Everything from 9/11 attacks to the global economic crisis have spoilt some of the fun associated with the revolution that information technology is bringing to us. But guess what? Technology is still happening big-time, waiting for no-one or nothing but innovations that are making things faster, cheaper and better.
And I think the time is ripe for you to think of wireless homes that use wi-fi technology.
Wi-fi is based on a networking standard called 802.11 which has evolved to support higher and higher data speeds. Equipment has turned cheaper.
With wi-fi, you can roam around your house, or even sit in the balcony or lawn and surf the Net. (You have the option of using your mobile phone linked to a laptop, but that can be inconvenient for incoming calls, and possibly clunky).
USB modems supplied by telecom operators can solve some of your issues, but you must look at the budget and the convenience. It makes sense to think of routers and adapters, or “access points” that connect a wireline broadband with a wireless network.
Over the past week, I have noticed a dramatic fall in the price of wireless routers and USB networking adapters. You can buy a broadband router for as low as Rs 2,000 or so, and an adapter that you can plug into a laptop for under Rs 1,000. Combining the two, you can enable wireless Internet at home. PCs and laptops can also have built-in adapter cards.
With one good PC and one broadbank link at home, you can keep two (or more) teenagers happy if you can combine it with a wireless network. You can also make better use of smaller apartments. You can avoid contorting your body or spoiling your bedroom space by locating a printer in the drawing room using a wireless link.
Think about your home design, your habits and your budget hard. Wireless networking could liberate you at cheaper costs. Find yourself a reliable shop or consultant because technology-based products are often advertised to confuse you than enlighten you.