How to Choose Wireless Home Networking Equipment

Part of the Wireless Home Networking For Dummies Cheat Sheet

You don't need all that much to put together a wireless home network. The basics include a wireless base station (an access point — AP — or wireless home router) and appropriate wireless network adapters in your computers and other devices attached to the network. This list provides an overview of all the bits and pieces you either will or might need in your network. Hint: Don't forget the cables! (They don't always come in the box with your wireless gear, and there's nothing worse than having to run back to the store because you forgot a $3 cable!)

Stuff You Need Quantity You Need
Broadband DSL, fiber-optic, or cable modem connection One
Wireless LAN access point (AP) One (or maybe more if you have a big house)
CAT-5e/6 patch cable* Two: A short one, to connect AP to broadband modem; and a 100-foot one, for troubleshooting and emergencies
Wireless LAN network adapters One per computer (usually preinstalled)
Wireless Ethernet bridge One per other networked device with Ethernet port (for example, original Xbox)
Home network router One (optional; usually included in access point)
Wireless repeater One or more (optional)

* Make sure that your broadband router, AP, and other gear comes with a CAT-5e/6 patch cable, or be sure to buy one separately in addition to the cable you need to connect the AP to the broadband router (if your AP doesn't come with a cable).

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Wireless Home Networking For Dummies Cheat Sheet

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