Table: Home Wireless Checklist
If you want to take the plunge and install a wireless network in your home, here's what you'll need
FAST INTERNET ACCESS
Sure, it's nice to share a printer or retrieve files from other computers. But it's getting online from anywhere in your house that makes setting up a network worthwhile. For most people, this will mean high-speed cable or DSL service, costing about $50 to $60 per month plus $100 or so for a modem.
You'll need one for each PC. Internal cards for desktops cost about $50, and units that plug into a USB port are $100 or so. For laptops, credit-card-size PC cards cost roughly $100, while a built-in one goes for about $150 on a new machine.
If you only want to share an Internet connection--and don't need to swap files among computers--then a simple wireless access point is enough. They're easy to configure and run from about $150 to $200.
This is a combo access point and router, which lets computers in your network communicate with one another. They cost around $200. You can also buy a stand-alone router for less than $100 and combine it with an access point.