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338 Part V: The Part of Tens


CNET.com (www.cnet.com) is a simple-to-use, free Web site where you can do apples-to-apples comparisons of wireless equipment. You can count on finding pictures of what you’re buying, editor ratings of the equipment, user ratings of the gear, reviews of most devices, and a listing of the places on the Web where you can buy it all — along with the actual pricing. What’s great about CNET is that it covers the wireless networking aspect of Wi-Fi as well as the consumer goods portion of Wi-Fi (such as home theater, A/V gear, phones, and so on). You can count on being able to find all sorts of products and ideas in one place. It’s your one-stop resource for evaluating your future home wireless purchases.

What we especially like is the ability to do a side-by-side comparison so that we can see who’s got which features. You can go to the Wi-Fi portion of the site and see available gear from major manufacturers. By clicking the boxes next to each name, you can select that gear for comparison shopping. You can also filter the results by price, features, support, and so on at the bottom of the page. Then just click Compare to receive a results page.

Overall, this is a solid site that we often visit before buying anything.


802.11Planet (www.80211planet.com) is a great resource for keeping up with industry news as well as getting reviews of access points, client devices, security tools, and software. Look for the tutorial section where you can find articles such as Understanding Internal 802.11 Card Form Factors and Extending WLAN Range with Repeaters.

One of the great parts of 802.11 Planet is its forum where you can ask questions to the collective readership and get answers. (You can ask a question, and the system will e-mail you with any responses — very nice.) The forum has sections on General, Security, Troubleshooting, Interoperability and Standards, Hardware, and Applications. The discussions are tolerant of beginners but can get quite sophisticated in their responses. All in all, this is a great site for info.

Broadband Wireless Exchange Magazine

The Broadband Wireless Exchange Magazine (www.bbwexchange.com) is a rapidly growing Web site dedicated to all things wireless, including coverage of lots of emerging products and services coming down the road. The site is a

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parent site for many sites-within-a-site. It started out covering fixed wireless topics for telephone companies and has grown to include all sorts of consumer, business, and industry content on wireless. If you’re interested in just 802.11 products and services, the www.80211-news.com page is a good one for that, as are the firm’s other sites on all aspects of wireless technologies. On any particular subsite, you’ll find lots of information about industry news, new product announcements, buyer’s guides, directories, article listings, and so forth.

This site is adding content and new capabilities daily, so it’s hard to summarize in one paragraph. Suffice it to say that by the time you read this, it will probably have tripled in size. Definitely check it out.


This site (80211b.weblogger.com) is a great site for finding out what’s going on in the wireless world. You might have heard about Weblogs: They’re linkrunning, rambling commentaries that people keep online about topics that are near and dear to their hearts. This is also called blogging.

Unless you want to track the wireless industry, though, you probably would- n’t want to check this daily, but it’s a great resource for when you want to see what the latest news is about a particular vendor or technology. This is the site that we follow every day for interesting news and product or service developments.

Another big strength of this site is its coverage of the OS X/Apple world of wireless. If you have an Apple computer, do check out this site’s AirPort Weblog on how to get the most out of your AirPort Extreme. If you’ve got a Mac, spend some time checking out their AirPort Forum threads and keep your eye on this page for the latest AirPort news! You can find a host of content to support your Apple efforts — lots besides just news.

Check out these other Weblogs about wireless topics: Bluetooth (bluetooth. weblogs.com) and Reiter’s Wireless Data (reiter.weblogger.com) Weblogs in particular.

PC Magazine

The venerable PC Magazine (www.pcmag.com) is the go-to publication for PC users. This magazine regularly and religiously tracks all aspects of wireless, from the individual product reviews to sweeping buyer’s guides across different wireless segments to updates on key operating system and supporting software changes. If you have a PC, you should be subscribing to this magazine.

340 Part V: The Part of Tens

We really like the First Look sections of the publication, which offer you the immediate insight on new product announcements, giving you hands-on, quick reviews of the latest developments on the market. This is great for those products that you’ve heard were coming but were waiting to actually be ready. PC Magazine is usually one of the first to review these products.

A one-year subscription (22 issues) runs only $34.97, and a two-year subscription (44 issues) is $59.97. You can subscribe to either electronic or print issues, which is nice if you want to catch up on your reading on the go but don’t want to carry a bag of publications.

Electronic House Magazine

Electronic House (www.electronichouse.com) is one of our favorite publications because you can read a lot of very easy-to-understand articles about all aspects of an electronic home, including articles on wireless networking and all the consumer appliances and other non-PC devices that are going wireless. It’s written for the consumer who enjoys technology.

Electronic House magazine includes articles on wireless home networking, wireless home control, and subsystems such as residential lighting, security, home theaters, energy management, and telecommunications. It also regularly looks at new and emerging technologies using wireless capabilities, such as wireless refrigerators and wireless touchpanels, to control your home.

Electronic House is a monthly publication with a 13th issue called the Planning Guide that’s available at newsstands. The magazine costs $29.95 a year. Back issues are $5.95 each or six issues for $30 (plus shipping), so you can catch up on what you’ve missed (we always love doing that). You definitely want to subscribe to this one!

Home Automation Magazine

Home Automation magazine (www.homeautomationmag.com) — also from the publishers of Electronic House magazine — is a magazine for the do-it- yourselfer. It’s geared more to the specific product reviews and discusses new technologies for the home and how to put them in. Articles show you how to carry out a range of wireless projects, including how you can add wireless access to an existing home network, set up a wireless video network, configure structured wiring, and much more.

The magazine comes out seven times a year and costs $29.95 a year. Back issues are $5.95 each or six issues for $30 (plus shipping).

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The www.homeautomationmag.com Web site includes Web-only articles, so check it out as well. You also find links to the www.ehstore.com shopping site for books and videos.

Practically Networked

Practically Networked (www.practicallynetworked.com) is a free site run by the folks at Internet.com. It has basic tutorials on networking topics, background on key technologies, and a troubleshooting guide. The site can contain some dated information in places, but it does have monitored discussion groups where you can get some good feedback, and the reviews section gives you a listing of products with a fairly comprehensive buyer’s guide-style listing of features.


Ziff Davis Media has a great site at www.extremetech.com that has special sections focused on networking and wireless issues. There is heavy traffic at the discussion groups, and people seem willing to provide quick and knowledgeable answers. (You’ll find some seriously educated geeks on these groups.) Check out the links to wireless articles and reviews by ExtremeTech staff.

The site can be difficult to navigate because the layout is a little confusing. We recommend that you visit the ExtremeTech Feature Story Index that has “Links to all our great feature content in one place,” as the editors put it. It’s labeled ExtremeTech Index.

And if you’re having a problem that you just can’t seem to crack, check out the discussion groups on this site.

Network World

Network World (www.nwfusion.com) is the leading publication for networking professionals, and although this is a site geared primarily for businesses, it does have a lot of content about wireless because so much of the technology first appeared in commercial venues. The site has detailed buyer’s guides that show features and functionality of wireless LANs products — almost all of which is applicable for your home. Importantly, you can also search the site for more content on Wi-Fi and 802.11 as well as Bluetooth. The publication has a large reporting staff and stays on top of everything networking-related.