Updated! Version 1.2 of this book now covers iOS 14, iPadOS 14, macOS 11 Big Sur, WPA3, and the 6 GHz Wi-Fi band.
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.
This version of the book mostly addresses minor changes, such as the release of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 for Apple mobile devices, and macOS 11 Big Sur for Mac computers. It also covers:
- The rise of WPA3, the replacement for WPA2 that adds better protections against network sniffing. While WPA3 was in some devices in 2019, it’s now more broadly available. The previous version of the book mentioned WPA3; this version makes it clearer that you can now use it. For more on WPA3, read “WPA, WPA2, and WPA3 Background.”
- The addition to iOS 14/iPadOS 14 of Private Address, a feature that resists tracking users by the unique address on the Wi-Fi adapter sent when they connect to a network. See “Private Addresses in iOS or iPadOS.”
- The upcoming availability of a whopping 1.2 GHz of new spectrum in the United States for Wi-Fi use in the 6 GHz band. This new flavor of 802.11ax will be called Wi-Fi 6E and will appear in routers starting in early 2021. I address this throughout the book, and read more specifically in “More Bandwidth Coming: 6 GHz, Wi-Fi Standards, and Spectrum Trade-Offs.”
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.