Wireless networking a booming business

By Tom DiFrancesca

It used to be, just a few years back, that if there was a computer in a home, it was a unique situation.

Then the Internet went and got popular. All of a sudden people started flocking to stores to purchase new computers, just so they could surf the Web.

Eventually, it was quite common for a computer to be present in most homes — at least 60 percent of American homes to be exact.

In the past year or so though, a new phenomenon has occurred, and that is the existence of multiple computers in a single dwelling.

Dad has his laptop, mom has her desktop unit, and Junior, well, he’s got his own little “digital interface device” in his bedroom, or maybe it’s situated in the family room somewhere.

The popularity of home networks has now also grown at a tremendous rate. Most of the first home “do-it-yourself” networks were actually “hard-wired;” that is Category 5 network cable was run through walls, draped across attics, and in some cases hung from the ceiling.

Home networking is now a booming business, for those who perform the professional installs and for the companies who manufacture and sell home networking equipment.

Networking has gotten easier though, and a whole lot less physical. The newest form of networking is wireless or as most folks are beginning to call it “WiFi.”

I get asked questions about setting up home wireless networks a lot. In most cases I encourage the individual to just “go for it,” to purchase the necessary equipment (which is now quite inexpensive) and to just have fun setting up and configuring their own little network world.

The majority of the time though, I get one of those “deer in the headlight” looks as a response to my encouragement. Really folks, it is not all that difficult a thing to do and the rewards for carrying through with the project are well worth the effort.

You’ll even get smarter in the process. You’ll have to.
For any of you who are contemplating the installation of a home wireless network, just jump on over to:

www.wifi411.com

The site is really targeted toward those jetsetters who are always on the go and have their trusty laptop computers in tow. These folks are constantly on the look-out for “WiFi hot-spots” — locations where wireless Internet access is available either for free or for a subscription fee. If you will look up to the upper right-hand corner of the homepage though, you will find a link entitled “WiFi Tutorials and Guides.” Just click on that link.

You’ll learn lots of new stuff and it’s written in a very easy to understand manner.

If you are a “news junkie” you might be interested to know that Microsoft has launched a new news portal/news search engine Web site. Just jump over to
newsbot.msnbc.msn.com/
to check out the “Newsbot” service. Visiting the Web site may remind you of the Google news portal/news search engine site. There are quite a few similarities.

If you’ve not been to that site, it’s at
news.google.com

Tom DiFrancesca III is a freelance columnist and an off-and-on resident of Clovis. He can be reached at:
tomdifran@ureach.com
or www.trackertom.com