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Wireless jacks are the "in" thing for networking.

While Wi-Fi is a convenient advance, installing a large wireless network can be costly. Large offices and older buildings require special care to extend the network to every cranny. Wi-Jacks are the latest hardware offering aimed at making Wi-Fi easier and cheaper for businesses. Manufacturers Aruba and Ortronics developed the product.

Wi-Jacks are Wi-Fi wall outlets that fit an access point into a standard data wall outlet (the kind you're familiar with for Ethernet use) so you avoid installing costly access points on the ceiling. Ortronics estimates a 65 to 75 percent savings over the legacy style of Wi-Fi installations. Wi-Jacks allow for more centralized network management and easier deployment. Models will be available with either 802.11a or 802.11b/g and with or without Ethernet connections.

Lower installation costs permit more of a grid approach to building out a wireless network-good news for larger networks, where getting adequate coverage is an issue. Small businesses will still be content with standard hardware. But if you're considering upgrading to wireless or moving into a new building, check into Wi-Jacks.

This story appears in the January 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »