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Pros and Cons of Wireless Broadband

What are the pros and cons of wireless broadband? 

The advantages... 

The most obvious advantage of wireless broadband is straightforward - there are no wires! This means that you can get rid of all of your network cables and remove a lot of unnecessary clutter from your computer space at home.

Wireless also provides great freedom. As long as you have a laptop, you can make any room in the house your office because you should be able to pick up an internet connection - you could even surf the web in the garden! There are also many other devices that can use wireless broadband technology such as mobile phones and games consoles.

Wireless allows you to share hardware such as printers and DVD drivers, and you can communicate between machines and run multiplayer games. Most new technology is also built around wireless internet including Voice over Internet Protocol, which allows you to have voice conversations over the web.

This can offer huge savings compared to the average phone bill - and many broadband providers now offer internet calls as part of the package.

The disadvantages... 

Most users have two main concerns with wireless broadband - security and health issues. In fact, wireless is very secure as long as you use it wisely.

You simply set a password that only computers on your network know to prevent other computers from gaining access to your network. Also, most wireless routers come with a firewall that offers extra protection for your computer. The only problem is that internet users close to your home could gain access to your bandwidth. To avoid this you must install a password called a Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) or Wired Equipment Privacy (WEP) key. Most modern wireless routers will have one of these security features included automatically.

WPA is the latest technology and is now available on most products. In terms of health issues, there are some concerns raised in the national Press but there has yet to be any scientific evidence to truly substantiate these claims. Of perhaps more pressing concern is the range that your wireless router offers. Sometimes signals can suffer through thick walls, or dead spots in your home. To avoid this you can buy larger aerials or you can introduce more wireless access points.

The majority of users however, will enjoy the same high-speed access as they would through a regular wired internet connection. Many users are reluctant to join the wireless revolution because they fear that setting up a home network will be difficult. However, it is actually straightforward. Though you should always follow the instructions that come with your wireless router, as each system may have slight differences, here is a general overview of how to set up a wireless connection.