Many people in higher education have been computing for years, including faculty, staff, and students. Everyone has expectations of what they want and need on campus and that includes access anywhere and anytime to e-mail, data, and other electronic materials and documents accessible by computer only. As Cossey (2005) writes, “wireless technology has the potential to be a valuable enabler.” Wireless technology allows users to go mobile or without wires and to communicate with others and send data using mobile phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), laptops, or handheld games. Typically, this wireless communication involves using radio waves or infrared waves to transport signals instead of cables.
Key Terms in this Chapter
EDUCAUSE: A nonprofit organization whose charge is to progress higher education by advancing the intellectual use of information technology.
IEEE: The International Electrical and Electronics Engineers are a nonprofit group that produces standards for Ethernet and wireless networking, telecommunications, nanotechnology, and other power and energy areas throughout the globe.
WPA: Wi-Fi Protected Access is a security protocol that is an improvement upon WEP. WPA uses improved data encryption and user authentication standards.
Bluetooth: A short-ranged radio technology that allows devices (computers, mobile phones, headsets, PDAs, remotes, etc.) to communicate over the 2.4 GHz band.
WEP: Wired Equivalency Privacy is a security protocol for wireless LANS defined by the IEEE 802.11 standards. WEP is offered in both 40-bit and 128-bit security but both can be cracked fairly easily.
802.11: A specification developed by the IEEE for wireless LAN technology to determine the interface between wireless clients and/or a client and a base station. *802.11a: up to 54 Mbps in the 5 GHz band *802.11b: up to 11 Mbps in the 2.4 GHz band *802.11g: up to 54 Mbps in the 2.4 GHz band * 802.11n: up to108 Mbps in the 2.4 GHz band and up to twice the range of both the b and g protocols. * These speeds are all theoretical and based on best-case scenarios. Typically these products run at much slower speeds, usually half these rates or less .