Think of the Linksys BEFW11S4 Wireless-B Broadband Router as a kind of "splitter" for your Internet connection. Just connect your DSL Modem to the Router, and all the computers in your household can share the Internet -- all at the same time. You can connect your home computers directly to the Router with Ethernet cables, or put wireless network adapters in them and communicate over radio waves, saving the trouble and expense of running cables through your house. Once your computers are connected to the Router, they can communicate with each other too, sharing resources and files. All your computers can print on a shared printer connected anywhere in the house. And your computers can share all kinds of files -- music, digital pictures, and documents. Keep all your digital music on one computer, and listen to it anywhere in the house. Organize all of your family's digital pictures in one place, to simplify finding the ones you want, and easing backup to CD-R. Play head-to-head computer games within the household, or against Internet opponents. Utilize extra free space on one computer when another's hard drive starts to fill up. Your home network is secure, too. All wireless communications are protected by 128-bit encryption. The Router helps keep intruders out of your computers. NOTE: This Router is missing the AC/DC power adapter
The EtherFast wireless access point and cable/DSL router features a router, a four-port 10/100 switch, NAT firewall, and an IEEE 802.11b wireless access point (11 Mbps). This all-in-one device allows wireless PCs and wired Ethernet PCs to access a single broadband Internet connection for sharing IP addresses, files, printers, and other network resources while conserving desktop space. The built-in four-port switch enables wireless and wired notebook and desktop PCs to share high-speed Internet access.
Configurable as a DHCP server for your existing network, this router acts as the only externally recognized Internet gateway on your LAN and serves as an Internet NAT firewall against unwanted outside intruders. It can also be configured to filter internal users' access to the Internet. The 4-port switch dramatically increases the speed of multimedia and gaming connections.
This device comes with a one-year warranty and free 24/7 technical support.
Note: All Linksys routers now include a special edition of Norton Internet Security! Claim your free CD-ROM by calling (800) 814-0180, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pacific time, seven days a week.
See a comparison diagram of the different wireless technologies.
Wireless networks are rapidly becoming more popular and coming down in price. Since they don't require cables, you can use the devices anywhere in an office or home, even out on the patio. There's no need to roll out an Ethernet network cable to each room of a house; you can network anywhere--without wires. Outside the home, wireless networking is available in hotspots at coffee shops, businesses, and airports--great when you're on the road and need to get some work done. For convenience, wireless networking is the answer.
Which Wireless Standard Is Right for Me?
Now that you've decided to create a wireless network, the next step is to figure out which wireless standard to use.
Basically, a standard is a set of specifications for a device. All devices that follow a specific standard share operating characteristics, such as the radio frequency used and maximum data transfer speed.
For wireless networking, there are three standards to choose from at this time:
To learn about the differences between the standards and select the right one for your network, click here for an easy-to-understand chart.