- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: No Starch Press; 2nd edition (January 28, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1593271697
- ISBN-13: 978-1593271695
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,351,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Book of Wireless: A Painless Guide to Wi-Fi and Broadband Wireless 2nd Edition
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About the Author
John Ross has worked as a consultant on wired and wireless networking for several manufacturers, including Motorola and AT&T. He is the author of Internet Power Tools (Random House), Connecting with Windows (Sybex), It's Never Done That Before (No Starch), and numerous other titles.
Top customer reviews
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First of all this is the updated second edition of the book and it is a pleasure to read.
Target group and goal
Target group for this book is beginner to intermediate with a clear and understandable flow and references. Anyone who can turn on a computer would more or less be able to build wireless networks with 802.11 after reading this book.
Further they would even have some security features turned on. That is the goal I think, having a book that a beginning junior administrator, a hobbyist new to wireless or somebody else interested would use for the main knowledge about building the network.
And the book succeeds very well in that respect. The examples are clearly explained and information is presented in chapters that make it easy to find what your are looking for. No matter if you are running Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS X or Linux this book describes the steps to get wireless networks up and running.
Content of the book
Content of this book includes introduction to the technology, configuring the wireless clients, the access points, securing the network, using other networks - and then even some chapters on VPN, Smart Phones/PDAs and then even some thoughts on combining wireless with long-range and wireless broadband services like 3G/WiMAX. This is quite a lot of information for a book with only little more than 300 pages.
This is a great reference and it is easy to find what you are looking for in this book. This makes the book usefull immediately as a reference when doing practical work with wireless 802.11 networks.
Clarity is also the force of this book, making it easy to follow and understandable by people not really into neither computers or computer books. I expect to pass this book on to my brother who is not formally educated in computers, but who would benefit from this book.
There is also a clear indication that this author is an expert on this subject, but he has decided to filter ruthlessly in his material - to make it easy to read. This way of killing your darlings must be commended, as this makes the flow of the book better. If I were the author I would have mentioned several details along the way, but that would have made this book worse!
Forward references are contained in this text in many places to make it easy to find the information you need quickly. These references appear in the text as references to things later in the book. As an example in Chapter 4 "The Hardware You Need for WiFi" has this text right in the middle: "Chapter 12 contains more detailed information ...". This you would expect from a normal book to have in the presentation of the book, but in this book it is sprinkled in all the right places to make random browsing and reading easier.
For most readers you will also appreciate that John did not include a lot of mathematics and formulas about bandwidth etc., but decided to keep the text narrative instead.
Some pictures are repeated several times, making the read from cover to cover a bit strange.
Did I forget to move the bookmark, have I read this before? The way this book was meant to be used, for practical building of networks it is fine, but expect some repeated information if you read from cover to cover. I consider this intended, but mention it anyway.
A thing to be mentioned with this book is that some details are left out. For instance several times it is mentioned that WEP is dead, dead and dead again (not with these words though) which is fine. That is the conclusion, and if you come away from this book only remembering that it is great ... but some people want the nasty details. These details are in some cases left for the reader, and some places include great links to get more information. But nevertheless some people would want more than this book has to offer.
No math, since I also wrote this in Great things, and I consider this both good and bad. Most people don't want math - but then again some people do. If you want to get down and dirty with math and formulas about wireless networks, this is not the book for you.
So to summarize, this book is packed with information that will make it easier to get your wireless network running. Also it includes a bigger picture with vital information about the security of using wireless networks. Further it introduces some other technologies that you can use when being a road warrior with a laptop.
When you have finished this book you will start using the detailed references to other papers and books while growing better at wireless technologies. This is the best wireless book from beginning to intermediate user and highly recommended.
Ross's book provides a general but detailed look at all parts of wireless on all different platforms and environment. The reader will gain an understanding of all parts of wireless networking, from physical layer to the application layer of networking with examples of setting up their own wireless network. The author explains why users need to take measures in securing their wireless networks. This book is intended for reader's who want to learn more about wireless networking. Those who are thinking about using wireless to the user who has already setup a home wireless network will find this book useful.
The first three chapters in the "The Book of Wireless" provides the reader with an introduction to networking and wireless. The author talks about the OSI Model, physical, data link, network, transport, session, presentation, and application layers. These chapters would be a good introduction to any computer networking class. It gives the reader the background information of how wireless networking works.
Chapters four and five look at the hardware used in networking and how-to setup a home or office WI-FI network. If you need to quickly setup a wireless network theses are the chapters for you. The author does a good job at explaining the different configuration options which the user has to choose from. This allows the user to choose which networking setup will work best for that particular user. Chapters six through eight focuses on ways of connecting to an access point with Windows, Mac, Linux or Unix. The author teaches the user how to use the different wireless tools out there no matter which operating system you use. I am happy to see a chapter on Linux where the author explains everything to the Linux user everything, which they need to connect to any wireless network. The author even explains the wireless device drive Linux users will need.
Chapter 9 brings to light all the details of setting up a wireless network. The reader will learn how to setup an access point and have a greater understanding of the different technologies used here. The author even goes into detail on how the user can setup a neighborhood network. An important step in setting up any wireless is security and the author states some of the different methods of increasing your wireless security when setting up a wireless access point.
Chapter 12 which I believe is the most important chapter in wireless networking is wireless network security. The author explains the differences between the different methods of increasing a wireless network. I liked how the author explains why users should use one method over another. This chapter is for any user that is wondering what are the differences between WEP and WPA and which one they should use. The author even goes into detail about how to use the firewall on your router to increase your network security and health. This chapter is a must read for anyone who has a wireless network.
Chapter 17 is for the user that is in charge of setting up their wireless network and has found a problem with it. The author goes into detail some of the common problems the user may come across.
In conclusion, if you or anyone you know has a wireless network or is planning on setting up one, "The Book of Wireless" is a valuable resource to read. You will gain a better understanding of wireless networking. No matter which operating system you are using, you will be able to connect and setup a secure wireless network in no time.