Updated! Version 1.1 of this book now covers iOS 13, iPadOS 13, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), WPA3, and the newest crop of mesh Wi-Fi routers.
Perhaps you already have a Wi-Fi network running in your home and office, but you’re dissatisfied with it. Or maybe you’re setting up a new house, apartment, business, or school room with Wi-Fi and need to know the basics about what to get and how to configure it. In either case, this book is for you. After over 16 years of writing regularly about Wi-Fi and answering reader questions, author Glenn Fleishman finds that the same issues still crop up:
- How do I spend the least money to the best effect?
- What’s the best place to put my Wi-Fi gateways?
- How can I get both high throughput (speed) on my network and solid coverage across everywhere I want to use Wi-Fi?
- What can I do to secure my network against outsiders near my house and elsewhere on the internet?
- How do I add networked hard drives and printers?
- Interference is slowing my network; what can I do to reduce it?
- What’s the best way to extend my network to a garage, yard, or nearby building?
This book answers those questions in depth, as well as many others related to Wi-Fi, including how to set up a personal or mobile hotspot with all major operating systems, how to access computers on your network remotely, and why you should use a VPN (virtual private network).
If you have any question about overhauling your network, setting up a new one, or just finally figuring out something that’s never worked, this book has the answer.
Covers macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, and Chrome OS.
Since the first edition of book—revised from a previous title focused just on Apple’s now-discontinued Wi-Fi base stations—several modest but significant changes have happened in the Wi-Fi world. This book is updated to cover a range of changes, big and small:
- The Wi-Fi Alliance trade group introduced a numbering system to make generations of standards clearer. The book has been updated to explain the new system and use it throughout. See “What’s Wi-Fi?”.
- The latest wireless networking flavor, 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6), has shifted from being introduced into appearing in actual shipping hardware. See “Wi-Fi Standards.”
- The updated security protocol for Wi-Fi, WPA3, is now starting to become available in routers and operating systems, and I’ve revised to book to include that term and to explain its new features. See “WPA, WPA2, and WPA3 Background.”
- Because mesh networking is a quickly changing part of the market, I’ve updated recommendations and details in “Build a Mesh Network” to reflect the current shape of what’s available. This includes describing some of the newer hardware on the market, and why the latest inexpensive mesh nodes aren’t worth buying instead of more traditional Wi-Fi gateways.
- Apple revamped how it handles connections to iPhone and iPad Personal Hotspots as of iOS 13 and the newly split-off iPadOS 13. The book is updated—in “Connect in iOS and iPadOS”—to show fresher interfaces for those new operating system releases, too.
Posted by Glenn Fleishman on October 3, 2018
Oct. 3, 2018 — The Wi-Fi Alliance announced it’s shifting from labeling certified products with the technical specifications developed at the IEEE engineering group in favor of a simple generational numbering system. Thus, 802.11n becomes Wi-Fi 4, 802.11ac is now Wi-Fi 5, and the slowly emerging 802.11ax will be known as Wi-Fi 6. The changes aren’t fully retroactive: they’re not going back to earlier specifications than 802.11n, as those are no longer widely in use (although they’re supported through backwards compatibility). But it’s a shorter and easier way to market and explain technology, and to see an obvious numeric progression. A future edition of the book will adopt the new numbering scheme, which will take many months to roll out, as packaging and manuals are updated and redesigned. Older products still sold actively may not be updated at all, too.