Wireless Networking Introduction, Page 3: Interconnecting Popular WiFi Devices
Convenient WiFi Internet access in your home or small office will force you to build what old-timers used to call a "Network Operations Center". Ten years ago that was a daunting proposition, but nowadays it's a lot easier. You might be able to obtain all of the required functionality within a single, silent, compact "Residential WiFi Gateway" device. Depending on your ISP, the number of computers in your house or office, and other pre-existing equipment, you might need 2 or more separate boxes. You will definitely need to allocate space and electrical outlets for one or more high-tech data communication boxes, and you'll also be stringing at least a few specialized wires.
Two brief video clips below will help you visualize the common and popular ways that today's WiFi manufacturers package various, convenient combinations of the required WiFi functions (DSL Modem or Cable Modem, Router, Ethernet Switch, and Wireless Access Point) into their products, and how you can appropriately combine two or three of those multifunction boxes into your own "Network Operations Center".
You'll also need to know how to communicate with the "Management Functions" of your new network devices. You'll use a "browser" application from one of your own PCs to do that, and then you'll configure each device to work with all of the others. This subject is well covered in our "Network Fundamentals" section, and you'll see a link below that will take there, to watch a video clip entitled "Managing Your Network Equipment With Your Web Browser". If you already know all of these basics, just click on the "NEXT" button to go to more advanced stuff...