Home Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi growth has got me thinking seriously about a home broadband connection — the setup being: Intel Centrino notebook computer, a wireless broadband router, and a DSL or cable modem connection.In spite of its speed, broadband never appealed to me given its lack of mobility — your PC was basically tethered to where the broadband connection entered your home.

However, Wi-Fi solves that problem. You can surf the web with your notebook on the living room sofa, in the bedroom or in the backyard lounge chair while sipping a beer (not to mention Wi-Fi hotspots like Starbucks and airports, among others). And families can enjoy IP connections from different rooms in the home, and connect to shared devices such as printers — all without messy wiring.

Though there’s an alphabet soup of Wi-Fi standards, 802.11.b seems OK for most home wireless networking given its 11 Mbps bandwidth (5.0 to 5.5 usable).

Based on what I’ve learned so far, one of Wi-Fi’s big hurdles is security. No doubt a solution will be found, as was done for e-commerce.

Helpful references: PC Magazine’s Home Networking 101, Wi-Fi Networking News and this Washington Post article.

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