Book Review - Wireless Home Networking Simplified by Jim Doherty and Neil Anderson
One of the drawbacks of working in IT is that you get numerous requests from friends and neighbors asking for help setting up wireless networks (or fixing the ones they already have). I've wanted a book I could recommend that would give them everything they need, written at a level they could understand. I think I found it here... Wireless Home Networking Simplified by Jim Doherty and Neil Anderson. Very well done...
Part 1 - How Does It Work: How Wireless LANs Work; Wireless Standards - What the Letters Mean; Selecting the Right Wireless Standard for Your Network
Part 2 - What You Should Know: Planning Your Wireless Network; Wireless Security - What You Need to Know; What to Buy
Part 3 - How Do I Set It Up?: Wireless Router Setup; Wireless NIC Setup; Wireless Security Setup
Part 4 - "Honey, This Stupid Wireless Thing Is Not Working": Troubleshooting - I Can't Connect At All; Troubleshooting - I Can Connect Sometimes; Troubleshooting - I Can Connect, But It's Slow
Part 5 - Bell and Whistles: Wireless Video and Entertainment; Wireless to Go; The Future of Wireless Networking
Appendixes: MAC Address Filtering; 802.11n Wireless Channels; 802.11 Additional Revisions; Glossary; Index
I would have loved to have a copy of book a few years back when I first went wireless at home. The writing style is well-suited to a reasonably intelligent person who isn't brand new to computers. All the examples are using LinkSys products, but it's not that hard to make the appropriate adjustments if you're running something else, like D-Link. Rather than just giving the reader the basic "do this, this, and this", the authors explain the background and concepts that come into play when setting up an effective wireless network. For instance, the security section goes into a good discussion about why it's important to pay attention to how you configure your router. The options are presented in a clear, easy to understand fashion, as well as how all the other devices on your wireless network will need to be configured based on the choices you make. I also liked the chapter on Bells and Whistles, as it goes beyond the basics of connecting your computer to the Internet. With all the gaming consoles now supporting wireless connectivity, it's important to include coverage in this area. You just *know* your kid is going to want to connect his new XBox or Wii to the network...
If you're wanting to take the wireless plunge, do so with this book in hand. You'll increase your chances of success, and probably save a few hairs on your head in the process...