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wireles network hacks mods - briere D.

briere D. wireles network hacks mods - Wiley publishing, 2005. - 387 p.
ISBN: 0-7645-9583-0
Download (direct link): wirelesnetworkhacks.pdf
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Price: DIRECWAY isn’t cheap either — the service runs between $60 and $100 a month, depending on whether you buy the equipment up front (for about $600) or lease it (for the higher monthly fee).
Availability: Maybe the previous two points didn’t make you lean too much in favor of DIRECWAY, but here’s the good part — you can get it pretty much anywhere in the continental U.S., Canada, or Puerto Rico. You just need a clear (unobstructed by trees or buildings) view of the southern sky and you’re set. Doesn’t matter how far you are from town, from your neighbors, and so on. That’s a big deal!
Networkability: Up until recently, DIRECWAY was not very network-friendly. Instead of connecting to a router or an access point, you needed to connect the satellite receiver directly to your PC, and only one PC could be connected. The latest versions of the satellite receivers used for DIRECWAY have taken away that limitation. They can be connected to your network and support both Macs and PCs on the network. You are, however, still limited in what you can do on that networked connection, both by bandwidth, and by limitations built into the service that essentially limit the connection to one simultaneous user on the network. For an additional $20 or $30, you can upgrade to the professional plan, which allows two simultaneous users — that helps, but still won’t let you do a lot on your network. If you want to run servers or do videoconferencing, DIRECWAY is not for you.
Now we don’t want to sound too down on DIRECWAY. If you live out in the boonies, it’s as good a solution as you’re going to find. Folks we know who use it say they’re glad to have the option. But nobody we know who lives in DSL or cable territory has even considered it as an option — you get less for more money.
Chapter 4: Wi-Fi and Broadband Connections 69
Tapping into metro wireless networks
A very limited number of folks have access to something that is very exciting to us (and probably to you, as a wireless network hacker and modder): metro wireless networks. These are simply wireless broadband access networks that cover part or all of a metro area — a town, city, or suburb. Some folks even call these networks something like “wireless DSL” to emphasize the true use of these networks — which is providing broadband connections to homes and businesses.
In Part III of the book, we talk about a variety of mobile wireless networks that you can tap into. These networks are designed to provide you highspeed network access when you’re on the go. The networks we are talking about here are more fixed in nature, designed to provide access to your home wireless LAN.
These metro wireless networks differ from the DIRECWAY system we discussed earlier in that they use terrestrial antennas (mounted here on terra firma, or at least on towers and buildings, which touch the ground) and transmit over a limited area, rather than trying to blanket the entire continent from outer space.
Coming soon: WiMax
The incompatible and proprietary wireless technologies being used by wireless ISPs will soon converge onto a new standardized technology called WiMax. WiMax is simply a new set of several wireless technologies that are built around an IEEE standard called 802.16. If you have read Chapter 2 (we bet you did, we know you love reading about standards), you may recall that Wi-Fi is a set of technologies built around the IEEE standard 802.11. WiMax has the same relationship to 802.16 that Wi-Fi does with 802.11 — meaning that the WiMax Forum folks (www.wimaxforum.org) spend their time making sure that different models of WiMax-certified equipment from different vendors all work together seamlessly.
A couple of different variants of WiMax are coming out (just as there are different variants of Wi-Fi). The first WiMax products we expect to see will be used for fixed broadband wireless
access — in other words, for the metro wireless networks we discuss in this chapter. Further on down the road, WiMax will branch out to compete with Wi-Fi and even cellular networks for mobile wireless data applications.
As we write in mid-2005, WiMax is almost but not quite a reality. Vendors are shipping gear they call WiMax, but it's "pre-standards" gear that's not necessarily 100 percent fully compliant with WiMax — there's no actual certified WiMax gear available yet. A lot of really big companies are, however, investing a lot of time, brainpower, and money in WiMax (think Intel, for example), so we expect to see real WiMax gear, and a lot of it, hit the streets in 2006 and beyond. When it does, you'll be able to buy a "modem" to connect your wireless LAN to a metro wireless network "off the shelf" and get connected in no time!
70 Part I: Making Your World Wireless
Service providers use a variety of technologies to offer metro wireless networks, ranging from variants of the 802.11 technologies described in Chapter 2 to a range of proprietary (meaning vendor-specific) wireless systems. Most wireless ISPs (which is what we call the folks who offer metro wireless broadband) are using proprietary systems today — which means you can’t just buy the wireless “modem” off the shelf at Circuit City, nor can you (most likely) use it with a different wireless ISP.
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