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    4. Planning your Network - Wireless add ons

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    • Once you set up your wireless network (or add wireless to your wired network) you can connect a wide variety of devices that will make your life easier (and virtually cord-free). Let’s take a look at several of the most popular add-ons:




      Dell Wireless Printer
      Wireless Printers 
      Many newer printers have wireless adapters built in that allow you to print directly from PCs and laptops on a wireless network. Another option is to attach a compatible wireless printer adapter to allow your existing printer to join the network. Finally, you can connect your existing printer to a wireless print server. No more carrying your laptop into the study and plugging it in to the printer!

      Shop Wireless Printers



      Dell Wireless USB Hubs
      Wireless USB Hubs 
      Most accessories have a USB plug, but your PC only has so many USB slots. Not to worry! A wireless UBS Hub can accommodate up to 4 of USB-connected devices. Plus, you can put it up to 30 feet away1 to help reduce unsightly cable clutter yet still maintain a wireless connection. Think about all the things you don't need right by your PC. You can connect your non-wireless printer, digital camera, external hard drive, MP3 player and more. 

      Shop Wireless USB Hubs


      Dell Network Video CameraNetwork Video Cameras 
      When you add wireless video cameras to your network, you can watch what's going on at home or at your business—anytime you want — over the Internet. Keep watch on your pets, your kids, or your doors and windows... anything you're worried about protecting.

      Shop Network Security Cameras



      Dell Multimedia Receiver
      Wireless Digital Multimedia Receivers/Extenders 
      Connect your TV and stereo to your wireless network, and you can use them to listen to your digital music, play a slideshow of your favorite photos or even watch videos you’ve downloaded from the Internet.

      Shop Wireless Digital Multimedia Receivers


      If your computer is running Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows Vista Home Premium/Ultimate or Windows 7 Home Premium or higher, you can join the computer running Windows Media Center and your media extender rather simply. The Xbox 360 seamlessly integrates with Windows Media Center host computers, allowing you to enjoy the content on your PC on your home theater system - regardless of where the PC is in your house.



      Video Game Consoles 
      Most popular gaming consoles from Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have wireless networking capabilities (though some models require the purchase of a special wireless adapter). Wireless connectivity makes set-up a snap.




      DVD and Media Streaming Devices 
      More and more DVD and Blu-ray players have wireless access capability for streaming movies, bonus content and more over the Internet. Many people have decided to use these devices, like a Roku player combined with Netflix instant streaming and online services like Hulu.com to eliminate the need for cable television service altogether.


      Extend Your Network over Your Electric Lines with Powerline Technology


      Powerline BridgeEven the best wireless home networks have places where the connection or signal isn't the best. And because of Murphy’s Law, you often need to connect devices in those areas, of course — so what to do? Powerline technology could very well be the answer.

      Powerline technology allows you to extend your wired Ethernet connection by transmitting the signal over your existing electrical wiring. It's a technology that's been around for a while, but it's only now gaining the stability and popularity needed to make it a mainstream solution.

      A powerline bridge consists of two adapters, one plugged into an outlet near your router, and one plugged into a power outlet in the location where you want network coverage. Powerline adapter starter kits generally come in pairs — with one adapter at each end of the connection. Once you’ve got an adapter attached to your router, you can add another powerline adapter to any plug in your house.



      These are just a few of the many ways you can customize your wireless network. We've covered the most popular, but the sky's the limit. Want to know more? Get detailed instructions in our Build a Wireless Home Network tutorial. But first, let’s take a closer look at the core of any home network: the router. 

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