[Techtalk] Wireless Help

Cindy Wong ckpwong at letterboxes.org
Tue Oct 21 00:34:00 EST 2003

Diggy Bell wrote:
> Since you've already got Linksys, check out these models from Linksys

You don't really *need* a Linksys.  If price is a concern, and your 
house is not too big and/or harsh on wireless signal (a 2.4GHz cordless 
phone would be of similar strength of a WLAN card), you can get an 
D-Link AP at a lower price.  You can pick one up at less than US$100, or 
US$50 if you look harder.

> WAP11 (11 Mbps / 802.11b)
> WAP51A+B (11/54 Mbps / 802.11a+b)
> WAP54A (54 Mbps / 802.11a)
> WAP54G (54 Mbps / 802.11g)
> WAP55A+G (11/54 Mbps / 802.11a+b+g)
> These are all standard wireless access points that you can connect directly
> to your existing Linksys router.


Without knowing the specific standard(s) your iBook support, 802.11b is 
the safest bet.  802.11b has been around the longest, most deployed, was 
the only standard supported by the original AirPort, and in most cases, 
synonym with "wireless LAN".

You would want to avoid any AP that *only* does 802.11a, because it is 
not compatible with 802.11b _AT_ _ALL_.  Besides, as far as I remember, 
Apple has yet to release a built-in wireless LAN card supporting 802.11a 
(but I may very well be wrong on that).

The 802.11g standard has only been finalized about three months ago, 
despite the abundance of products available on the market before that. 
So there is a chance of slight incompatibility between older 802.11g 
products.  But the up-side of 802.11g is its backward compatibility with 

If you do not want to use an AP, and have a spare wireless LAN card 
around to plug into a server, you can actually setup your wireless LAN 
as an ad-hoc network.  However, unless you already have the equipment, I 
strongly suggest you *not* to use ad-hoc network.  The difference in the 
costs of an AP and a wireless LAN card is minimal, and your life will be 
a lot easier with an AP, once your wireless LAN grows beyond 2 or 3 
computers.  But ad-hoc is _possible_.


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