Wireless Networking, Part 1: Capabilities and Hardware

Wireless Networking, Part 1: Capabilities and Hardware

These days it isn’t uncommon for a home to have multiple personal computers, and as such, it just makes sense for them to be able to share files, as well as to share one Internet connection. Wired networking is an option, but it is one that may require the installation and management of a great deal of wiring in order to get even a modestly sized home set up. With wireless networking equipment becoming extremely affordable and easy to install, it may be worth considering by those looking to build a home network, as well as by those looking to expand on an existing wired network.

The first installment in this two-part series of Tech Tips will provide an introduction to the basic capabilities and hardware involved in wireless networking. Once that foundation has been established, we’ll take a look at a few setup and security related considerations that should be addressed once the physical installation is complete.

Capabilities

The basic standard that covers wireless networking is the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE) 802.11, which is close kin to the wired Ethernet standard, 802.3. Many people will recognize 802.11 more readily when accompanied by one of three suffixes (a, b, or g), used to specify the exact protocol of wireless networking.

The 802.11a protocol first hit the scene in 2001, and despite a small surge in recent popularity, it is definitely the least common of the three at this time. The signals are transmitted on a 5 GHz radio frequency, while “b” and “g” travel on 2.4 GHz. The higher frequency means that the signal can travel less distance in free space and has a harder time penetrating walls, thus making the practical application of an 802.11a network a bit limited. The maximum transfer rate, however, is roughly 54 Mbps, so it makes up for its limited range with respectable speed.

As mentioned, 802.11b and 802.11g networks operate on a 2.4 GHz radio band, which gives a much greater range as compared to 802.11a. One downside to being on the 2.4 GHz band is that many devices share it, and interference is bound to be an issue. Cordless phones and Bluetooth devices are two of many items that operate at this frequency. The range of these two protocols is about 300 feet in free air, and the difference between the two comes down to speed. 802.11b came first, released back in 1999, and offers speeds up to 11 Mbps. 802.11g first appeared in 2002 and it is a backwards compatible improvement over 802.11b and offers speeds up to 54 Mbps.

On top of these protocols, some manufacturers have improved upon the 802.11g standard and can provide speeds of up to 108 Mbps. This doesn’t involve a separate protocol, but just a bit of tweaking in areas like better data compression, more efficient data packet bursting, and by using two radio channels simultaneously. Typically, stock 802.11g equipment is not capable of these speeds, and those interested need to shop for matched components that specify 108 Mbps support. I say “matched components” as this is not a standard protocol and the various manufacturers may take different approaches to achieving these speeds. In order to ensure the best results when trying to achieve these elevated speeds, components from the same manufacturer should be used together. For instance, only Netgear brand network adaptors rated for 108 Mbps data transfer should be used with something like the Netgear WG624 wireless router (http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=WGT624NAR).

Considering your typical broadband Internet connection is going to offer data transfer rates of 10 Mbps or less, it can be seen that even 802.11b would be more than adequate if you just want to surf the web. Sharing files on your LAN (Local Area Network) is where the faster protocols will really make a difference, and comparing the prices of 802.11b and 802.11g components may show that there is little to no difference in selecting a “g” capable device over a comparable “b” capable device.

Hardware

Access Point – Wireless Access Point (WAP) is the central device that manages the transmission of wireless signals on a network. A base access point may be capable of handling up to 10 connections, and more robust APs may be able to manage up to 255 connections simultaneously. The D-Link DWL-1000AP+ (http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=37) is an example of a wireless access point capable of 802.11b transmissions.

Router – In somewhat technical terms, a router is a network device that forwards data packets. It is generally the connection between at least two networks, such as two LANs, or a LAN and ISP’s (Internet Service Provider’s) network. For our purposes, and for the sake of simplicity, a wireless router is basically an access point with the added feature of having a port for sharing a broadband Internet connection. The D-Link AirPlus G (http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=DI524-R&cat=NET) is an 802.11g capable router that provides access for numerous wireless connections and four hard-wired connections to one WAN (Wide Area Network Internet) connection. A typical router for home use will generally cost less than an access point, and via settings within the firmware, can be used as just an access point anyway. Wired or wireless, all the computers using the router can share files over the network, as well as sharing a broadband internet connection. Communication between wireless computers (or a wireless computer and a wired computer) will max out at 54 Mbps, while communication between wired computers will take full advantage of the 100 Mbps provided via the 802.3 protocol.

Network Adaptor – A network adaptor is required for every computer that you would like to be connected to the wireless network. Many laptops, such as this Sony Centrino 1.5 GHz (http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=PCGZ1RA-R&cat=NBB) now include a wireless adaptor built in, so no extra hardware is needed. For those with systems that don’t have wireless capabilities built in, adding them is fairly simple, and can be done using a variety of connections. Desktop computers can go wireless by adding a PCI slot network adaptor such as the 802.11g capable D-Link DWL-G510 (http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=308). Notebook users can easily add wireless connectivity by using a PCMCIA adaptor, such as this 802.11g capable device (http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=PBW006-N&cat=NET). And for truly convenient plug-n-play connectivity to wireless networks, USB adaptors such as this 802.11g capable dongle (http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=80211GWUD&cat=NET) are available.

Antenna/Extender – These items are not essential, but given the specifics of a wireless environment, they may be helpful. Devices such as the Hawking Hi-Gain Antenna (http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=HAI6SIP-N&cat=NET) or the Super Cantenna (http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=SCB10&cat=NET) serve the purpose of increasing the wireless signal strength, and therefore extend the range of a given wireless network. Not only can a large area of open space be covered, but the signal quality may be improved in structures with walls and floors that obstruct the signal transmission.

Final Words

In this Tech Tip, we took a look at the basics of wireless networking as it relates to capabilities and hardware. In the second part of this two-part series, we will look at some of the basic setup and security considerations that should be addressed. The physical installation of a wireless network may be exponentially easier than a wired network, but the more difficult part is setting up the software and security to make sure everything stays up and running without incident.

6 Tips For An Affordable Home Renovation

Your home is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever have. And just like any investment it is important that you take care of your house by doing the necessary repairs, regular maintenance and most of all keeping the house design up to date. By doing so, the value of your home will significantly increase. However, due to today’s economic problems, a home renovation project may not be on top of your to-do list at this time.

But what if I tell you that there are ways on how you can save a lot of money on home remodeling? Yes, you can remodel your home at a price you can afford. All you need to do is strategically plan your materials, design and timing for your home remodelling project. You will see that it is actually not so hard to cut costs without compromising the quality of the project. Here are some tips on how to remodel your home without blowing up your budget.

1. Efficiency matters, not size. Reorganizing your home, bathroom or kitchen for maximum utility doesn’t necessarily require building or creating more space. You can do this by using shelves with concealed cabinets or pullout drawers. This can be very useful especially in the kitchen, where careful planning to get additional space pays off by not needing to extend the cabinetry into the other rooms.

2. Let there be light. You can let in more natural light into your house without building additional windows and doors. Before smashing your walls for more windows or bifold doors, why not think of less expensive and less invasive ways of having more light. For example, you can make a windowless hallway brighter by installing a solar tube skylight which could be more affordable than putting up a new window.

3. Do-it-yourself demolition. If you are planning to start a home renovation project on a tight budget, you can begin by being your own demolition team. Even though knocking down a part of your home may not be as expensive as rebuilding it, you can still save a few dollars by doing some of the demolition work yourself. Just be careful and take extra precautions. Don’t forget to salvage reusable building and slightly used fixtures. If you have more time to spare, you can also try some of the finishing work yourself such as painting, sanding, installing the insulation and rubbish removal.

4. Consider long-term expenses. Purchasing pre-finished materials may be costly upfront but it allows you to save cash on extensive paint or finishing jobs. For example, you can get primed and painted weatherboard, skirting, decking boards and even prefabricated wall finishes. These items usually cost more upfront but they will also help you save some valuable time and money by preventing costly paint jobs.

5. It’s all about the timing. Renovation jobs can be costly especially if you’re doing it on peak season. Contractors usually double their charges if they are highly in-demand. So, you might want to create a timetable on when to efficiently start your renovation project. This way, you will have more bargaining power with the contractor and it is likely that you will get a fair deal for your remodelling project. It is also important to get price quotes from more than one contractor.

6. Go out and buy your own remodeling materials. Remodeling materials are normally expensive. Furthermore, there are some contractors who add a little price commission on the building materials that they buy in your behalf, thus, making the process even more expensive. This is why it would be better if you buy them yourself instead of handing over that task to the contractor to make sure that you are getting exactly what you are paying for. This also allows you to monitor every penny you shell out on your renovation project.

10 Reasons Why People Travel

When people decide to leave the comforts of their home and venture to other locations there is usually a reason behind it. Whether the cause to travel was a last minute whimsy or had an actual purpose, it makes one think about all of the reasons why people travel. Reflect on the last time you left your location and ventured to another one. Did it have a purpose behind it? Let’s look and see if your motive to travel matched any of the one’s listed below. These are not listed in any particular order.

1. Romance- There are thousands of people who are involved in long distance relationships. At some point though, they need to see each other. For the sake of love, people will travel for hours to spend as much time as they can with the love of their life.

2. Relaxation- All work and no play is not a good thing. People need to get away from the stress of everyday life, and a nice sunny location with a beach might just be what the doctor ordered.

3. Family/ Friends -Many people have family/friends that are located in different parts of the world. They need to visit with them even if it’s for a short period of time.

4. Religion- There are places in the world that hold religious importance for many people. Religious travel is often related to a purpose such as seeing where the last pope was buried, or traveling to the town where Jesus was born.

5. Death- A relative, friend or acquaintance has passed away and travel is required to attend the funeral which is located out of town.

6. Honeymoon- You’re getting married and are going somewhere special to celebrate. This usually occurs right after the wedding, but there are many occasions where people celebrate a honeymoon years later.

7. Education-You’re getting your education somewhere other than where you live or you are going away on an educational school trip.

8. Celebration- Wedding, Anniversary, Birthday, Birth- There’s always something to celebrate and it doesn’t always happen where you live.

9. Medical/Health- Sometimes the treatment you need isn’t available in the city/town where you live. Often the best medical care is costly and requires travel to receive it.

10. Work- Job requirements might mean a fair bit of travel is involved. Even if the travel is within your own country it still has a purpose attached to it.

Overall, traveling can be a wonderful experience or it can be draining, expensive and just plain torture. Nonetheless if you need to go then embrace it for what it is, and try to make the best of it even if it wasn’t planned.

Major Facts About Partnership And Business

A partnership can be defined as an association of two or more persons who have agreed to combine their labor, property, and skill, or some or all of them, for the purpose of engaging in legal business and sharing profits and losses between them.

Partnerships present the involved parties with special challenges that must be communicated before agreement. Overarching goals, levels of give-and-take, areas of responsibility, lines of authority and success, how success is evaluated and distributed, and often a variety of other factors must all be negotiated. Once agreement is reached, the partnership is typically enforceable by civil law, especially if well documented. Partners who wish to make their agreement affirmatively explicit and enforceable typically draw up Articles of Partnership.

A partnership is particularly very attractive if it helps to pool the talents or skills of partners for their mutual benefit. Partnerships require individuals who are compatible, honest, healthy, capable, dedicated and equally motivated to succeed. And because of the voluntary nature of partnerships, they are reliably easy to set up.
The term business in this definition includes every trade, occupation, and profession. Therefore, this article becomes very necessary for every individual to have the idea of ​​bargaining / planning and negotiation in any kind of business level.

Humans are social beings, partnerships between individuals, businesses, interest-based organizations, schools, governments, and diverse combinations thereof, have always been and remain commonplace. In the most frequently associated instance of the term, a partnership is formed between one or more businesses in which partners (owners) co-labor to achieve and share profits and losses. Partnerships exist within, and across, sectors. Non-profit, religious, and political organizations may partner together to increase the likelihood of each achieving their mission and to amplify their reach. It is sometimes considered as alliance, governments may partner to achieve their national interests.

A partner acts as an agent of the firm in the conduct of its business. A partner must, however, exercise the highest degree of good faith in all transactions with the other partners, devote time and attention to the partnership business, and must account to the other partners for any secret profits made in the conduct of the partnership business. The liability of a partner for partnership debts is said to be unlimited, except when the partner is a limited one in a limited partnership organized in accordance with the provisions of a state statute permitting such limitation of liability.

FORMATION OF PARTNERSHIP
A partnership comes into existence by a contract entered into by the parties concerned. No formality is required but the agreement could be writing, inferior from conduct or oral. The agreement to form a partnership is known as a "Partnership Contract", the most important provision of which spells out the manner in which profits are to be distributed.

Partnerships are governed by the law of contract. It is advisable for individuals who wish to form a partnership to draw up what we called "Articles of Partnership". The article of Partnership essentially contains these items below:
• Name of Partnership
• Name and Addresses of each partner
• Statement of Business Purpose (s)
• Duration of the Partnership
• Name and Location of the Business
• Amount Invested by Each Partner
• Ratio for Sharing Profit
• Accounting Records and their Accessibility to Partners
• Specific Duties of Each Partner
• Provision or the Dissolution of Partnership and Sharing of Net Assets.
• Provision for Protection of Surviving Partners, Decedent's Estate, etc.
• Restraints on a Partner's Assumption of Special Obligations.

TYPES OF PARTNERS
There are five types of partners:
1. Active Partner: – This is the partner who participates in all the activities of the partnership.
2. Dormant or Sleeping Partner: – This is the partner who does not take an active part in the activities of the partnership but shares in the profit.
3. Nominal Partner: – This is a person who lends his name to a lends his name to the partners for a consideration.
4. Secret Partner: – This is a partner who takes an active part in the affairs of the company but he / she is not known by the public as part of the partnership.
5. Silent Partner: – This is a partner who is known by the public as part of the partnership; But he / she does not take an active part in the management of the enterprise.

ADVANTAGES OF PARTNERSHIP
1. Greater Source of Capital: – The pooling of the individual resources of each partner helps to raise a large capital. It makes it possible for an individual with the know-how, new product, invention, or new idea but no money, to work with man with money who is interested in the project.

2. Greater Specialized Management: – The ownership of a business by two or more people makes it possible for them to pool their skills and judgment for the benefit of all concerned.

3. Greater Incentive for Employees: – Employees in partnerships tend to enjoy better fringe benefit package and higher salies. They have better prospects for earned recognition and promotions.

4. Legal Recognition: – There is a partnership law that regulates the relationship between partners themselves, and between the partners and their parties that they have to deal with.

DISADVANTAGES OF PARTNERSHIP
1. Personality Clashes: – Partnership require cooperation, trust and dedication but failure on the part of one of the active partners to discharge his / her own responsibilities that could have led to personality clashes and to the end of the partnership. Partnerships are known to have ended because the members could not agree on the best course of action to take on an important issue.

2. Difficulty in Withdrawals: – The contribution of each partner ceases to be the property of the individual making the contribution. When a partner needs money, he / she can not withdraw his / her contribution or borrow money from the partnership without the express permission of the other partners. Many entrepreneurs dislike this lack of flexibility characteristic of partnerships.

3. Unlimited Liability: – Each partner is held liable for the obligations of the partnership. If one of the partners makes a costly mistake in the execution of the affairs of the partnership, creditors can sue, and if they obtain judgment against the partnership, each partner may have to sell his / her personal assets to meet the obligations.

4. Short Length of Life: – Factors like, death, prolonged ill-health, withdrawal, bankruptcy, insanity or of sorts could lead to the end of the partnership.

Conclusively, governmentally recognized partnerships may enjoy special benefits in tax policies. Among developed countries, for example, business partnerships are often favored over corporations in taxation policy, since dividend taxes only occur on profits before they are distributed to the partners. However, depending on the partnership structure and the jurisprudence in which it operates, owners of a partnership may be exposed to greater personal liability than they would as shareholders of a corporation.