What Does Wireless-Ready Mean?by Harrison Pennybaker
The days when networking required several external devices and, perhaps, an in-home visit from a technician are over. Many machines such as computers, printers, and even home theater systems now come wireless ready, they require no extra equipment to access a wireless network apart from the network itself.
If a machine is wireless ready, it comes equipped with the devices required for it to access a wireless network. Once upon a time devices required a wired connection to a modem or router to access a network; or, if a wireless network was available, an external device such as a network card was needed. Now, the mechanisms required to connect to a network are often built into the machine itself, they are ready to connect right out of the box.
It's easy to tell if your machine is wireless ready, especially if you've purchased it new. Most products feature packaging or decals stating whether or not they are wireless ready. If not, the product manual will say so. If no mention is made of the product being wireless ready, it probably isn't and further hardware is required before connecting to a network.
If your computer, printer or other device isn't wireless ready, you'll need to either plug it in directly to a modem or router, or you'll need to buy a wireless card that plugs into your machine. This device may be connected externally (such as through a universal serial bus (USB) port) or internally (which will need to be installed by a technician).
- wireless home network image by jaddingt from Fotolia.com