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Is Wireless Really Worth It?
Written by Daniel   
Thursday, 04 September 2008 12:40
Wireless technology may be convenient, but it also introduces significant hassles – and risks

AUGUST 14, 2008 | Wireless networks are ubiquitous these days. We are all, for better or worse, being bombarded by radio waves in all sorts of frequency ranges, and if we could put a 2.4GHz monitor in our heads, we’d be overloaded by the sheer volume of traffic screaming around on wireless networks using that frequency. 

Despite the phenomenal security and reliability issues with it, users ranging from my parents to Fortune 100 companies are using it. What has driven the move from wired Ethernet to WiFi? 
Clearly, convenience is part of it. Outside the enterprise, there is no doubt that this convenience is worth it, at least from my standpoint. Recently, I relocated from Cambodia to Santiago, Chile, where things such as acquiring Internet service can take weeks. Many businesses here provide free WiFi to customers, providing a valuable service for many and giving themselves a competitive advantage. I don’t really want to think about how much time I have spent at Starbucks for their magic combo – caffeine, no smoking, and free WiFi. 

In the home, the case gets weaker. While staying in a temporary apartment during my move, I could see roughly 15 networks at any given time, of varying signal strength. Almost all of those were protected with either WEP or WAP, and I have to confess that I was sorely tempted to just “borrow” one of those connections with the help of Airsnort and friends. 

Now that I've moved to a house, I only have two networks visible, one for each neighbor. Again, they are protected networks. But how many places do those people really use their computers? Is it worth it to them to deal with the hassle of setup, the knowledge that the wireless router will crash, and the interference with cordless phones and other wireless devices in the home?   [DarkReading...]   [Comments...]

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