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The Wireless Networking Starter Kit [Paperback]

Adam Engst , Glenn Fleishman

RRP: £22.99
Price: £19.69 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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The Wireless Networking Starter Kit: the Practical Guide to Wi-Fi Networks for Windows and Macintosh The Wireless Networking Starter Kit: the Practical Guide to Wi-Fi Networks for Windows and Macintosh
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Book Description

9 Dec 2002

Once authors Adam C. Engst and Glenn Fleishman discovered that the freedom of a wireless network meant they could access the Internet from bed, the living room, the coffee house down the street, most major airports, and even some city parks, there was no going back to the days of clumsy wired networks. Now they¿re here to share their knowledge in the new book The Wireless Networking Starter Kit Whether you¿re a Mac or PC user, if you¿re ready to embrace the freedom of wireless, this is the place to start. In these pages you¿ll learn first about the underpinnings of wireless technology and network basics before getting down to the real business at hand: setting up, configuring, and maintaining a wireless network. Step-by-step instructions delivered in easily digestible chunks make it easy to get your own network humming. Along the way you¿ll learn about security, sharing Internet connections among multiple computers, bridging two Ethernet networks, and more. And if you do run into trouble, there¿s a handy troubleshooting guide to answer your questions. If you have a couple of computers and the desire to connect them, you¿ll find everything you need to do so here.

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About the Author

Adam Engst is the publisher of TidBITS, one of the oldest and most-respected Internet-based newsletters, distributed weekly to many thousands of readers. He has written numerous technical books, including the best-selling Internet Starter Kit series, and many magazine articles—thanks to contributing editor positions at MacUser, MacWEEK, and now Macworld. Glenn Fleishman is a freelance journalist based in Seattle who contributes to The New York Times, Seattle Weekly, and Macworld, InfoWorld, Fortune, and Wired magazines.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
62 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars David Weeks MyMac.com Book Review 13 Jan 2003
By Tim E Robertson - Published on Amazon.com
The Wireless Networking Starter Kit is subtitled the practical guide to W-Fi networks for Windows and Macintosh, and this book by veteran writers Adam Engst and Glenn Fleishman is a complete success. It is full of real world "how to" information on how to understand, design, configure, troubleshoot, and use, a wireless network.
Engst penned the enormously successful Internet Starter Kit, and publishes the very popular TidBITS newsletter. Glenn Fleishman has co-written Real World Adobe GoLive, and has written for the New York Times. Their respective resumes set high expectations, and The Wireless Networking Starter Kit meets them all.
While hard-core Macintosh users may feel slighted that the book's subtitle leads off with Windows, Engst and Fleishmann gives Macintoshes their full attention in each chapter. This book, like all good Wi-Fi/802.11b networking books, is fully platform-agnostic.
One thing that distinguishes the Wireless Networking Starter Kit (WNSK) from some other Wi-Fi books is that the authors spend a fair number of pages early on discussing the basics of networking, both wired and wireless. This is a good tactic, as many readers are using the ease of Wi-Fi/Airport to make their first forays into what can be an esoteric and confusing networking world. Having a grounding in the basics will ease the potential frustration that comes from not really understanding how networking works when you first plunge into the deep end of the 802.11b swimming pool.
Chapter 3, How Wireless Works, is less detailed than other books but enough detail is provided for the reader to understand the essential concepts. I found the best tidbit to be that airborne water particles can absorb or deflect radio waves in the 802.11b frequency band, something I had not read in more technical discussions.
Chapter 4, Connecting Your Computer, leads the reader through the "how do I set up my network settings" morass. Plenty of screenshots are used to show how OS 9 and OS X Macs, and Win 98/XP machines are configured. I've found that the help provided by this type of graphic hand-holding is the key for most people, as some understand the hardware concepts of networking, but cannot wade through the computer jargon to know what number goes in what dialog box! When you get through the relevant part of this chapter, your computer should be ready to go.
I found it refreshing that the authors heavily emphasize planning before doing when a wireless network is first installed. For me, a long-time advocate of the "just start plugging stuff in" approach to network design, this is a novel concept. If I had taken the time to follow Engst's and Fleishmann's advice, my own early forays into networking would have been much easier. Included in this chapter on network building is a good overview of various hardware devices such as print spoolers, switches vs. routers, and bridges.
For me, the best two chapters in WNSK are the discussions of wireless security, and how to actually use wireless networking in the big, wide real world of airports, coffee houses, and offices. The security chapter pulls no punches about the pros and (mostly) cons of the wireless WEP security protocol, but the authors don't foment panic by discussing what level of security is appropriate for what kind of user. Various techniques such as SSL, VPN, SSH, are covered in enough detail to show the user that reasonable wireless security can be obtained with a modicum of effort.
Taking It on the Road was a great read. I found the chapter to be a great resource listing both for-fee commercial networks, as well free networks. Hints on how to connect to many different providers are included, as well as how to resolve possible connection problems.
The section on long-distance wireless was interesting, but I do wonder how many novice to intermediate uses will use WNSK to build their own special antennas and establish long-distance wireless networks. More generally useful was the section on troubleshooting wireless networking problems.
The Wireless Networking Starter Kit is the best book so far for the average reader on Wi-Fi/AirPort/802.11b networking. If you want to cut the (Ethernet) cord, start by reading this book!
MacMice Rating: 5 out of 5
David Weeks ...
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The essentials of wireless that you need 29 Mar 2003
By Charles Ashbacher - Published on Amazon.com
I have a training room in my basement with eight computer stations. At this time, they are not networked and several students have asked about my plans to connect them. While I currently have no plans to network them, I will no doubt do so in the near future. Even though I have investigated physical connections between the machines, I had not considered the wireless option until I read this book.
From it, I learned all the background information needed to make a choice concerning whether to use wire or broadcast connections. I am now convinced that wireless is currently the best way to network the machines. From explanations of how a wireless network works to how to connect the machines, the basics of using wireless on both Windows and Apple machines is covered in understandable and complete detail.
A great deal of paper and ink is also devoted to the security aspects of wireless connections. In the world we find ourselves in today, this is a necessity, to ignore it is to place yourself and all you communicate with at risk.
While predictions in the computer business are always problematic, one of the safest is that wireless computing will supplant a large amount of wired connections. From this book, you will learn how wireless works and how it can work for you.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "TMA", Too Many Acronyms 30 Mar 2004
By "novontyinak" - Published on Amazon.com
About 6 months ago i decided to go wireless. I could have really used this book at that time. I did not have any big problems during my set-up, but i did have a few questions. I did find myself having to page back to re-define the many acronyms. If your mind works like mine, i would advise everyone to take notes.
What i liked most -each chapter is dedicated to a different aspect of the wireless system. This makes it easy to find the precise info. you need, without a long search. There is even a chapter dedicated to troubleshooting your wireless network. One of the most interesting chapters, i thought, is the chapter "Wireless Gadgets".
This chapter gives you a look at how Wi-Fi technology has moved from the wireless network to consumer electronics. Those Wi-Fi monitors sound really good to me. I also liked that the book explains everything for the PC and Mac.
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't Buy From Amazon 17 Oct 2009
By Bill McLean - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is available from other sources New, for much less than Amazon is asking - even with the so called free s&h. Why would anyone pay nearly $3o.oo for a book that sells elsewhere for under $5.00?

This is an obsolete text book, but it does have a lot of basic information that every person starting a home network should know. It's just not worth anything like the price it sold for when it was originally published. The Author and the Publisher have already been paid their profit.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the first and still the best readable books on WiFi 6 Jun 2007
By Wireless Tech - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It was the first book on WiFi I read - my starter book. FOllowed by Jack Unger's book and many others. It still stands up as well written and good discussion of WiFi use, technology, and how to effectively use it.
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