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Networking



Book Title : Building Wireless Community Networks 2nd Edition
eBook download format(s) : chm
ISBN-10 : 0596005024 
ISBN-13 : 978-0-596005-02-3 
Author(s) : Rob Flickenger
Publisher : O'Reilly Media (30 Jun 2003)
Section : Networking
Book Review:

Amazon.com
Certain cities--Singapore is one example--have begun to outfit gathering places like airport lounges and downtown coffee shops as "hot spots" that are served by wireless Internet antennas. It's possible for anyone with an IEEE 802.11b card in a laptop to sit down in one and have Internet access immediately. The author of Building Wireless Community Networks, Rob Flickenger, thinks this is a great idea. He's written this small, thin volume to explain to readers why wireless networking is a community asset, and to bring them up to speed on the technologies available for creating wireless hot spots. Community here means a collection of people, as in a town or neighborhood.

Wireless networking protocols are complicated, but IEEE 802.11b and the products that have sprung up around it (like Apple's AirPort and similar offerings from Lucent Technologies and Cisco Systems) are pretty easy to set up and integrate into a network. Flickenger's treatment deals with these admirably but places more emphasis on configuring operating systems (notably Linux) to work as wireless gateways for transient users. The really fun reading has to do with custom antennas, though. Flickenger explains--no kidding--how to convert a Pringles potato-chip can into an antenna for wireless networking and goes into detail on how to work around the challenges posed by topography and human-made obstacles. This is a smart book about one of the most exciting frontiers in computer networking. --David Wall

Topics covered: Means of delivering wireless network access (mainly Internet access) to rooms, buildings, communities, and whole geographic regions of up to a few miles in diameter. Design and placement of access points, as well as configuration of network nodes, is covered in detail, as are the legal and political aspects of building a wireless network for general community use.

Book Description
Building Wireless Community Networks is about getting people online using wireless network technology. The 802.11b standard (also known as WiFi) makes it possible to network towns, schools, neighborhoods, small business, and almost any kind of organization. All that's required is a willingness to cooperate and share resources. The first edition of this book helped thousands of people engage in community networking activities. At the time, it was impossible to predict how quickly and thoroughly WiFi would penetrate the marketplace. Today, with WiFi-enabled computers almost as common as Ethernet, it makes even more sense to take the next step and network your community using nothing but freely available radio spectrum. This book has showed many people how to make their network available, even from the park bench, how to extend high-speed Internet access into the many areas not served by DSL and cable providers, and how to build working communities and a shared though intangible network. All that's required to create an access point for high-speed Internet connection is a gateway or base station. Once that is set up, any computer with a wireless card can log onto the network and share its resources. Rob Flickenger built such a network in northern California, and continues to participate in network-building efforts. His nuts-and-bolts guide covers:

  • Selecting the appropriate equipment
  • Finding antenna sites, and building and installing antennas
  • Protecting your network from inappropriate access
  • New network monitoring tools and techniques (new)
  • Regulations affecting wireless deployment (new)
  • IP network administration, including DNS and IP Tunneling (new)

His expertise, as well as his sense of humor and enthusiasm for the topic, makes Building Wireless Community Networks a very useful and readable book for anyone interested in wireless connectivity.




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