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Wireless Internet. An technology overview and guide to effective use at home, work, and in the classroom. Larry MacPhee e-Learning Center Northern Arizona University. Infrared. Found on older PDAs, Laptops, Printers Requires Line-of-sight Short range Flaky Not widely adopted

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Wireless internet l.jpg

Wireless Internet

An technology overview and guide to effective use at home, work, and in the classroom.

Larry MacPhee

e-Learning Center

Northern Arizona University


Infrared l.jpg
Infrared

  • Found on older PDAs, Laptops, Printers

  • Requires Line-of-sight

  • Short range

  • Flaky

  • Not widely adopted

  • Now used mostly for remotes


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GPRS and Cell Phones

  • Discussion for another day

But consider how these devices can be used in the classroom by students…with or without instructor encouragement!


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  • Bluetooth http://www.bluetooth.com

  • Named after Danish King Harald “Bluetooth” Blaatand (910-985 AD), credited with uniting Denmark and Norway.

    • Radio waves

    • “Short” range (30 ft.)

    • Computer to Mouse, Keyboard, Cell Phone, PDA

    • Data rate: 1 Mbps (megabits per second)


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Wi-Fi

  • Wi-Fi = wireless fidelity

  • http://www.wi-fi.org

  • IEEE 802.11 protocol

  • “Long” range (~150 ft)

  • Uses Radio Frequency (RF)


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What we mean by “wireless”

  • An extension of an existing Internet connection

    • Not a stand-alone connection

  • Allows computers to connect to:

    • other computers (directly)

    • local networks and devices

    • the Internet


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Ways to Connect

  • PC to Wireless Access Point

    • (Infrastructure) “Hot Spot”

  • PC to PC

    • (Ad Hoc)


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What do I need?

  • Computer

    • Wi-Fi card

    • Built-in wireless

  • Wireless Access Point (WAP)

    • Public or Private?

    • Open or Secure?

    • Free or Paid?


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Does my PC have Wi-Fi?

Start / Control Panel / Network Connections

  • If you see “Wireless Network Connection” you’re all set!

  • Double-click to see available networks



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Joining a Wi-Fi Network: Mac

On the Mac, Wi-Fi is called “AirPort”


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  • Desktop $30 - $60+ for 802.11g

    • PCI card

    • External USB

Adding Wireless Capabilities

  • Where to buy?

    • NAU bookstore

    • Computer store

    • Office supply store


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Setting up a WAP at home

  • High Speed Internet Connection

    • Cable Modem

    • DSL Modem

  • Instructions vary, but are usually poor!

  • Apple, Linksys, Belkin, D-Link are good brands

  • Take the time to set up the security!

  • Skill Level Required: Intermediate to High


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Finding a Hot Spot

  • Search the web:

    http://www.wifi411.com

    http://www.jiwire.com

  • Scan your locale:

    • “stumbler” software

    • hotspot finder gizmo.


Public hot spots in flagstaff l.jpg

Free (Usually Open)

Late For the Train

Macy’s

Uptown Billiards

Pay ‘n’ Take

NAU (Guest access)

Know of Others?

Public Hot Spots in Flagstaff

Paid (Usually Secure)

  • Kinko’s

  • Barnes and Noble

  • Campus Coffee Bean

  • Starbucks

  • Embassy Suites

  • UPS Store

  • Varsity Espresso

  • McDonald’s

  • Days Inn


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University Union

Dubois Center

Learning Resources Center

Information Technology Services

Eastburn Education Center

Engineering and Technology

Babbitt Administrative Center

Project Management Office

Physical Sciences

College of Business

Southwest Forest Science Complex

Wettaw Biology/Biochemistry

Gateway Center

Institute for Human Development

Hotel/Restaurant Management

Health Professions

Facilities Services

Colorado Plateau Studies

Riles

Biology

Ashurst

Social and Behavioral Sciences

North Union

Nursing

Cline Library

Gammage

Bookstore

Access Points at NAU

WAPs at NAU


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Connecting at NAU

  • http://www.nau.edu/wireless

  • VPN – for security

    vpn.nau.edu

  • Solution Center at 3-1511 (faculty/staff)


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Current Wi-Fi Protocols

  • Detailed Comparisons of a, b, and g

  • Performance degrades on mixed b/g networks


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Future Wi-Fi Protocols

  • Pre-802.11n is being sold now

  • Wi-Max promises very long distance

    • (ideal when Cable and DSL are not practical)


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Wireless Speed & Range

  • A “g” base station can transmit at maximum data rate (54 Mbps) up to about 50 ft, but declines to 11 Mbps by 150 ft.

  • Max range ~ 500 ft. outdoors

  • Physical site conditions vary

  • Antennas can help

  • Signal is omni-directional



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Wi-Fi Interference

  • “b” and “g” use RF in 2.4 GHz range

  • 11 channels, but…

  • Interference from

    • Microwave Ovens

    • Cordless Phones

    • Bluetooth Devices

    • Baby Monitors

  • More reading…


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Wireless Security

Why Use Security?

  • To Control Access to WAP

  • To Protect Confidential Data

  • Hide your SSID

  • Restrict MAC Addresses

  • Use Data Encryption

    • 40 Bit WEP

    • 128 Bit WEP

    • WPA

  • Use a VPN

  • Look for https:


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Geek fun: Build a Cantenna

  • Extend the range by shaping the signal

  • Point-to-point

  • Line of sight

  • 10 miles?

  • Buy it

  • Build it!


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Geek Fun II: Wi-Fi Printing

Make your old laser printer wireless!

Skill Level: High

Cost: $100

Instructions


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Classroom Uses of Wi-Fi

Advantages of a Mobile Laptop Lab:

  • Saves space

  • Multi-use room

  • Equipment sharing

  • Wireless Access Point

  • Charging

  • Printing

  • Security

  • Accountability






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Tablet PCs and PDAs?

  • How can they be used?

  • What advantages?

  • What disadvantages?


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Final Thoughts

  • What if you don’t want Wireless?

  • IM during tests?

  • Bootleg WAPs

  • Unwelcome surfing?

  • WiFi free zone?

  • Enforcement? PDAs, Cell Phones, etc.


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Acknowledgements

  • Stephanie McCarthy - Graphics

  • Don Carter - Additional Content

  • Kevin Mackett - Additional Content


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