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Book Review - Complete Wireless Home Networking

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2003 2:35 pm    Post subject: Book Review - Complete Wireless Home Networking Reply with quote

Complete Wireless Home Networking

Author(s): Paul Heltzel
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Book Specifications: Soft-Cover, 197 Pages
Category: Wireless Networking
User Level: Basic knowledge of wired networks recommended
Suggested Publisher Price: $19.99 U.S, $30.99 canada
ISBN: 0-07-222934-9
Amazon.com: Complete Wireless Home Networking

From the Publisher: This book is intended for anyone who wants to get a home wireless network up and running in no time, with no previous experience in networking required. You'll find simple instructions and tips for computers running Windows 98 through XP, including how to make them peacefully co-exist.

Info from Back: Fast, reliable, secure home wireless networks-the easy way!

Today's home wireless networks offer tremendous advantages over hard-wired networks-among them, unprecedented portability and, of course, the freedom from wires strung all over your house! Unless you have a firm grasp on all the latest networking technologies, though, wireless networks won't free you from digging your way through a collection of confusing, jargon-riddled manuals; dealing with obscure configuration modes; and finally, hoping somehow it will all work once you flip the switch.


If you want a home wireless network without the headaches, then Complete Wireless Home Networking: Windows XP Edition, by wireless networking authority Paul Heltzel, is for you. Written in an engaging, conversational style, this book offers reliable advice on determining your equipment needs, then guides you through each step of building a wireless network-installation, setup, configuration, and troubleshooting. And with minimal fuss, you'll have a home wireless network that's fast, secure, and optimized for your physical environment and computing requirements. Whether you're accessing the Internet from your back yard, sending jobs to a printer downstairs, or transferring files effortlessly, you'll wonder how you got by without a wireless network.

Book Outline

Chapter 1 - Why Network Wirelessly?

  • What Is Wireless Networking?
  • Benefits of Wireless Networking.
  • Wireless Speed in the Real World.
  • Sharing Your Broadband Modem.
  • Sharing Printers and CD and Hard Drives.
Chapter 2 - Getting Ready.

  • Learning Some Basic Networking Terms.
  • How Wireless Networking Works.
  • FileSharing.
  • Internet Sharing.
  • Networking Securely.
Chapter 3 - Wireless Considerations.

  • Your Wireless Equipment's Range.
  • Ad-hoc vs Infrastructure.
  • How Walls, Concrete and Steel Affect Your Signal.
  • Maximum Speeds vs Real World Speeds.
  • Getting the Most Out of Your Wireless Signal.
  • 802.11a, 802.11b or 802.11g?
Chapter 4 - Wireless Hardware and Software Setup.

  • Connection Options.
  • Setting Up Hardware.
  • Software Overview.
  • Using Ad-hoc Mode.
  • Working with Access Points.
  • Access Points with Built-in Routers.
  • Troubleshooting.
  • Placing Your Equipment.
  • Creating a Peer-to-Peer Network.
  • Creating an Infrastructure Network.
  • Setting Up a Hybrid Network.
  • Connecting Network Multimedia Devices.
  • Mixing 802.11 Equipment.
Chapter 5 - Making Use of Wireless Standards.

  • A Good Start:802.11b.
  • Wirelessly Networking a PDA.
  • HomeRF.
  • MovingUp:802.11a.
  • Newcomer:802.11g.
  • Sending Files via Infrared.
  • Printing through Infrared.
Chapter 6 - Finding Hardware and Help.

  • Conducting Your Research.
  • Finding Reliable Reviews.
  • Buying Equipment Online.
  • Ensuring Interoperability.
  • Finding Help on the Internet.
  • Checking Out the Web.
  • Finding Answers through Newsgroups.
  • Getting Assistance from Mailing Lists.
  • Looking Toward the Future.
Chapter 7 - Step-by-Step Networking with Windows.

  • Make Sure Your Hardware Is Recognized.
  • Checking for TCP/IP.
  • Naming Your Computer and Workgroup.
  • Start File and Printer Sharing.
  • Using Network Neighborhood.
  • Share Internet Access Wirelessly.
Chapter 8 - Step-by-Step with Windows XP.

  • Make Sure Your Hardware Is Recognized.
  • Updating Your Drivers.
  • Change Settings Manually.
  • File and Printer Sharing.
  • Sharing Internet Access.
  • Using the Network Setup Wizard.
Chapter 9 - Routers and Internet Connection Sharing.
  • Choosing a Wireless or Wired Router.
  • Adding a Router to Your Network.
  • Setting Up Windows ICS on the Host Computer.
  • Setting Up Client Computers.
Chapter 10 - Become Internet Ready.

  • Setting Up E-mail.
  • Browsing the Web.
  • Adding Instant Messaging.
  • Finding Your IP Address.
  • Checking Your Throughput.
  • Setting Up PPPoE.
Chapter 11 - Troubleshoot Wireless Connections.

  • Are Your Drivers Current? Finding a Bad Network Adapter.
  • The Trouble with a Mixed Windows 98 and 2000 Network.
  • Configuration Utility Errors.
  • Firewall Hangup.
  • Printer Problems.
  • Other Common Problems.
Chapter 12 - Security.

  • Firewalls.
  • Choose a Hardware or Software Firewall?
  • Wireless Encryption.
  • Router Filters.
  • How to Encrypt Your E-mail and Other Data.
  • Viruses and Your Network.
Chapter 13 - Adding a Server.

  • Wirelessly Connecting a New Server.
  • Setting Up File and Printer Sharing.
  • Adding a Wireless Printer Server.
  • Protecting Your Server.
Presentation and Content Quality

Style and Detail

At a first glance through this book, it looks exactly what its aimed for - newbies. Big writing, plenty of illustrations, step by step guides and even better - the security factor. Of course a wireless network is probably one of the most insecure networks around, with the ability any passerby can connect to your network with the right tools - and this book covers this

What really impressed me about this book is the fact that it has paid so much attention to detail. The step by step guides to installing wireless networks for users on Windows 98 aswell as the expected XP is brilliant, a basic user cannot go wrong. I do however still stick to my guns in the user level rating I have given this book, mainly for the fact that I wouldn't like to tackle any kind of wireless network with any kind of book without the basic knowledge of wired networks behind me.

Looking through the chapters they are in a good order, well laid out and understandable....the book even touches subjects not relevant to wireless networking such as setting up e-mails and adding instant messages to your network, and as a backup even touches the surface on searching newsgroups and using search engines to help find answers the book doesn't cover.

There is extensive coverage of all the wireless networking standards, 802.11b, a and g, having them in a mixed enviroment, connecting a wireless network access point to a wired network aswell as the above in the book online section.

As a final note I was particulary impressed with the fact that it has a section on troubleshooting peer to peer network issues in a mixed 98 - 2000, XP environment, something that if you search security-forums for, you will find there are common problems.


I personally think this book excels, attention to detail and coverage of all possible subject areas is brilliant.... I have tried to find a fault, but can't. Its that simple. In fact, actually, I could. It includes a section on setting up wireless networking on Windows ME Very Happy

It's gets an SFDC 10/10 from me, I was impressed, the author has obviously thought long and hard about its content and quality, and not to forget a bargain at the price.

This review is copyright 2003 by the author and Security-Forums Dot Com, and may not be reproduced in any form in any media without the express permission of the author, or Security-Forums Dot Com.
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