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Book:   Wireless Hacks
Subject:   Comprehensive and fun. Very interesting.
Date:   2007-10-04 11:28:29
From:   jdruin
Rating:  StarStarStarStarStar

This book is based on the hack series from O'Reilly so the book is broken into categorical chapters, each of which cover a wireless networking topic.

There are 7 broad chapters each which average about 12 hacks. The hacks vary greatly from composition and varying according to platform (Windows, Mac, Linux), difficulty, and expertise required. All hacks are covered well with diagrams, examples, explanations, and links for further reading.

One of the best items about the hacks is that they can be done at home to improve modest networks. In fact, most are designed to show a home or SOHO network owner "how to" improve networks of modest means. The chapter on homemade antennas is particuarly interesting. I was inspired to build my own out of duct work sheet metal, masking tape, and a coat hanger after reading "Pringles Can Waveguide" hack. The antenna actually worked which was the best part.

There are 100 hacks covered so everyone will find something of interest. For the most part, each hack is a separate chapter in itself so it is not neccesary to flip back and forth to find information. In general, they are written in instructional prose and are meant to teach you how to accomplish each hack.

Other chapters of interest cover wireless network security (many of which could just be labeled basic network security - wired or wireless), network discovery, and hardware hacks.

There are also 2 appendices covering wireless standards (the 802.1x's) and various hardware components that can be used for do-it-yourselfers.

This book is a very good value for network admins, hobbiests, and those looking to improve home or SOHO wireless networks.