Wireless networking is more popular than the ubiquitous iPod, and even more popular than the home telephone, according to a new study by the Wi-Fi Alliance.
In a study conducted with Kelton Research, the Alliance found that almost 80% of survey respondents said that they would rather give up their iPods rather than their home wireless local area networks. In comparison, only 21% chose Apple's high-tech music box over their wireless networks. Respondents chose Wi-Fi over home telephone service in virtually the same numbers, with suburban home users leading the trend.
Significantly, wireless networking has greatly expanded the definition of home office. Some 55% of respondents reported that they work from home 2-3 per week, but that doesn't mean that they are tied to the home-office desk. Wireless home-workers are taking advantage of un-tethered computing to work from the living room couch, kitchen table and in public places like cafes and libraries. Surprisingly, respondents between the ages of 40 and 64 were more likely than younger users to take the home office on the road.
The popularity of home wireless networking could be related to the ease of setting one up. The study found that, on average, users spent just over an hour to set up their networks.