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Wireless 101


There are two types of home computer networks, wired and wireless. The difference between the two is that computers on wired networks communicate through data cables (the wires), while those on wireless networks communicate through radio signals.

Either the Westell 7500 or Netgear 7550 are a High Speed Internet modem and wireless router combined. So what does this mean to you? It means that one piece of equipment will not only produce your High Speed Internet connection, but it will also let all the computers in your home or office share that connection, with or without the use of data cables. With the Westell 7500 or Netgear 7550, any computer that you wish to connect wirelessly will need to have wireless capability to be able to "catch" and use the signal from the Westell 7500 or Netgear 7550.

Things To Keep In Mind

Because wireless signals travel through the air, elements of your environment can occasionally interfere with wireless network operations. For example:

  • Building construction
    Houses made of wood and sheet rock generally do not interfere with the Westell 7500 or Netgear 7550's signal strength. But metal walls, beams, and older-style plaster walls that contain metal mesh can pose problems for signal strength. Changing channels on the Westell 7500 or Netgear 7550 can help if your network is located in such a building.

  • Other "wireless" (and even wired) devices
    Other appliances and equipment can cause interference with the Westell 7500 or Netgear 7550's signal. This is known as Electromagnetic Interference (EMI). Cordless phones, microwaves, halogen lamps, and even radio towers can cause disruptions. We've also had a few customers who have had their signals disrupted by streetlights and electric fences (not in their homes, but near their homes).
As a rule of thumb, if your signal strength is low or nonexistent, try switching to a different channel. In the past, our customers have found that they seem to have the best luck with channels 1, 6, or 11 -- but each situation is different.

We're betting that you'd rather not share your wireless connection with the rest of the folks in your neighborhood. The Westell 7500 or Netgear 7550 will give you the ability to encrypt -- to code -- your wireless connection to protect your PC as well as your entire home or office network.

Wireless extenders can be used to expand your wireless network's coverage, or to extend the wireless signal into hard-to-reach areas. Frontier is currently offering the Netgear WN3000RP Universal WiFi Range Extender. For more information on this range extender, please contact our Tech Support team at 1-800-239-4430.