Wireless Networking Absolute Beginner's Guide [NOOK Book]

Overview

Make the most of your wireless network…without becoming a technical expert! This book is the fastest way to connect all your wireless devices, get great performance with everything from streaming media to printing, stay safe and secure, and do more with Wi-Fi than you ever thought possible! Even if you’ve never set up or run a network before, this book will show you how to do what you want, one incredibly clear and easy step at a time. Wireless...

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Wireless Networking Absolute Beginner's Guide

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Overview

Make the most of your wireless network…without becoming a technical expert! This book is the fastest way to connect all your wireless devices, get great performance with everything from streaming media to printing, stay safe and secure, and do more with Wi-Fi than you ever thought possible! Even if you’ve never set up or run a network before, this book will show you how to do what you want, one incredibly clear and easy step at a time. Wireless networking has never, ever been this simple!

Who knew how simple wireless networking could be?

This is today’s best beginner’s guide to creating, using, troubleshooting, and doing more with your wireless network…simple, practical instructions for doing everything you really want to do, at home or in your business! Here’s a small sample of what you’ll learn:

• Buy the right equipment without overspending

• Reliably connect Windows PCs, Macs, iPads, Android tablets, game consoles, Blu-ray players, smartphones, and more

• Get great performance from all your networked devices

• Smoothly stream media without clogging your entire network

• Store music and movies so you can play them anywhere in your home

• Keep neighbors and snoopers out of your network

• Share the files you want to share–and keep everything else private

• Automatically back up your data across the network

• Print from anywhere in the house–or from anywhere on Earth

• Extend your network to work reliably in larger homes or offices

• Set up a “guest network” for visiting friends and family

• View streaming videos and other web content on your living room TV

• Control your networked devices with your smartphone or tablet

• Connect to Wi-Fi hotspots and get online in your car

• Find and log onto hotspots, both public and hidden

• Quickly troubleshoot common wireless network problems

Michael Miller is the world’s #1 author of beginning computer books. He has written more than 100 best-selling books over the past two decades, earning an international reputation for his friendly and easy-to-read style, practical real-world advice, technical accuracy, and exceptional ability to demystify complex topics. His books for Que include Computer Basics Absolute Beginner’s Guide; Facebook for Grown-Ups; My Pinterest; Ultimate Digital Music Guide; Speed It Up! A Non-Technical Guide for Speeding Up Slow PCs, and Googlepedia: The Ultimate Google Resource.

Category: Networking

Covers: Wireless Networking

User Level: Beginning

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780133381306
  • Publisher: Pearson Education
  • Publication date: 2/22/2013
  • Series: Absolute Beginner's Guide
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 274,145
  • File size: 33 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Michael Miller is a successful and prolific author with a reputation for practical advice and technical accuracy and an unerring empathy for the needs of his readers.

Mr. Miller has written more than 100 best-selling books over the past two decades. His books for Que include Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Computer Basics, Easy Computer Basics, Windows 7 Your Way, Wireless Networking with Windows Vista, Facebook for Grown-Ups, My Pinterest, and The Ultimate Digital Music Guide. He is known for his casual, easy-to-read writing style and his practical, real-world advice—as well as his ability to explain a wide variety of complex topics to an everyday audience.

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Table of Contents

Introduction ......................................................................................................................1

How This Book Is Organized .................................................................................... 3

Conventions Used in This Book ............................................................................... 4

Windows or Mac? ................................................................................................. 4

Web Page Addresses ........................................................................................... 4

Products and Services .......................................................................................... 4

Special Elements .................................................................................................. 4

Let Me Know What You Think ................................................................................. 5

I Getting to Know Wireless Networking

1 How Networks Work ...............................................................................................7

Why You Need a Home Network ............................................................................ 8

Sharing the Internet ............................................................................................. 8

Streaming Movies and Music .............................................................................. 9

Sharing Media .....................................................................................................10

Sharing and Backing Up Files ...........................................................................11

Sharing Printers and Other Equipment ............................................................13

Cutting the Cable ...............................................................................................15

Playing Games Online .......................................................................................16

Understanding Network Technology ....................................................................17

LANs and WANs .................................................................................................17

Connecting Things to Your Network ...............................................................18

Connecting Everything Together .....................................................................19

Transferring Data over the Network .................................................................20

Understanding Network Addresses .................................................................22

Different Ways to Connect .....................................................................................23

Connecting via Ethernet ....................................................................................24

Connecting via Powerline ..................................................................................24

Connecting via Wi-Fi ..........................................................................................25

What Type of Network Is Best for You? ................................................................26

2 How Wi-Fi Works ...................................................................................................29

Understanding Wireless Network Technology .....................................................30

Bands on the Radio ............................................................................................30

Routing the Signals ............................................................................................32

Alphabet Soup: The Different Wi-Fi Standards ...................................................33

802.11 (Legacy)...................................................................................................36

802.11b ...............................................................................................................36

802.11a ................................................................................................................36

802.11g ...............................................................................................................36

802.11n ................................................................................................................37

802.11ac (Gigabit Wi-Fi) ....................................................................................38

802.11ad (WiGig) ...............................................................................................39

Wide-Area Wi-Fi .................................................................................................39

Which Wi-Fi Is Right for You? ................................................................................40

3 How Bluetooth Works ...........................................................................................45

Understanding Bluetooth Wireless ........................................................................46

What Bluetooth Does ........................................................................................46

How Bluetooth Does It ......................................................................................47

Synchronizing, Automatically ............................................................................47

Bluetooth in Action .................................................................................................48

How Bluetooth Is Used Today ...............................................................................50

Computer Equipment ........................................................................................50

Cell Phones .........................................................................................................51

Automobiles ........................................................................................................52

How Do Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Compare? ..............................................................53

4 How Mobile Networks Work ...............................................................................55

Understanding Cellular Phone Technology ..........................................................56

Cells in a Network ..............................................................................................56

Carrying a Two-Way Radio ................................................................................57

Pulling Some Gs ......................................................................................................57

1G ........................................................................................................................57

2G ........................................................................................................................58

3G ........................................................................................................................59

4G ........................................................................................................................59

Sharing a Mobile Data Connection with Your PC ................................................60

External Data Modems ......................................................................................61

Tethering Your Smartphone ..............................................................................61

Powering Your Home Network with Your Cellular Signal ..............................63

Mobile Data Versus Wi-Fi: Choosing One or the Other .....................................64

Mobile Service and Bluetooth: Learning to Co-Exist ..........................................64

II Setting Up a Wireless Network

5 Planning Your Network and Purchasing Equipment .......................................67

Planning Your Network ...........................................................................................68

Making a List .......................................................................................................68

Mapping the Network ........................................................................................69

Adding the Necessary Network Equipment ....................................................70

Creating Your Network Equipment List ...........................................................72

Choosing a Wireless Router ...................................................................................72

What a Router Does ...........................................................................................72

Understanding the Nomenclature—And the Specs .......................................73

Examining 802.11n Routers ..............................................................................74

Examining 802.11ac Routers .............................................................................75

Evaluating Ethernet Performance .....................................................................77

Considering Other Features ..............................................................................77

Choosing Wireless Adapters ..................................................................................78

USB Adapters ......................................................................................................79

Internal Adapters ................................................................................................80

Choosing Network Interface Cards and Ethernet Cables ...................................81

Upgrading Your Current Network .........................................................................81

Where to Buy Networking Equipment ..................................................................82

6 Installing a Wireless Router .................................................................................85

Before You Start ......................................................................................................86

Making the Physical Connections ..........................................................................88

Setting Up and Configuring the Router ................................................................92

Advanced Router Setup ..........................................................................................94

Opening the Dashboard ....................................................................................94

Navigating the Dashboard ................................................................................95

Key Settings ........................................................................................................95

Upgrading from an Existing Router .......................................................................97

7 Connecting to the Internet ............................................................................... 101

Understanding Internet Connections ..................................................................102

Broadband DSL ................................................................................................102

Broadband Cable .............................................................................................102

FiOS Broadband ...............................................................................................103

Broadband Satellite..........................................................................................103

Choosing the Right Internet Connection for Your Network .............................104

Connecting the Internet to Your Network ..........................................................104

Connecting with a Wireless Router ................................................................104

Connecting with a Combination Modem/Router .........................................106

Setting Up a Public Wi-Fi Hotspot ......................................................................107

Turning Your Wireless Router into a Wi-Fi Hotspot .....................................107

Setting Up a Wi-Fi Hotspot with a Wireless Access Point ...........................108

Security Matters: To Share or Not to Share? .....................................................109

8 Extending Your Network in a Larger Home or Office ................................. 113

Revisiting Transmission Range .............................................................................114

Upgrading to a More Powerful Router................................................................114

Connecting a More Powerful Antenna ................................................................115

Connecting a Wireless Range Extender .............................................................116

Connecting a Second Wireless Router ...............................................................118

9 Connecting Devices via Ethernet ..................................................................... 121

How Ethernet Works .............................................................................................122

Speeds Vary ......................................................................................................122

Ethernet Routers ...............................................................................................122

NIC’s Picks .........................................................................................................124

Cable Time ........................................................................................................125

When an Ethernet Connection Makes Sense .....................................................126

Speed Matters ..................................................................................................126

Reliability Matters .............................................................................................127

Security Matters ................................................................................................127

There’s No Wireless Option ............................................................................128

Connecting via Ethernet to a Wireless Network ................................................128

10 Securing Devices on Your Network ................................................................ 131

Facing the Potential Dangers of Wireless Networking .....................................132

Different Types of Intrusions ...........................................................................132

How to Tell If Your Network Has Been Breached ........................................133

How to Protect Your PC from Intrusion .........................................................133

Protecting Against Internet Intrusions with a Firewall .......................................134

OS-Based Firewalls...........................................................................................135

Using Third-Party Firewall Software ...............................................................135

Using Router-Based Firewalls ..........................................................................135

Enabling Wireless Security on Your Router ........................................................136

Different Types of Wireless Security ..............................................................137

Configuring Your Network for Wireless Security ..........................................138

Limiting Access to Your Network ........................................................................138

Changing the Router’s SSID ............................................................................138

Changing the Password ...................................................................................139

Disabling SSID Broadcasting...........................................................................140

Protecting Against Malware .................................................................................140

Understanding Viruses and Spyware ..............................................................141

Practicing Safe Computing ..............................................................................141

Using Anti-Virus Software ................................................................................142

Using Anti-Spyware Software ..........................................................................144

III Connecting Devices to Your Network

11 Connecting Home Computers .......................................................................... 147

Connecting Computers to the Network .............................................................148

Connecting Windows 8 Computers ...............................................................148

Connecting Windows 7 Computers ...............................................................149

Connecting Windows Vista Computers .........................................................150

Connecting Windows XP Computers .............................................................150

Connecting Macs ..............................................................................................151

Dealing with Network Locations, Workgroups, and HomeGroups in Windows .............................................................................................................152

Setting a Network Location .............................................................................152

Selecting a Workgroup ....................................................................................153

Creating a Windows HomeGroup ..................................................................153

Configuring File and Printer Sharing ...................................................................154

Enabling File and Printer Sharing in Windows 8...........................................154

Enabling File and Printer Sharing in Windows 7...........................................156

Enabling File and Printer Sharing in Windows Vista ....................................156

Enabling File and Printer Sharing in Windows XP ........................................156

Enabling File and Printer Sharing on a Mac ..................................................157

Accessing Other Computers on Your Network ..................................................158

Accessing Computers from a Windows PC ...................................................159

Accessing Computers from a Windows HomeGroup ..................................160

Accessing Computers from a Mac .................................................................160

Managing a Windows Network ............................................................................160

12 Connecting a Home Server ............................................................................... 163

What Is a Home Server, and Why Do You Need One? ....................................164

Exploring the Many Uses of a Home Server ......................................................164

Home Server or NAS: What’s in a Name? ..........................................................165

Shopping for a Home Server or NAS ..................................................................166

Determining Storage Capacity .......................................................................167

Choosing Networking and Backup Functionality .........................................167

Selecting an Operating System ......................................................................167

Making the Purchase ........................................................................................168

Configuring Your Server .......................................................................................169

Using Your Server for Media Storage .................................................................170

Backing Up to a Home Server .............................................................................170

Connecting to Your Server from the Internet.....................................................171

13 Connecting Videogame Devices ...................................................................... 173

Why Would You Want to Connect a Videogame Device to Your Network? ..................................................................................................174

Wi-Fi Versus Ethernet: What’s Best for Gaming? ..............................................175

Connecting via Wi-Fi ........................................................................................176

Connecting via Ethernet ..................................................................................176

Connecting an Xbox 360 Console.......................................................................177

Is Your Xbox Wireless? ....................................................................................177

Connecting via Wi-Fi ........................................................................................178

Connecting via Ethernet ..................................................................................178

Connecting a PlayStation 3 Console ...................................................................178

Connecting via Wi-Fi ........................................................................................179

Connecting via Ethernet ..................................................................................180

Connecting a Nintendo Wii Console ..................................................................180

Connecting via Wi-Fi ........................................................................................180

Connecting via Ethernet ..................................................................................181

Connecting a Portable Videogame Device ........................................................182

Configuring Your Network for Optimum Gameplay .........................................183

Getting Faster Broadband...............................................................................183

Upgrading Your Router ....................................................................................184

14 Connecting Other Entertainment Devices ..................................................... 187

The Many Ways to Consume Web-Based Media in Your Living Room ..........188

Connecting an Internet-Capable TV to Your Network ......................................189

Connecting a Blu-ray Player to Your Network ...................................................191

Connecting an Audio/Video Receiver to Your Network ...................................193

Connecting a Network Media Player to Your Network .....................................195

Configuring Your Router for Streaming Media ..................................................196

Connecting at 5GHz ........................................................................................196

Enabling WMM .................................................................................................197

Giving Priority to Streaming Media ................................................................197

15 Connecting Smartphones and Tablets ............................................................ 199

Connecting to a Wireless Network ......................................................................200

Connecting Your Smartphone ........................................................................200

Connecting Your Tablet ..................................................................................202

Using a Guest Network for Visiting Friends .......................................................203

Switching Between Wi-Fi and Cellular Networks ...............................................204

Why Wi-Fi Is Better Than Cellular...................................................................204

When to Connect via Cellular .........................................................................205

How to Switch from Wi-Fi to Cellular .............................................................206

Using Your Smartphone or Tablet to Control Networked Devices .................206

Using Your Smartphone to Control Things When You’re Not Around ...........208

IV Using Your Wireless Network

16 Sharing Printers and Other Devices ................................................................ 213

Connecting a Shared Printer to Your Network ..................................................214

Connecting a Wireless Network Printer ..............................................................215

Benefits of a Network Printer ..........................................................................216

Setting Up a Network Printer ..........................................................................216

Connecting a Printer via a Print Server ...............................................................217

Installing a Shared Printer on Other PCs ............................................................218

Printing to a Network Printer ...............................................................................218

Using Google Cloud Print ....................................................................................220

How Google Cloud Print Works .....................................................................220

Cloud Print Utilities ..........................................................................................221

Connecting a Cloud Print-Ready Computer .................................................221

Connecting an Existing Printer .......................................................................221

Sharing a Printer ...............................................................................................223

Printing via Google Cloud Print ......................................................................224

Sharing Other Peripherals ....................................................................................225

17 Sharing and Transferring Files .......................................................................... 227

How File Sharing Works ........................................................................................228

Configuring File Sharing in Windows ..................................................................229

Enabling Password-Protected Sharing ...........................................................229

Sharing the Public Folder ................................................................................230

Sharing Other Folders .....................................................................................230

Sharing Complete Drives.................................................................................234

Accessing Computers on Your Network .............................................................234

Accessing Windows HomeGroup Computers ...............................................234

Accessing Other Computers from a Windows PC ........................................235

Accessing Other Computers from a Mac ......................................................237

Using a Home Server for File Sharing .................................................................237

Backing Up Your Data Across a Network ...........................................................238

Sharing Files in the Cloud ....................................................................................238

What Is Cloud Storage? ...................................................................................238

Why Use Cloud Storage? ................................................................................239

Popular Cloud-Storage Services .....................................................................240

Sharing a File with SkyDrive ............................................................................241

18 Streaming Audio and Video.............................................................................. 245

How Streaming Media Works ..............................................................................246

What’s Good—And What’s Bad—About Streaming Media .............................246

What’s Good About Streaming Media ..........................................................247

What’s Not So Good About Streaming Media .............................................248

Choosing a Streaming Media Device .................................................................249

Streaming Media on an Internet-Capable TV ...............................................249

Streaming Media on an Internet-Capable Blu-ray Player ............................250

Streaming Media on a Network Media Player ..............................................251

Streaming Media on a Personal Computer ...................................................254

Streaming Media on a Smartphone or Tablet ..............................................255

Streaming TV Shows and Movies ........................................................................256

Hulu and Hulu Plus ...........................................................................................257

Netflix ................................................................................................................259

Amazon Instant Video ......................................................................................260

Blockbuster On Demand .................................................................................261

iTunes ................................................................................................................261

Vudu ...................................................................................................................262

Veoh ...................................................................................................................262

Crackle ...............................................................................................................263

Vevo ...................................................................................................................263

Other Sites ........................................................................................................263

Streaming Music ....................................................................................................265

Streaming Music Services ................................................................................265

Internet Radio ...................................................................................................268

Terrestrial Radio, Online ..................................................................................271

Cloud-Based Music Services ...........................................................................272

Streaming Media Across Your Network ..............................................................274

DLNA .................................................................................................................275

Apple AirPlay ....................................................................................................275

19 Troubleshooting Network Problems ............................................................... 279

Managing Networked Computers (Windows Version) ......................................280

Viewing a Larger Network Map ......................................................................281

Changing the Type of Network Location ......................................................281

Configuring Advanced Sharing Options ........................................................281

Viewing and Managing Network Connections .............................................282

Changing IP Addresses ...................................................................................284

Managing Networked Computers (Mac Version)...............................................286

Configuring Network Preferences ..................................................................286

Displaying Network Information .....................................................................287

Speeding Up a Slow Wireless Connection .........................................................288

Checking Your Signal Strength .......................................................................288

Moving Closer to the Router ..........................................................................289

Don’t Hide Your Adapter or Router ...............................................................289

Moving Devices That Might Cause Interference ..........................................290

Changing the Channel .....................................................................................290

Changing the Band ..........................................................................................290

Upgrading to a Faster Router .........................................................................290

Troubleshooting Bad Network Connections ......................................................291

Letting Your Operating System Fix the Problem ..........................................291

Disconnecting the Connection .......................................................................291

Rebooting the Adapter—or the Device .........................................................292

Rebooting Your Router ....................................................................................292

Checking the Device’s IP Settings ..................................................................292

Manually Assigning an IP Address .................................................................293

Checking the Workgroup Name .....................................................................293

Troubleshooting a Dead Internet Connection ...................................................294

Checking the Cables ........................................................................................294

Rebooting the Modem ....................................................................................294

Checking with Your ISP ....................................................................................295

Speeding Up a Slow Internet Connection ..........................................................295

Understanding Connection Speed .................................................................295

Understanding Browser Speed .......................................................................296

Cleaning Your Cache .......................................................................................296

Changing the Size of Your Cache ..................................................................297

Managing Your Cookies ..................................................................................297

Don’t Display Graphics ....................................................................................298

Uninstalling Unnecessary Add-Ons ................................................................298

Using an Alternate DNS Service .....................................................................299

V Connecting Wirelessly Outside the Home

20 Connecting to Wi-Fi Hotspots .......................................................................... 303

Where Can You Find a Hotspot? .........................................................................304

Wi-Fi Coffeehouses and Restaurants .............................................................304

Wi-Fi Hotels ......................................................................................................305

Wi-Fi Airports and Transportation Centers ...................................................305

Wi-Fi in Public Places .......................................................................................305

Wi-Fi Communities ...........................................................................................305

Connecting to a Public Hotspot ..........................................................................306

Logging Onto a Hotspot ......................................................................................307

Manually Connecting to a Hidden Network .......................................................308

Changing the Order of Preferred Networks in Windows ..................................309

Working Securely from a Public Hotspot ............................................................311

Troubleshooting Hotspot Problems ....................................................................312

You Can’t Connect to the Hotspot ................................................................312

You Get Disconnected from the Hotspot ......................................................312

You Connect to the Hotspot But Can’t Access the Internet .......................313

You Can’t Connect to Selected Websites .....................................................313

You Can’t Send or Receive Email ...................................................................313

21 Connecting in Your Car...................................................................................... 317

Connecting Your Phone to Your Car for Phone Calls .......................................318

Using Built-In Bluetooth ...................................................................................318

Using Add-On Bluetooth Car Kits ..................................................................320

Connecting Your Phone to Your Car to Play Music ...........................................321

Listening with a Built-In System ......................................................................321

Listening via an Add-On Bluetooth System ..................................................322

Using Your Smartphone to Access the Internet While Driving ........................323

Using a Wireless Router in Your Car ...................................................................324

Installing a Wireless Router .............................................................................324

Using a Mobile Hotspot ..................................................................................325

Looking to the Future: The Wireless Car ............................................................326

TOC, 9780789750785, 1/17/2013

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