The wireless network is now on the verge of becoming the base standard for all networks. With the lowering of costs to inplement and maintain a wireless network, older cable-based networks may begin to disappear. The IEEE has released two new standards for networking, both of which apply to wireless networking. IEEE 802. 11b, also called WI-FI, is the low cost and easily setup alternative to older cable based networks.
It uses a low cost, low maintence equipment to maintain a network running at approximately 4. 3 Mbps. The rated speed of a network ran using the Wi-Fi standards is 11 Mbps. Installation of a 802. 11b card and implementation of the network can take as little as 30 mintues to complete.
The drivers for the hardware come pre-installed in a Windows XP environment. The actual networking cards come in three types, depending on the hardware situation that a network has. PC cards for a Wi-Fi network range in price from $80-&120 while PCI cards range from $120-$140 dollars.