Using a WLAN
With a WLAN device, you can access a wireless local area network (WLAN), which is composed of other
computers and accessories that are linked by a wireless router or a wireless access point.
The terms wireless router and wireless access point are often used interchangeably.
A home or small office WLAN typically uses a wireless router, which allows several wireless and
wired computers to share an Internet connection, a printer, and files without requiring additional
pieces of hardware or software.
A large-scale WLAN, such as a corporate or public WLAN, typically uses wireless access points
that can accommodate a large number of computers and accessories and can separate critical
To use the WLAN device, you must connect to a WLAN infrastructure (provided through a service
provider or a public or corporate network).
Setting up a WLAN
To set up a WLAN and connect to the Internet, you need the following equipment:
A broadband modem (either DSL or cable) (1) and high-speed Internet service purchased from an
Internet service provider (ISP)
A wireless router (purchased separately) (2)
Your HP MINI (3)
The illustration below shows an example of a wireless network installation that is connected to the
As your network grows, additional wireless and wired computers can be connected to the network to
access the Internet.
For help in setting up your WLAN, refer to the information provided by your router manufacturer or your
Protecting your WLAN
It is essential to understand that because the WLAN standard was designed with only limited security
capabilities—basically to foil casual eavesdropping rather than more powerful forms of attack—WLANs
are vulnerable to well-known and well-documented security weaknesses.
WLANs in public areas, or "hotspots," like coffee shops and airports, may not provide any security. New
technologies are being developed by wireless manufacturers and hotspot service providers that make
the public environment more secure and anonymous. If you are concerned about the security in a
hotspot, limit your network activities to noncritical e-mail and basic Internet surfing.
Connecting to a wireless network