7 million+ US home have a wireless network

Consumers interested in untethering their computing devices are embracing in-home wireless networks. According to a newly released survey by the Consumer Electronics Association’s eBrain MarketResearch, 11 percent of online consumers – approximately 7 million U.S. homes – already have a wireless network, and 49 percent of non-owners are interested in installing a home wireless network.Shared high -speed Internet access, as well as the mobility associated with being cordless, top the features consumers value the most.

“Right now 83 percent of those consumers who have opted for the wireless network solution are satisfied with their networks. Another 12.4 million plan to disconnect their cords sometime in the next 12 months,” said Sean Wargo, CEA’s director of industry analysis. “Once consumers learn more about the benefits of wireless networks and how to meet security concerns to protect their privacy, I would expect a surge of interest in wireless networks and all forms of Wi-Fi applications.”

In the home, wireless networks allow for two or more computers to share a cable or DSL Internet connection, to swap files, and to use other hardware such as printers and scanners without being connected by a cord or even being in the same room. Wi-Fi or wireless fidelity refers to the original 802.11b specification for wireless LANS, but is now synonymous with any of the 802.11 wireless networking specifications.

According to Wargo, “One of the real concerns among consumers with and without wireless networks is in the area of network security. Despite overall satisfaction with their Wi-Fi networks, security was the area of least satisfaction for the in-home wireless network owners – 48 percent. Not surprising given 40 percent of them either are not sure how their network is protected or are not protected at all. Forty-eight percent of non-owners also cited security as a concern in considering a wireless network.

“However,” Wargo asserted, “helping consumers deal with the security concerns is a matter of education since network security can be greatly enhanced through protocols described in the user manuals of most wireless routers.”

About CEA Consumer Research/eBrain
Data cited in this release came from a report designed and formulated by eBrain Market Research. eBrain Market Research is a full-service market research consulting firm. It was started by the CEA Market Research Department in 1998. For a list of available reports and purchasing information, visit www.eBrain.org or send an e-mail request to info@ebrain.com

The report, Wireless Home Networks and Hotspots Study, was administered via Internet web form to an online sample of 1316 of U.S. adults during September 2003.

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