Wireless Networking Benefits and Hardware Requirements - Page 2

 By Brien M. Posey
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I mentioned that the hub is designed to be wall- or ceiling-mounted. However, not many places have power outlets on the ceiling. Fortunately, 3Com has thought of just about everything: The hub includes a device called a PowerBASE-T module. This module, shown in Figure 2, connects to a power outlet at a more convenient location. You can then send power to the wireless hub through a standard CAT-5 cable.

Figure 2
Figure 2: The PowerBASE-T module is used to transfer electricity from another location when the hub isn't located near an outlet.


Transferring electricity to remote portions of the building isn't the only thing CAT-5 cables are used for, though. You've probably already figured out that the Air Connect hub contains a RJ-45 jack. You can use this jack to connect the Air Connect hub to an existing Ethernet hub, a remote power supply, or both.

This idea may seem strange at first, because I said that the Air Connect hub runs at 11 Mbps and traditional Ethernet hubs run at either 10 Mbps or 100 Mbps. However, the 11 Mbps speed only exists between wireless devices. Any time a wireless device needs to access resources on an Ethernet segment, the Air Connect hub patches the user through the RJ-45 port, where the data speed is slowed to 10 Mbps. This capability enables the Air Connect hub to act as a bridge between wireless users and the Ethernet network.


Now that you know a little about how the hub works, it's time to explore the client side of wireless networking. In Part 2 ( Connecting Clients to a Wireless Network ), I'll explain how clients connect to a wireless network. I'll also discuss the issue of wireless network security. //

Brien M. Posey is an MCSE who works as a freelance writer. His past experience includes working as the director of information systems for a national chain of health care facilities and as a network engineer for the Department of Defense. Because of the extremely high volume of e-mail that Brien receives, it's impossible for him to respond to every message, although he does read them all.

This article was originally published on Nov 28, 2000
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