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Chapter 1. Introduction

1.1. Who should read this guide?
1.2. What is a Wireless LAN?
1.3. History of Wireless LANs
1.4. Benefits of Wireless LANs
1.5. Considerations
1.6. Linux Wireless Support
1.7. Disclaimer
Due to increased demand for convenient networking and more flexible access to both the Internet and company resources via more geographically widespread coverage areas, wireless networking use has dramatically increased in recent years. Mobile access to data services previously unavailable is now common. The sales and penetration of wireless access have resulted in a recent projection by ABI Research that one billion Wi-Fi chipsets will ship in the year 2011.
Not only has wireless data access achieved a great deal of market penetration in recent years, but the price of the related hardware has dropped dramatically, making it even more accessible. Wi-Fi seems to be everywhere; in laptops, desktops, PDAs, cell phones and routers, and there is such a large amount of wireless networks in many urban areas that complete overcrowding of the public radio spectrum in use can occur.
This guide provides a high-level overview of the past, present, and future of IEEE 802.11 wireless networking standards, concepts, hardware components, security concerns, and their relation to Fedora Documentation Linux. Although the specific wireless technology based on IEEE 802.11 is the primary focus of this guide, other mobile technologies and their relation to Fedora Documentation and Linux are also mentioned. Parts of this guide contain detailed information specific to Fedora Documentation and other Linux operating systems, however, many of the topics and concepts relate to all operating systems, vendors, and environments.

1.1. Who should read this guide?

You should read this guide if you are looking for an overview of wireless technologies and how they are implemented in Fedora Documentation or other Linux operating systems. Other readers will gain general information on how wireless works, the hardware involved, and other topics such as standards and security.