculative maximum data rate of 248 Mb/s
using two streams.
Note:
If your PC or laptop have more than one wireless network adapter or your adapter uses
more than one wireless technology / standard, you are provided with options to specify
which adapter or standard to use for each network connection.
E.g., if you use streaming media, such as videos or music, on your PC or Laptop, choosing
802.11a connection from the options provided would be best for you, because you will get a
faster data transfer rate when you watch videos or listen to music.

Wireless Routers.
Before deciding on buying a specific router ask yourself if you want computers to be able to
connect wired or wirelessly to your network.
A wireless router is a network device that enables you connect several computers to the
Internet without using cables, rather by using wireless access points, or WLAN. Some of the
reason we go wireless networking include freedom and affordability. But you need to keep
other factors in mind.

Look out for notable brands like Cisco, Net Gear, Linksys and D-link. These are most
popular brands built with rugged technologies.
Bandwidths and performance should be another factor to check for. A wireless standard
defines the speed for interconnectivity or data transmission by a particular router. E.g.
802.11a, 802.11g, 802.11n etc
Read more on wireless standards.

Advantages of
Wireless Routers.
a. Wireless routers are equipped with modem, network switch (a device that has multiple
connection ports for connecting computers and other network devices), wireless access
points.
b. Wireless Router can be connected to / from anywhere in your immediate environment
or house. That means you can log on and surf the Internet from anywhere around your
surrounding.

c.
Some of the wireless routers are equipped with a built in firewall to ward of intruders.
The configuration options of the firewall are an important consideration when buying a
router. Virtually everyone buys and sell online one way or the other, buying a wireless router
with good firewall configuration options can be helpful for security and privacy.
d.
The broadband router wireless VoIP technology enables you to can connect to the
Internet, using any ordinary phone device. You can then make calls to anybody in the world
via your Internet connection. Wireless router provides strong encryption (WPA or AES) and
features the filters MAC address and control over SSID authentication.

Disadvantages.
a.
The wireless connection will be slightly slower than the wired connection. Simply
put, wireless or WI-FI transmits through the air and can be blocked interfered with by other
waves from the surrounding.
b.
Security is one of the main concern when it comes to networking generally, wired
network provides for more regid security to wireless. This means that all of your private
data stored in your laptop or PDA could be exposed to anyone in the same vicinity. It's
possible that an unscrupulous person could obtain passwords and important personal
information easily from wireless networks if not properly configured.
c.
There is over congestion of WI-FI, especially in the cities where you have a large
population of stores and big organisations that transmits over the same channel, causing
much interference.
Other devices can be a problem too. Blue tooth devices, cordless telephones and
microwaves ovens do cause interference sometimes.
Theses are some of the known disadvantages, but it doesnt hinder yours truly from using
wireless; basically, because of the freedom and manageability I get. One could work
anywhere in their surrounding.