There are two kinds of network technologies: * Wireless - communicates through radio waves * Wired - communicates through data cables (most commonly Ethernet-based)| Why choose a wireless network?|
Wireless networks don't use cables for connections, but rather they use radio waves, like cordless phones. The advantage of a wireless network is the mobility and freedom from the restriction of wires or a fixed connection. The benefits of having a wireless network include: * Mobility and freedom - work anywhere * No restriction of wires or a fixed connection * Quick, effortless installation * No cables to buy * Save cabling time and hassle * Easy to expandAlso known as Wi-Fi, or Wireless Fidelity, wireless networks allow you to use your network devices anywhere in an office or home, even out on the patio. You can check your e-mail or surf the Internet on your laptop anywhere in your house. There is no need to drill holes in the wall and install Ethernet cables. You can network anywhere - without wires. Outside your home, wireless networking is available in public "hotspots," such as coffee shops, businesses, hotel rooms, and airports. This is perfect for those of you who do a lot of traveling.Learn more about hotspots...Linksys wireless routers are also equipped for wired connections - giving you the best of both worlds - connect wirelessly when you'd like to roam around your house, and connect wired when the utmost speed is important to you. For convenience and ease of use, wireless networking is the answer.Learn more about how wireless works...| Why choose a wired network?|
Wired networks have been around for decades. Wired networking technology found today is known as Ethernet. The data cables, known as Ethernet network cables or wired (CAT5) cables, connect computers and other devices that make up the networks. Wired networks are best when you need to move large amounts of data at high speeds, such as professional-quality multimedia. The benefits of having a wired network include: * Relatively low cost * Offers the highest performance possible * Fast speed - standard Ethernet cable up to 100Mbps. * Faster speed - Gigabit Ethernet cable up to 1000Mbps.| omputer networks for the home and small business can be built using either wired or wireless technology. Wired Ethernet has been the traditional choice in homes, but Wi-Fiwireless technologies are gaining ground fast. Both wired and wireless can claim advantages over the other; both represent viable options for home and other local area networks (LANs). Below we compare wired and wireless networking in five key areas: * ease of installation
* total cost
About Wired LANs
Wired LANs use Ethernet cables and networkadapters. Although two computers can be directly wired to each other using an Ethernet crossover cable, wired LANs generally also require central devices like hubs, switches, or routers to accommodate more computers. For dial-up connections to the Internet, the computer hosting the modem must run Internet Connection Sharing or similar software to share the connection with all other computers on the LAN.Broadband routers allow easier sharing of cable modem or DSL Internet connections, plus they often include built-in firewall support. Installation
Ethernet cables must be run from each computer to another computer or to the central device. It can be time-consuming and difficult to run cables under the floor or through walls, especially when computers sit in different rooms. Some newer homes are pre-wired with CAT5 cable, greatly simplifying the cabling process and minimizing unsightly cable runs. The correct cabling configuration for a wired LAN varies depending on the mix of devices, the type of Internet connection, and whether internal or external modems are used. However, none of these options pose any more difficulty than, for example, wiring...