Wireless Networking – How Does Home Wireless Networking Work?

A wireless network is a set of hardware and software that allows computer-based communication. File sharing, printer sharing and other input and output is a typical part of the home network.

A home Pc network functions in a nearly identical way to that used by private companies when they create what is commonly known as a Local Area Network (LAN).

Designations called IP addresses, and some associated easy-for-humans-to-remember names (often called host names) are used to know who and where everything is.

For example, when 10.1.1.5 (Computer-Bill) sends a file to 10.1.1.6 (Computer-Ben), the software and hardware cooperate to know where and how to send the file from Bill to Ben.

Each Pc in a network has an address and a letter sent from one home is routed to another by using that address.

Home computer wireless networking operates in the same way, even calling the routing data used ‘an envelope’ that surrounds the data (the words on the letter).

Physically, a home network comes in two basic types: cabled and wireless.

In a cabled network, wire bundles called Ethernet cables with connectors on each end plug into either a NIC (network interface card) in the computer, printer, fax, or into a switch/router.

Switches or hubs are simplified devices that allow physical connections between components of the network. Routers contain additional software and circuitry to perform more complex functions, such as connecting to the Internet.

A wireless network operates in much the same way, except there is no need for cables. Instead, small devices called transceivers (transmitter-receiver) send and accept information by radio signals.

In one set up the printer is physically attached to one of the computers. The alternate set up connects the printer to the network itself, not to any individual computer.

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