An technology overview and guide to effective
use at home, work, and in the classroom.
Northern Arizona University
• Found on older PDAs,
• Requires Line-of-sight
• Short range
• Not widely adopted
• Now used mostly for remotes
GPRS and Cell Phones
• Discussion for another day
But consider how
these devices can
be used in the
• Bluetooth http://www.bluetooth.com
• Named after Danish King Harald “Bluetooth”
Blaatand (910-985 AD), credited with uniting
Denmark and Norway.
– Radio waves
– “Short” range (30 ft.)
– Computer to Mouse, Keyboard, Cell Phone, PDA
– Data rate: 1 Mbps (megabits per second)
• Wi-Fi = wireless fidelity
• IEEE 802.11 protocol
• “Long” range (~150 ft)
• Uses Radio Frequency (RF)
What we mean by “wireless”
• An extension of an existing Internet
– Not a stand-alone connection
• Allows computers to connect to:
– other computers (directly)
– local networks and devices
– the Internet
Ways to Connect
• PC to PC • PC to Wireless Access Point
– (Ad Hoc)
– (Infrastructure) “Hot Spot”
What do I need?
• Wi-Fi card
• Built-in wireless
2. Wireless Access Point (WAP)
• Public or Private?
• Open or Secure?
• Free or Paid?
Does my PC have Wi-Fi?
Start / Control Panel / Network Connections
•If you see “Wireless Network Connection” you’re all set!
•Double-click to see available networks
Joining a Wi-Fi Network: Win XP
Joining a Wi-Fi Network: Mac
On the Mac, Wi-Fi is called “AirPort”
Adding Wireless Capabilities
•Laptop $30 to $60+ for 802.11g
•PC card (PCMCIA)
• Desktop $30 - $60+ for 802.11g
• Where to buy?
•Office supply store
Setting up a WAP at home
• High Speed Internet Connection
– Cable Modem
– DSL Modem
• Instructions vary, but are usually poor!
• Apple, Linksys, Belkin, D-Link are good brands
• Take the time to set up the security!
• Skill Level Required: Intermediate to High
Finding a Hot Spot
• Search the web:
• Scan your locale:
– “stumbler” software
– hotspot finder gizmo.
Public Hot Spots in Flagstaff
Free (Usually Open) Paid (Usually Secure)
• Late For the Train • Kinko’s
• Macy’s • Barnes and Noble
• Campus Coffee Bean
• Uptown Billiards
• Pay ‘n’ Take
• Embassy Suites
• NAU (Guest access)
• UPS Store
• Know of Others?
• Varsity Espresso
• Days Inn
Access Points at NAU
University Union Institute for Human Development
Dubois Center Hotel/Restaurant Management
Learning Resources Center Health Professions
Information Technology Services Facilities Services
Eastburn Education Center Colorado Plateau Studies
Engineering and Technology Riles
Babbitt Administrative Center Biology
Project Management Office Ashurst
Physical Sciences Social and Behavioral Sciences
College of Business North Union
Southwest Forest Science Complex Nursing
Wettaw Biology/Biochemistry Cline Library
Gateway Center Gammage
WAPs at NAU
Connecting at NAU
• VPN – for security
• Solution Center at 3-1511 (faculty/staff)
Current Wi-Fi Protocols
Protocol Data Rate Range Compatibility
802.11b 11 Mbps Long First out
802.11a 54 Mbps Short No
802.11g 54 Mbps Long With b
– Detailed Comparisons of a, b, and g
– Performance degrades on mixed b/g networks
Future Wi-Fi Protocols
Protocol Data Rate Range Compatibility
802.11n 100 Mbps+ Longer b and g
Wi-Max 70 Mbps Longest 802.16
(5 - 30 mi)
• Pre-802.11n is being sold now
• Wi-Max promises very long distance
• (ideal when Cable and DSL are not practical)
Wireless Speed & Range
• A “g” base station can transmit at
maximum data rate (54 Mbps) up to about
50 ft, but declines to 11 Mbps by 150 ft.
• Max range ~ 500 ft. outdoors
• Physical site conditions vary
• Antennas can help
• Signal is omni-directional
• “b” and “g” use RF in 2.4 GHz range
• 11 channels, but…
• Interference from
– Microwave Ovens
– Cordless Phones
– Bluetooth Devices
– Baby Monitors
• More reading…
Why Use Security? • Hide your SSID
– To Control Access to WAP
– To Protect Confidential Data • Restrict MAC Addresses
• Use Data Encryption
– 40 Bit WEP
– 128 Bit WEP
• Use a VPN
• Look for https:
Geek fun: Build a Cantenna
• Extend the range by shaping the signal
• Line of sight
• 10 miles?
• Buy it
• Build it!
Geek Fun II: Wi-Fi Printing
Make your old laser printer wireless!
Skill Level: High
Classroom Uses of Wi-Fi
Advantages of a Mobile Laptop Lab:
• Saves space
• Multi-use room
• Equipment sharing
• Wireless Access Point
A Wired Classroom
A Wireless Meeting Place
Outdoor Roaming Wireless
A Wireless Lecture Hall
Tablet PCs and PDAs?
• How can they be used?
• What advantages?
• What disadvantages?
• What if you don’t want Wireless?
• IM during tests?
• Bootleg WAPs
• Unwelcome surfing?
• WiFi free zone?
• Enforcement? PDAs, Cell Phones, etc.
• Stephanie McCarthy - Graphics
• Don Carter - Additional Content
• Kevin Mackett - Additional Content