Setting up a Wireless Network

Wired and Wireless Network

Communication Over a network can either be wired or wireless depending on the medium. A wired network connects devices to the Internet or other networks using cables, whereas a wireless network connects devices using wireless technologies such as infrared and radio waves. Transmission medium is one of the most important components of any communication/computer network. The transmission medium carries information from the sender to the receiver, and make Internet access possible. Different transmission media have different properties like bandwidth, delay, cost, ease of installation and maintenance. Transmission media are broadly classified into two types:

 Wired: This network uses physical cables and is limited in geography. LAN is a wired orb. Ethernet is the most commonly technology for setting up LANs. A LAN can be configured a single router and a few Ethernet cables. A standard Ethernet Cable’s slightly thicker than a traditional telephone cable and has an RJ-45 connector filtered on each end.


Wireless: This network uses, radio waves and infrared waves that are not restricted by geography. Wireless connectivity (popularly known as Wi-Fi) allows devices to connect to the Internet without using a physical wired connection. Wi-Fi enabled devices use radio waves to communicate with other devices. Wi-Fi is a type of WLAN that follows IEEE 802.11 standards.

When you connect your laptop or smartphone to a Wi-Fi hotspot at a hotel, airport lounge or other public place, you’re connecting to a wireless network.

Table 1 shows the most commonly used wireless networks:

Type Full Form Coverage


Performance Standard




Wireless Local Area Network


Within a home, school or office.




IEEE 802.11, Wi-Fi, and HiperLAN


WMAN Wireless Metropolitan

Area Network

Within a city High Proprietary, IEEE 802.16, and WIMAX


WWAN Wireless Wide Area Network


Worldwide Low CDPD and Cellular 2G, 2.5G, and 3G


WPAN Wireless Personal  Area Network Within reach in person Moderate Bluetooth, IEEE 802.15



Home Area Network (HAN)

HAN is a network that connects all devices in your home to the Internet and to each other. These devices include desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, tablet, printer and gaming system. You can set up a home network to perform the following tasks:

  • Share an Internet connection between connected devices
  • Access data on all devices connected to the network
  • Print from any device connected to the network
  • Centrally manage network security settings for connected devices

Setting Up a Wireless Network

Setting up a wireless network is an easy and straightforward process if you have the required hardware in place. Before setting up your wireless network, you must have a broadband Internet connection, modem, wireless router and a wireless network adapter.

Broadband Internet connection and modem: A broadband Internet connection is a high-speed Internet connection. You can contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to get a broadband Internet connection. Typically, ISPs that provide DSL connections are telephone companies. ISPs frequently offer broadband modems. Some ISPs also offer combination modems/wireless routers.

Wireless router: A router sends data from one network to another or the Internet either wired or wirelessly. With a wireless router, you can connect your computer to the network wirelessly using radio signals instead of cables.

Wireless network adapter: A wireless network adapter is a device that connects your computer to a wireless network. Nowadays, most PCs come with a built-in wireless network adapter.

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