While the term wireless network may technically be used to refer to any type of network that is wireless, the term is most commonly used to refer to a network whose interconnections between nodes (computers, such as notebook computers) is implemented without the use of wires, such as a computer network using the 802.11b, 802.11g, or 802.11n standards. Wireless LAN networking is generally implemented with some type of remote information transmission system that uses radio waves, for the carrier and this usually takes place at the physical level or "layer" of the network. Wireless network manufacturers include: Belkin, Cisco, D-Link, Hewlett Packard (HP), Linksys, Netgear, TRENDnet, USRobotics, WatchGuard, Zonet, and more.
One type of wireless network is a Wireless LAN (WLAN) or Wireless Local Area Network, which has become very common for wireless home networking, as well as wireless hotspots. Similar to other wireless devices, it uses radio instead of wires to transmit data back and forth between computers on the same network. Wireless LAN networking utilizes spread-spectrum or OFDM modulation technology based on radio waves to enable communication between devices in a limited area, also known as the basic service set. This gives users the mobility to move around within a broad coverage area and still be connected to the network.
For the home user, wireless has become popular due to ease of installation, and location freedom with the gaining popularity of laptops. Public businesses such as coffee shops or malls have begun to offer WiFi wireless access points to their customers; some are even provided as a free service. Large wireless network projects are being put up in many major cities - it is helpful to have WiFi finder to sniff these out.
To create a simple 802.11 wireless network, you need to have a wireless router or bridge, and a wireless capable computer - a wireless starter kit is a good beginning point for a new wireless network. Most Notebook computers now come with wireless networking built-in, however desktops may still require a wireless networking adapter card. Accessories are also available to increase the range of wireless networks. Another variant of the wireless network is Bluetooth. Increasingly, computer peripherals are going wireless, this includes printers and print servers, network IP cameras, wireless media players, and more