Wireless internet, or wifi (or Wi-Fi), has one major problem: the limited range of the radio signals for the network. Luckily, if you are having problems with a weak signal or a connection being lost, you are able to boost the signal. A Wi-Fi booster amplifier can be used to, well, do exactly what it sounds like: boost the radio signal and expand the range of your wireless network.
Many different technological companies manufacture and swell Wi-Fi booster amplifiers. Boosting the signal will have you Wi-Fi access where there had previously been none, or it may prevent you from losing the signal and having to re-connect. These booster amplifiers replace the antenna that comes standard with your wireless devise, usually a router or a hub. The wifi booster amplifiers can be a little pricey (usually close to triple digits), but if you need a stronger or farther-reaching wireless network, these boosters can be well worth the investment. If you need a short extension of signal though, you may be able to find it for cheap on online auctions like eBay and Amazon.
Not long ago, the idea of talking on a phone that is not connected to the wall seemed crazy, but this is the wireless age, where people commonly take their laptop computers to their favorite coffee shop and sip on some java while uploading their new blog to Thoughts.com. Most laptops now come with a built-in wireless adapter. If not, you can buy a wireless card and use it to connect to wireless internet, also called Wi-Fi. You can also use wireless internet for your desktop computer if it bothers you having a bunch of wires lying around. Also, if you have a large family or roommates living under the same roof, it may be beneficial to create your own in-home network and have everyone in the house share the wireless connection.
Wireless ISPs have connection speeds ranging from 384 kbps to 2 Mbps. The wave of the future is WiMax, which delivers up to 7 Mbps to anywhere—laptop, cell phone, car or home. With WiMax, you aren't limited to basic email and text messaging with mobile internet. You can download streaming media and other big file formats similar to a broadband connection at home or at the office. It used to be a competition between DSL and cable, but with the development of fiber optics, wireless internet and WiMax, there are plenty of high speed internet options for you these days. It just depends upon your budget and service needs. In the future, more cities may offer city-wide free Wi-Fi like Sunnydale, California, which became the first city to offer this in the United States in 2005.
Wi-Fi, Cable and DSL
The three most popular types of high speed internet access are wireless internet (Wi-Fi), cable and DSL. You can use a router connected to your cable or DSL line to access Wi-Fi. In the debate between cable and DSL, cable has the edge on speed and popularity but DSL is cheaper and historically more secure. Rural areas may only have satellite internet available, which is similar to DSL in speed. There are new technologies like fiber optics, close to the speed of cable, and WiMax. Technology is constantly changing and even more new players may arise in the internet game.