Wireless in the home

Wireless is becoming popular in the home for PCs, as well as the new generation of home entertainment devices. Tim Dean shows how to get it up and running.

There are plenty of reasons why you?d want to set up a wireless network in your home, and there will be even more compelling reasons to do so in the not too distant future.

The primary use of a network in the past was the sharing of files between PCs, which is a whole lot easier and faster than wandering between machines with floppy disks or memory keys.

Another very popular use of a home network is to share an internet connection. With a wireless network you can share your internet connection throughout your home, and any computer can easily log in, no matter where they?re located. This is also ideal if you have a notebook and you don?t want be tethered to a network outlet.

Networking is not just for computers though. There is a whole range of new home entertainment devices that can make use of a wireless network. One example is the new generation of media centre PCs, which are essentially home entertainment hubs that connect to your television and function like a PVR (Personal Video Recorder), stereo, photo album, and much more. Wireless media players are also starting to hit the market. Just plug the media player in to your television or stereo and you can stream music and videos from your PC over the airwaves.

There are also many new products, such as DVD recorders, PVRs, stereos and MP3 players that can interface with a wireless network. The future of home entertainment is very much headed in this direction ? with multiple devices connected together to create one big pervasive network where you can access any device from any other. This paints an exciting picture for home entertainment in the future, where you?re not bound to a particular device or room to listen to your music or watch television or videos ? and any new device will just seamlessly blend in with all your existing components, appliance and gadgets. If you install a wireless network now, you?ll be in a good position to add these kinds of devices as they come out and enjoy the best that home entertainment has to offer.