Riding the Wi-Fi wave of home-based connectivity

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Home-based networking, or that which occurs within the LAN-based SoHo (Small Office Home Office) or broader WAN environment, continues to show growth. There is a general increase in end-user interest in solutions designed to facilitate fast, hassle-free connectivity and an alternative to fixed line ADSL.

Ongoing research and development within the mobile space means costs are being driven down, technology is gaining capacity and the issue of access, latency and bandwidth are being addressed.

It also means the public access points and hotspots are being established, promoting access to Internet and other resources even in remote locations.

Wi-Fi technology works off radio wave signals, in much the same vain as cell phones, radios and other equipment.

Networking standards, being 802.11 (including 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11n), has also developed and this is one of the main reasons behind the reliability of the technology in being able to handle and transfer large data volumes and multimedia.

Other advantages associated with the technology include the fact that it is generally less invasive and easily managed, and setting it up is not as costly as other forms of networking.

Furthermore, the wireless environment in the home has been boosted with the increased availability of mobile connectivity technologies hers including Edge, HSGPA, 3G and 4G.

This empowers the consumer with additional options in terms of building and leveraging off the home network environment.

One of the main issues and challenges to the further rollout of wireless technologies is security. It remains a thorn in the side of the technology industry and is a top priority - particularly as far as the emergence of open hotspots.

Security precautions and systems must be up to date to be able to fulfil their purpose. One of the main security measures associated with Wi-Fi/ wireless environment is Wired Equivalency Privacy (WEP). Ultimately the security industry is represented by a race between developers and opportunists and/or criminals to remain ahead of innovation.

There is a great deal of online advice available to consumers, pertaining to security, which ought to be considered before setting up a Wi-Fi-based home network.

A few key points include changing the default administrator passwords or usernames, turning on WPA/WEP encryption and not allowing connection to open Wi-Fi networks.

These are practical steps that can be taken to ensure a higher level of security over the network.

All aspects considered Wi-Fi technology is a practical, largely hassle-free and cost-effective solution that meets criteria for home-based, widespread application.

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