Master Your Wi-Fi Network with Updated Take Control Book
It has been a dozen years since Apple debuted Wi-Fi networking with its AirPort-equipped iBook, and during that time Glenn Fleishman, TidBITS editor and Take Control author, has covered more of the Wi-Fi beat than nearly anyone else. But Glenn goes deeper than the news, and he is widely acknowledged to be among the world’s foremost experts on consumer-level Wi-Fi networking, having distilled his expertise into various Take Control books that have helped many thousands of readers over the years.
Glenn has now completed the second edition of his best-selling title, “Take Control of Your 802.11n AirPort Network,” bringing it up to date with the most current information available about Apple’s Wi-Fi networking gear and how to use it in current operating systems. The 234-page book is available now for $20.
In “Take Control of Your 802.11n AirPort Network, Second Edition”, Glenn provides in-depth advice for setting up Apple’s latest 802.11n Wi-Fi devices, including the AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme, and Time Capsule, and he describes the latest Wi-Fi features in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion — though he doesn’t forget the networking needs of those running 10.6 Snow Leopard and 10.5 Leopard.
Along with giving readers a conceptual boost up the Wi-Fi spectrum, Glenn explains how to handle AirPort-related tasks such as:
- Planning and configuring a multi-base station network
- Replacing an old base station with a new model
- Sharing USB disks and printers
- Getting started with a Time Capsule and Time Machine backups
- Making a Time Capsule archive/offsite backup
- Erasing a Time Capsule drive
- Setting your band and channel
- Running a guest network
- Configuring complex Internet addressing
- Connecting from Mac and Windows clients
- Securing your wireless network
- Sending media to a 2nd-generation Apple TV or AirPort Express
- Using AirPlay to stream media from one device to another
- Finding out which Macs work with Lion’s AirDrop
- Setting up wireless bridging
- Turning a Mac into an access point with software base station
- Using ad hoc wireless networking
- Solving problems with interference, conflicting channels, and more
- Understanding what your base station’s light is trying to tell you
Networking can often be among the most puzzling and confusing aspects of modern computing, but Glenn’s clear, friendly, and informative book dispels many Wi-Fi mysteries. Whether you have just one computer and a single AirPort base station, or multiple devices and access points scattered around your home or workplace, “Take Control of Your 802.11n AirPort Network, Second Edition” can make you a master of the digital airwaves.
If it is not in your book then quickly add it. The most important information to give about a WiFi router is to mount it as close to the ceiling as possible. The waves come out like an umbrella, so the higher it is the further the waves will travel. This was brought to my attention when we had Google Fiber installed. It made a huge difference.
That's not entirely accurate, but it's not far off. Apple designs its routers to produce signal in all directions. It's more like a round cushion of waves in which the AirPort sits in the middle. It's better to locate it so that obstructions aren't immediately around it—don't put it in a cabinet, but on top of a desk. However, it's not necessary to mount modern 802.11n devices to the ceiling, and Apple stopped providing mounting brackets when it introduced 802.11n routers in 2007.
The best advice (and noted in the book) is to try different locations with a router if you can't get good coverage from the location you've chosen.
I bought this book in the hope that it would help me understand WiFi networking. Unfortunately, I am disappointed. I'm a pretty good student and writer myself, but like most computer literature and manuals, the constant references to go/jump to another topic to explain a point being covered interrupts the narrative continuity, ending often in confusion and exasperation. I will continue with the struggle, but it takes time that I could better use elsewhere.
Thanks for the feedback. The book isn't a primer in Wi-Fi networking as such. There are introductory chapters that provide background, and a long section explaining spectrum in the context of how to make choices about what bands and channels to use.
But the idea of this title is to give you practical advice in setting up a network, often with multiple base stations; use the many included features, some of which require a bit of additional explanation (such as the overcomplicated file-sharing features in AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule); and help troubleshoot problems.
If you're trying to read about Wi-Fi in general, the best book is Matthew Gast's 802.11 Wireless Networks from O'Reilly and Associates. It's comprehensive (although very technical). (I wrote the foreword.)