Wireless Networking, Part 1: Capabilities and Hardware

Wireless Networking, Part 1: Capabilities and Hardware

These days it isn’t uncommon for a home to have multiple personal computers, and as such, it just makes sense for them to be able to share files, as well as to share one Internet connection. Wired networking is an option, but it is one that may require the installation and management of a great deal of wiring in order to get even a modestly sized home set up. With wireless networking equipment becoming extremely affordable and easy to install, it may be worth considering by those looking to build a home network, as well as by those looking to expand on an existing wired network.

The first installment in this two-part series of Tech Tips will provide an introduction to the basic capabilities and hardware involved in wireless networking. Once that foundation has been established, we’ll take a look at a few setup and security related considerations that should be addressed once the physical installation is complete.

Capabilities

The basic standard that covers wireless networking is the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE) 802.11, which is close kin to the wired Ethernet standard, 802.3. Many people will recognize 802.11 more readily when accompanied by one of three suffixes (a, b, or g), used to specify the exact protocol of wireless networking.

The 802.11a protocol first hit the scene in 2001, and despite a small surge in recent popularity, it is definitely the least common of the three at this time. The signals are transmitted on a 5 GHz radio frequency, while “b” and “g” travel on 2.4 GHz. The higher frequency means that the signal can travel less distance in free space and has a harder time penetrating walls, thus making the practical application of an 802.11a network a bit limited. The maximum transfer rate, however, is roughly 54 Mbps, so it makes up for its limited range with respectable speed.

As mentioned, 802.11b and 802.11g networks operate on a 2.4 GHz radio band, which gives a much greater range as compared to 802.11a. One downside to being on the 2.4 GHz band is that many devices share it, and interference is bound to be an issue. Cordless phones and Bluetooth devices are two of many items that operate at this frequency. The range of these two protocols is about 300 feet in free air, and the difference between the two comes down to speed. 802.11b came first, released back in 1999, and offers speeds up to 11 Mbps. 802.11g first appeared in 2002 and it is a backwards compatible improvement over 802.11b and offers speeds up to 54 Mbps.

On top of these protocols, some manufacturers have improved upon the 802.11g standard and can provide speeds of up to 108 Mbps. This doesn’t involve a separate protocol, but just a bit of tweaking in areas like better data compression, more efficient data packet bursting, and by using two radio channels simultaneously. Typically, stock 802.11g equipment is not capable of these speeds, and those interested need to shop for matched components that specify 108 Mbps support. I say “matched components” as this is not a standard protocol and the various manufacturers may take different approaches to achieving these speeds. In order to ensure the best results when trying to achieve these elevated speeds, components from the same manufacturer should be used together. For instance, only Netgear brand network adaptors rated for 108 Mbps data transfer should be used with something like the Netgear WG624 wireless router (http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=WGT624NAR).

Considering your typical broadband Internet connection is going to offer data transfer rates of 10 Mbps or less, it can be seen that even 802.11b would be more than adequate if you just want to surf the web. Sharing files on your LAN (Local Area Network) is where the faster protocols will really make a difference, and comparing the prices of 802.11b and 802.11g components may show that there is little to no difference in selecting a “g” capable device over a comparable “b” capable device.

Hardware

Access Point – Wireless Access Point (WAP) is the central device that manages the transmission of wireless signals on a network. A base access point may be capable of handling up to 10 connections, and more robust APs may be able to manage up to 255 connections simultaneously. The D-Link DWL-1000AP+ (http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=37) is an example of a wireless access point capable of 802.11b transmissions.

Router – In somewhat technical terms, a router is a network device that forwards data packets. It is generally the connection between at least two networks, such as two LANs, or a LAN and ISP’s (Internet Service Provider’s) network. For our purposes, and for the sake of simplicity, a wireless router is basically an access point with the added feature of having a port for sharing a broadband Internet connection. The D-Link AirPlus G (http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=DI524-R&cat=NET) is an 802.11g capable router that provides access for numerous wireless connections and four hard-wired connections to one WAN (Wide Area Network Internet) connection. A typical router for home use will generally cost less than an access point, and via settings within the firmware, can be used as just an access point anyway. Wired or wireless, all the computers using the router can share files over the network, as well as sharing a broadband internet connection. Communication between wireless computers (or a wireless computer and a wired computer) will max out at 54 Mbps, while communication between wired computers will take full advantage of the 100 Mbps provided via the 802.3 protocol.

Network Adaptor – A network adaptor is required for every computer that you would like to be connected to the wireless network. Many laptops, such as this Sony Centrino 1.5 GHz (http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=PCGZ1RA-R&cat=NBB) now include a wireless adaptor built in, so no extra hardware is needed. For those with systems that don’t have wireless capabilities built in, adding them is fairly simple, and can be done using a variety of connections. Desktop computers can go wireless by adding a PCI slot network adaptor such as the 802.11g capable D-Link DWL-G510 (http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=308). Notebook users can easily add wireless connectivity by using a PCMCIA adaptor, such as this 802.11g capable device (http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=PBW006-N&cat=NET). And for truly convenient plug-n-play connectivity to wireless networks, USB adaptors such as this 802.11g capable dongle (http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=80211GWUD&cat=NET) are available.

Antenna/Extender – These items are not essential, but given the specifics of a wireless environment, they may be helpful. Devices such as the Hawking Hi-Gain Antenna (http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=HAI6SIP-N&cat=NET) or the Super Cantenna (http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=SCB10&cat=NET) serve the purpose of increasing the wireless signal strength, and therefore extend the range of a given wireless network. Not only can a large area of open space be covered, but the signal quality may be improved in structures with walls and floors that obstruct the signal transmission.

Final Words

In this Tech Tip, we took a look at the basics of wireless networking as it relates to capabilities and hardware. In the second part of this two-part series, we will look at some of the basic setup and security considerations that should be addressed. The physical installation of a wireless network may be exponentially easier than a wired network, but the more difficult part is setting up the software and security to make sure everything stays up and running without incident.

Compare Policies to Find Cheap Car Insurance

The idea of ​​a low cost car policy is something that has certainly been convoluted by the variety of bad advice and recommendations that are so littered across the internet. Unfortunately, most people make the mistake of looking for a car policy that costs the least and totally forget that a car policy product is supposed to carry some basic features to be really useful. The result of such a choice is that the buyer ends up regretting his / her choice and wishing for a more complete product. In order to find complete car policy that is also cheap, you need to compare multiple policies available online and this comparison process should include almost all the relevant aspects of policy to make it truly comparable. Here is a list of those aspects.

1. The service provider:
The provider of the insurance instrument is critical for you to find a policy that is really useful because it is the provider who has to approve or reject your claims. In different words, since the provider has to honor the claims, it is important that you find one who is respectable and genuine. Therefore, you should go through different reviews and comments posted online and try to tie yourself to only the best provider.

2. The coverage of the policy:
It is also very important for you to find a policy that has decent cover. Decent cover for every buyer would be different because the needs of every buyer are different. For example, you might be a bachelore which would mean that you will not really need co-passenger cover. In contrast, if you are a married man, then you would need a product that provides cover to your co-passengers. Here, understanding your specific requirements and finding a policy that matches them is something you should not neglect.

3. Network of garages or workshops:
The purpose of a car insurance product is to make your life easier in every way possible. This means that it should not only provide the right compensation but also do so in the most convenient manner. This is why the policy provider should have a vast network of workshops and garages. A wider network would allow you to get your car repaired and also have your claims honored as conveniently as possible.

4. Additional benefits and bonuses:
Finally, there are many providers online and offline who really try to attract potential buyers by adding value to their products. This value usually comes in the form of discounts and bonus benefits. For example, the no claims bonus feature is a very common value addition tool that is used by online providers. This feature would allow you to reduce the premiums that you have to pay if you have not made claims on your previous insurance policies. Needless to say, these added features are a wonderful way to not only make your policy more useful but also reduce the cost of buying it.

Cheap car insurance is a lot more than an empty policy which costs nothing. A cheap car insurance policy should ideally be able to protect and serve you while not costing a fortune.

Digital and Conventional Presentation of Content

Displaying content is extremely important for any marketing agency. Ultrathin tubes have long replaced the old-fashioned and expensive Cathode-ray tubes. Internet connectivity, live TV streaming, videos, and images are the future of signage and modern marketing. Shopping malls, shops, and all other businesses prefer electronic display over wallpapers.

Digital signage applications include high-resolution display devices that are easy to use anywhere, indoor or outdoor. The modern way of displaying content includes versatility and innovation. For example, an electronic display can run a combination of media including videos, images, and text that even deliver a specific message.

With the passage of time, the global advertising industry is growing bigger and bigger. The electronic display has become the need of every modern business. Some of the purposes digital signage serve are:

  • Informational
  • Commercial
  • Experiential
  • Behavioral

It is rightly said that there is no success without the content. Electronic signage is considered to be a new way of displaying content to an audience. It offers variety and a number of interesting features that allow users to be creative in content management. We often see digital signs at public places and retail stores. Therefore, it has a cultural impact on customers and viewers.

A question arises when or not signage has emerged as a new and effective advertising source. The answer is a big yes as digital signage is gradually taking over the conventional and outdated advertising solutions. However, the significance of traditional display can not be under as they are cost-effective. Commercial places should be well equipped with the information that might help customers make a purchase decision.

The internet is used broadly across the globe. And the information provided on a computer allows us to check back and reach the content easily. It is easy to change and manage content on digital devices. Your success depends very much on how you are advertising your business. Therefore, use digital signs to promote and advertise your business or cause. Digital signage is expensive as compared to those simple and static display means. However, digital display has become mandatory for rapidly growing businesses.

The display industry can not keep itself apart from technological advances. However, some of the old-fashioned signage is still being used by many businesses in developed and developing countries. For instance, a banner or a decal is a very simple type of signage. The presence of highly advanced electronics signals could not outsmart old-fashioned sign systems. However, it is recommended to use the digital and interactive form of signs which can captivate the attention of customers.

The Safety Net

Within the dream we are dreaming, A Course in Miracles (ACIM) is clear that we have a safety net. We seldom see it that way as we feel trapped in a world of our making with no way out. Fear and guilt overwhelm us and we look to the words of the Course to elicit feelings of safety while completely misunderstanding where to find safety. The ego uses the reminders of the Truth from the Course so that we end up quoting them to ourselves and each other in an effort to feel good, prove we're right and extremely safe in a world of terror. This approach is an ego tick that negates the practice of true forgiveness.

When we're willing to recognize this world is not a happy place and we do not feel safe, our justifications with the ego get called into question during the practice of forgiveness. We find we're literally junkies who are addicted to excuses for what we're going with the ego; And since the ego can not allow forgiveness to reveal any ego trick, justification is a defense. Remember, a defense does what it says, ie, it defends (protects) and only what is weak uses defense due to the fear of lack or loss.

A reminder does what it says, ie, it reminds or points the way to something else in the mind. Reminders of the Truth from the Course point away from belief with the ego and towards (the meaning of) the Truth. This is a course on the practical application of forgiveness and the experience of the meaning of the Truth. It is not a course on faith and justification. The choice is yours in how you will use the Course.

A common example that most course students recognize is regard anger. Nowhere in the Course are we told we should not get angry. That would actually be unrealistic. We are simply told not to deny we're angry and to admit we are choosing to get angry. However, what we are told is not to justify the anger. Do not make excuses for why you are angry. It's never for the "justification" reasons you think.

Taking this basic concept, let's look into the ego trick of justification as a defense to keep the ego safe which we mistakenly believe is our safety. Once you understand the trick, it can be applied to undoing anything with the ego. In this article, we're going to expose the trick using the reminders of the Truth from the Course as those are also subject to justification.

Belief, Justification, Assurance and Defense

What makes it so difficult to recognize the ego is using justification with reminders of the Truth is because they seem so wonderful and that we want to believe them. They sound like the Holy Spirit is telling us they are true when it's really the ego tricking us into believing they are true. It brings down to the difference between a defense of the ego and a reminder from the Holy Spirit and the choice you make. There is a huge difference in the mind.

First, let's look at few basic concepts to further the discussion:

Belief

Choosing to believe in an unreal ego idea (thought) makes it appear real and so you only have to invest belief with the unreal to prove you are right. Continued belief (judgment) keeps the idea with you.

Justification

Justification means, "to show, prove or declare something is right." It is the reasoning used by the ego for believing the unreal idea.

Defense

Since all belief and justification is in the mind, defense is in the mind and it means, "an attempt to justify (prove correct) or to do something in favor of an action." The only action you can take in the mind is decision making. Choosing to justify a ego belief makes a defense. It protects the unreal belief as you're in total agreement with the ego and denial of the Truth.

Let's be really clear: The defense (belief plus justification) does not make what you are trying to believe true. It makes the belief (unreal) appear real. The meaning is still what you've chosen with the ego even when used to justify a reminder of the Truth.

Assurance

Assurance means, "to dispel doubts or a promise." There are two types of assurances: God or ego. The only guarantees the ego provides is what you're already experiencing and is clearly not working. Reminders of the Truth (God) point directly to the assurance (promise) of what is real. You choose which one sounds better and if it is the reminder, then you've got to get out of the justification trick.

The Separation Never Happened

We would not believe we're in this world unless we've already bought into the idea that we've separated from God. "The separation never happened" is the basic Truth reminder as part of the Atonement in the Course. It does, however, get used by the ego as a defense to negate the practice of forgiveness.

Justification of the reminder is the ego defense strategy. If we rephrase "the separation never happened" to the ego version, the trick of justification begins to expose itself: "Because the separation never happened, as the Course says, you are justified and correct to believe it did not happen." Honently looking reveal that we just explained why our belief that "the separation never happened" is correct using our "because" excuse (justification) with the ego. Again, this is not a Course on faith or justification as that further the ego and hides what the Truth reminder is pointing towards (which in this case is part of the Atonement, the solution). One mistaken belief leads to the next. Not far behind are the justifications as to "why" you are safe and still at home with God (other Truth reminders) in this world.

The Safety Net

Remember, this is a course in the obvious. The safety net can not be found in belief which defends the ego. It is only in those reminders of the Truth in the Course. Those do not require belief. Truth is not an idea. It's reality.

All reminders of the Truth, which are so lovingly pointed out to us in the Course, are there to do exactly what a reminder does: Remind us that we have reality (Truth) to catch us if we make a different choice. This does not mean to choose to "bliss out" on these assurances through ego belief. Rather, it means to consider them the explanations for why it is safe to practice forgiveness and obtain the experience of the Truth (which needs no defense).

Consider the rest of the Course another set of loving explanations for what you are choosing to give up (forgive). The light of Love shines brightly enough for the safety net to be obvious to anyone willing to look at their ego and forgive.

Defenselessness

To the ego, defenselessness is seen as weakness and yet to see the safety net, you will need to stop defending the ego. The justification junkies we all are is merely a mind addiction from wanting to be right instead of happy. However, now you know that justification of belief merely defends the ego; And now you have the trick exposed to apply to anything in your life.

Defenselessness (not defending the ego) is true strength because it relies on the Father where the Truth reminders point to remembrance of Him. To head in that direction in the mind, you must first accept that you've already chosen with the ego and will continue to do so as you learn forgiveness. You are going to get upset and angry. Do not defend (justify) that anger. Also, accept that you've been trying to believe your way to the Truth instead of practicing forgiveness of the beliefs (judgments) which leads directly to where the reminders point. Do not defend (justify) the trick even if you feel guilty or angry (do not justify them). Every time you accept responsibility for anything as being your choice, even when you've chosen to believe with the ego, you have the ability to choose differently because you are not justifying it which is protecting the ego.

What you are believing with the ego is what you are forgiving. The Father has provided the safety net but it's your decision to use it or not. The Truth reminders point where to look in the mind for the safety net and how to forgive. Forgiveness leads directly to the meaning in the Course that safety is in defenselessness. Forcing faith merely reinforces the ego. That's not true bliss and not the safety net.