The Home RF Alternative
You may have heard of another wireless networking technology called HomeRF. HomeRF uses the 2.4-GHz band just like Wi-Fi, but the standard is squarely aimed at the home and has had a slow start due to late approval from the FCC for a faster version that closely matches Wi-Fi's speed. Wi-Fi has built up momentum due to a rapid drop in price during 2001. Prices fell for most equipment by 50 to 70 percent, while HomeRF's fast version just started appearing in electronics stores last summer. If you expect to use a laptop or other portable device, Wi-Fi is the only way to go. Business, free community networks, and public-space commercial providers in coffee shops, airports and conference centers have all standardized on Wi-Fi. The advice in this article about surveying a site applies equally well to HomeRF, however, because it uses the same part of the electromagnetic spectrum.