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What Hardware Do You Need For Wireless Network: Understanding The Basics?

What Hardware Do You Need For Wireless Network: Understanding The Basics?

For a home or office wireless network to function properly, it requires a variety of hardware components. Unless you are an IT expert, you may not be familiar with all of these components. The purpose of this write-up is to introduce you to the various hardware you need to create a wireless network. Here we go.

Let’s Take a Look at the Hardware you Need for Wireless Networks

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  • Wireless Network Adapters

The other names for the wireless network adapters include the wireless network cards or wireless NICs. They are required for older computers and laptops which do not incorporate wireless capabilities. If you have the newer smartphones, tablets, and laptops, you can be sure they already have wireless capability. For the older computers, buy add-on wireless adapters to be connected either via USB or PCMCIA. This will enable these computers to automatically connect to your wireless network.

  • Wireless Routers

Without a wireless router, there would probably be no network. Just line cable routers, these devices are the first to receive internet signals and then transmit to devices such as computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets, cameras, and so on.

Currently, the recommended wireless router standard is the 802.11ac, which allows for smooth online video streaming and responsive gaming. Even though a little slower, older routers are still up to the task. The good thing with an AC router is its incomparably fast speed. They can provide fast internet by more than 12 times the 802.11n routers.

If you want a router that’s capable of handling multiple devices, buy the AC router. Picture the many devices in your home. Most likely, you have desktop computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, streaming boxes, smart TVs, smart speakers, smart cameras, and so on. You need a router with the capability to supply internet to all of your devices without breaking down.

The work of a wireless router is to tap an internet connection from the modem by a wire connection. It then creates a wireless network to which all of the other devices connect. It is, therefore, an integral part of your wireless network.

  • Wireless Access Points

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The purpose of access points is to connect wireless networks to existing wired networks. If your home or office already has a wired router, you will need to have an access point. As such, you won’t need to replace your router with a wireless one.

The work of access points is to connect devices to a wireless network without the need for cables. With a wireless network, the number of devices can increase almost infinitely. What the access point does is to amplify the network. The wired router is the one providing the bandwidth while the access point only extends it to support a number of devices. It also extends the range of the network so that the devices can connect to it from further off.

In addition to amplifying and extending the network, an access point supplies key information on all the devices connected to the network. It also secures the network and ensures hackers don’t get easy access. When buying an access point, consider the standard on which it operates. Depending on the standard, access points can deliver varied bandwidth on varying frequencies. The number of channels supported also greatly differ.

  • Wireless Antennas

Even with the best routers and access points, your Wi-Fi signal may not reach as far as you would hope. That’s why you need a dedicated wireless antenna. Its purpose is to increase the range of the wireless radio signal. For the modern routers, the antennas are in-built. However, on older equipment, they are removable, since they are optional. Whatever the case, you can mount add-on antennas on the existing equipment to widen the range of the Wi-Fi signal. If you are building a home wireless network for your home, you may not require a wireless antenna. For a large office complex, the antenna is necessary to enable internet access from all locations.

  • Wireless Repeaters

The work of a wireless repeater is to extend the strength and reach of the network by connecting to an access point or router. A wireless repeater may also be referred to as a range expander or signal booster. It is basically a two-way station for relaying radio signals to connect equipment to the network. It makes it easier for far-off devices to also access the internet. If you have a large home with rooms that aren’t receiving the Wi-Fi signal, you definitely need a wireless expander.


Clearly, there are different kinds of hardware required to build a wireless network. For these hardware components to work properly, the right software must be installed. Also, you need an internet connection from a broadband provider. When you have all the necessary ingredients, there is just no reason you cannot have a home or office wireless network.

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