There are two kinds of network technologies:
Wireless - communicates through radio waves
Wired - communicates through data cables (most commonly Ethernet-based)
Why choose a wireless network?
WirelessWireless networks don't use cables for connections, but rather they use radio waves, like cordless phones. The advantage of a wireless network is the mobility and freedom from the restriction of wires or a fixed connection. The benefits of having a wireless network include:
Mobility and freedom - work anywhere
No restriction of wires or a fixed connection
Quick, effortless installation
No cables to buy
Save cabling time and hassle
Easy to expand
Also known as Wi-Fi, or Wireless Fidelity, wireless networks allow you to use your network devices anywhere in an office or home, even out on the patio. You can check your e-mail or surf the Internet on your laptop anywhere in your house. There is no need to drill holes in the wall and install Ethernet cables. You can network anywhere - without wires. Outside your home, wireless networking is available in public "hotspots," such as coffee shops, businesses, hotel rooms, and airports. This is perfect for those of you who do a lot of traveling.
Linksys wireless routers are also equipped for wired connections - giving you the best of both worlds - connect wirelessly when you'd like to roam around your house, and connect wired when the utmost speed is important to you. For convenience and ease of use, wireless networking is the answer.
A wireless network is simply two or more computers linked together by invisible radio waves with the purpose of transferring data or sharing resources. The configuration is similar to cordless phones in that they can share one telephone line, which utilizes one central "base" station along with multiple handsets placed throughout the house. Wireless networking is an excellent solution because you don't have to deal with cables and it takes little effort to expand.
There are two kinds of wireless networks:
Ad-hoc mode: Each computer in the network with a wireless adapter can communicate directly with each other without the use of a router or access point. You can share files and printers with this method. However, it is more difficult to connect to networks - both wired and wireless. This mode is also known as peer-to-peer networking.
Infrastructure mode: Each computer in the network uses a router or access point to handle all data transfer and network traffic. You can easily access a wired network, whether it is a LAN or the Internet. For most home networking purposes, infrastructure mode is the best choice.
Why choose a wired network?
Wired networks have been around for decades. Wired networking technology found today is known as Ethernet. The data cables, known as Ethernet network cables or wired (CAT5) cables, connect computers and other devices that make up the networks. Wired networks are best when you need to move large amounts of data at high speeds, such as professional-quality multimedia. The benefits of having a wired network include:
Relatively low cost
Offers the highest performance possible
Fast speed - standard Ethernet cable up to 100Mbps.
Faster speed - Gigabit Ethernet cable up to 1000Mbps.