To begin with wireless networking, the first thing needed is a “high speed internet connection at the place where you want to use wireless networking” such as digital subscriber line (DSL) or WI-FI (Software Reviews). Other requirements include wireless networking adapter or a PC card adapter, a modem and a network hub. In case of wide-ranging wireless networking, it is always sensible to use an HP Network Assistant “to validate your wired and wireless network settings” (Hewlett-Packard Development Company). Wireless networks are based on IEEE 802.11 standards which is a set of standards developed by IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) to carry out WLAN technology with specifications or protocols like 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n having frequency bandwidth of 2.4, 3.6 and 5 GHz.
Three main types of wireless networks are WLAN, WPAN and WMAN. Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs) enable a user to connect to a local area network through wireless networking, like a small network in a house or an office. WLANs use radio waves for information transmission and are based on IEEE 802.11 standards. An example is Wi-Fi which is a fast speed wireless technology connecting devices for quick file sharing. Wireless Personal Area Networks (WPANs) connect two devices which are present close to each other or within personal reach. An example is Bluetooth which can “transmit at relatively low power and have a range of only 30 feet or so” (Bradley). Wireless Metropolitan Area Networks (WMANs) cover a larger geographic area and interconnect WLANs to one another. Another name used for WLANs is WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) which is a digital telecommunication technology based on IEEE 802.16 standards and supplies broadband wireless access covering a very large area.