What It Is, How It Works,
And What You Need To Know
WiFi, or wireless networking, is quickly
becoming the preferred method for connecting to the Internet or other
computers because of its simplicity. Using WiFi, you can connect
anywhere in your home, office, or even your local cafe without the need
for wires or Internet connections.
How It Works
A simple way to understand wireless
networking is to think about how walkie-talkies work. These small radios
communicate by transmitting and receiving radio signals. When you talk
into a Walkie-Talkie, your voice is picked up by a microphone, encoded
onto a radio frequency and transmitted with the antenna to the other
walkie-talkie which then converts that radio frequency back to your
Where To Connect
Finding a wireless (Wi-Fi) hookup (also
called a hotspot) for your laptop is getting easier. Thousands of free
Wi-Fi hotspots are springing up across the country including coffee
shops, hotels, and public areas.
Most of these establishments charge a fee
for the access but with a little research, you won't have to pay a cent.
For example, Panera Bread provides access for free to attract customers.
Hotel chains like Best Western, Clarion,
Comfort Inn and Omni hotels are also offering free Wi-Fi service to
their guests. To find free hotspots in your area or an area you will be
traveling to, go to ConnectedHotel (http://www.connectedhotel.com)
or Wi-Fi FreeSpot (http://www.wififreespot.com).
Wififreespot.com also lists libraries and public parks that offer free
access. They are little bit harder to find but you may be delightfully
surprised to find one in your area.
If you can't find free service, you can
pay for the access. T-Mobile (http://www.t-mobile.com/hotspot/)
has nearly 4,600 locations throughout the United States and has hotspots
located in Starbucks coffeehouses, Borders Books & Music stores,
airports and other areas.
With Wi-Fi Hotspots
Internet users beware! Wi-Fi access is
not as secure as your Internet connection at home or at work. Most free
public wireless networks turn off all security functions by default to
make it easier to connect.
Never, ever send a credit card number
or personal information of any sort over a wireless Internet connection.
The guy in the next car could grab it as easy as your neighbor. And if
you set up a wireless network, remember that you must go the extra mile
to ensure your network is secure. Police report a big business among
criminals who use insecure networks to steal data like credit card
To safeguard your computer, turn off
all file sharing and avoid sending sensitive e-mail or making online
Want To Go
Wireless? We Can Help!
If you want to join the thousands of
other computer users who have gone wireless, give us a call at (866)
324-8273. We can
install and configure the necessary hardware and software to get you
connected in no time flat!