Wireless Game Adapters
A wireless game adapter connects a video game console to a Wi-Fi home network to enable Internet or head-to-head LAN gaming. Wireless game adapters for home networks are available in both 802.11b and 802.11g varieties. An example of an 802.11g wireless game adapter appears above, the Linksys WGA54G (compare prices).
Wireless game adapters can be connected either to a wireless router using an Ethernet cable (for best reliability and performance) or over Wi-Fi (for greater reach and convenience). Wireless game adapter products include setup software on a CD-ROM that must be installed on one computer to complete initial configuration of the device. As with generic network adapters, wireless game adapters must be configured with the correct network name (SSID) and encryption setting.
Wireless Internet Video Cameras
A wireless Internet video camera allows video (and sometimes audio) data to be captured and transmitted across a WiFi computer network. Wireless Internet video cameras are available in both 802.11b and 802.11g varieties. The Linksys WVC54G (compare prices) 802.11g wireless camera is shown above.
Wireless Internet video cameras work by serving up data streams to any computer that connects to them. Cameras like the one above contain a built in Web server. Computers connect to the camera using either a standard Web browser or through a special client user interface provided on CD-ROM with the product. With proper security information, video streams from these cameras can also be viewed across the Internet from authorized computers.
Wi-Fi Internet video cameras can be connected to a wireless router using either an Ethernet cable or wirelessly. These products include setup software on a CD-ROM that must be installed on one computer to complete initial Wi-Fi configuration of the device.
Features that distinguish different wireless Internet video cameras from each other include:
- resolution of the captured video images (for example, 320x240 pixel, 640x480 pixel, and other image sizes)
- motion sensors, and the ability to send email alerts when new activity is detected and captured
- ability to timestamp images
- built-in microphones and/or jacks for external microphones, for audio support
- types of WiFi security supported, such as WEP or WAP
Wireless Range Extender
A wireless range extender increases the distance over which a WLAN signal can spread, overcoming obstacles and enhancing overall network signal quality. Several different forms of wireless range extenders are available. These products are sometimes called "range expanders" or "signal boosters." The Linksys WRE54G (compare prices) 802.11g Wireless Range Expander is shown above.
A wireless range extender works as a relay or network repeater, picking up and reflecting WiFi signals from a network's base router or access point. The network performance of devices connected through a range extender will generally be lower than if they were connected directly to the primary base station.A wireless range extender connects wirelessly to a WiFi router or access point. However, due to the nature of this technology, most wireless range extenders work only with a limited set of other equipment. Check the manufacturer's specifications carefully for compatiblity information.