Step 3: Wireless Adapter
Now that you have the wireless network into place, you need to be able to connect to them with other devices. These devices thus need some sort of wireless adapter. Wireless adapters can take many forms:
Before wireless access became an essential feature of everyday life in the hitech world, computers were not outfitted with built-in wireless cards, something we now often take for granted. For these computers, the primary method of accessing wireless networks was through the use of external wireless adapters that could plug into available USB ports on the computer, sometimes referred to as a “dongle." Later on, specialized PC cards were developed, along with specialized slots in which they can be placed internally yet still be easily removable. Such pieces of hardware could interface with the computer and provide for an Internet connection, once certain software was installed. While this was something of a hassle, it was better than having no wireless!
Similarly, a wireless bridge may also be used to outfit devices previously only capable of wired connections so that they may work wirelessly within a certain standard. For instance, a wireless bridge for Bluetooth may be added to a printer.
Today, however, most computers are built with internal wireless adapters. Many other devices in today's world also have wireless capability, from printers to cell phones to even some refrigerators, and wifi is the most popular standard to put on them.