History, Evolution, Use and Construction of 802.11x Wireless Networks

Why Are You Here?

What will you find on this website? You can find information regarding the history of home wireless networks, the inner workings of wireless networks and a more specific definition of what exactly constitutes a wireless network. I'll delve briefly into the most common wireless network construction methods and briefly cover the pros and cons of wireless networks as they exist today. After that I'll discuss security measures home wireless users can utilize to create a more secure and safe wireless network, and touch on other wireless technologies that exist today.

This website was created as a final project for Michigan State University's TC 201, Intro to Telecommunication course. More broadly, however, it is my contribution to the persistence of information regarding 802.11x and other wireless technologies. I have a passionate interest in learning about wireless technologies. 802.11x networks have a direct impact on my life in that I utilize them in my home, at other's houses/apartments, for work purposes, and during class. (Some professors even cater their curriculum to students who use their notebook computers during lecture, which I find fascinating).

A little history of my experience with wireless networks though. During middle school, my family upgraded from the increasingly ancient dial-up technology. We spent a week or so running Cat5e wires through the house, fishing the walls and installing jacks in wall outlets. In the end, we ran through more than five hundred feet of Cat5e cable and had multiple networking switches along with the router and cable modem provided by Comcast. In the end, we had a fully functional 10/100 wired network. We opted for wired because even with the cost of the amount of wire we used and the jacks and boxes along with the networking equipment, it was far less costly than implementing a wireless network at the time.

Fast forward to 2005. I've since graduated from high school and am moving off campus during my Sophomore year into a house we purchased in Lansing. In the time between middle school and now, the cost of networking the house utilizing wireless technologies is now far less expensive, and much less hassle than utilizing a purely wired network. With one wireless router, and the cable modem, we are able to broadcast a secure wireless network throughout the entire house.