One reason for the popularity of wireless networking is its reasonable cost.

This article appears in the December 06 issue of PC Advisor. Available now in all good newsagents.

Wireless hardware is as cheap as chips these days, and you can save money by not running network wiring all over your house. You’ll spend less on internet connections, share peripherals such as printers and scanners, and use your PC to drive other applications around your home, such as your home-entertainment centre.

Of the many benefits of wireless in the home, most have one thing in common: sharing. When you connect the computers in your house through a network, you can share files, printers, scanners and high-speed internet connections.

In addition, you can play multiuser games over your network, access public wireless networks away from home, check wireless cameras or even enjoy the MP3s stored in your stereo system from work.

Whether you’ve got one computer or several, there are many good reasons to want a network – reasons that until recently just didn’t exist.

The plummeting cost of wireless technologies, combined with fast-paced technical development, has meant that more and more manufacturers are getting on the home networking bandwagon. That means that more applications around your house are going to try to ride your wireless backbone – talking amongst themselves and to the internet. Wireless is here to stay and will become central to the home.

Wireless networks may be less expensive than more traditional wired networks but they are also much easier to install. However, this wasn’t always the case. In the early days of wireless, where 2Mbps (megabits per second) of bandwidth was the norm, setting up a wireless network used to be a headache.

Mercifully, ever since Windows XP Service Pack 2, the process has been much simplified. Read December 06 issue of PC Advisor to get networking without wires – or too much stress.