How much does it cost to connect?

Firstly the membership of $50 per year is not the cost for a connection, it is a membership fee for joining the association, without any guarantees other than your right to have a say how the group is run. Nevertheless, membership does allow you to get great discounts from suppliers off most Wireless LAN Equipment you need, which if your starting scratch you will save you more than the cost of membership. However, the cost of equipment does depend on a number of factors but as a rough guide from scratch with discounts around $350 for a full client system that allows the routing of 30 IP's in our local address space. Would looks like this: 1) Antenna - Directional Antenna with a gain of 19dbi or more. 2) Mast Pole mounted in a location that gives the antenna good LOS to an Access Point 3) Wireless Card with a minimum -80db@11Mbps Receive sensitivity and transmit power not exceeding +23 dBm (200 mW) 4) Pigtail cable which adapts Card socket to the Antenna Cable. 5) Host An Embedded CPU eg RouterBOARD 150 6) Waterproof enclosure mountable with cable glands. 7) Cat 5 cable run from the mast to inside your home and a power pack to supply it. However there are many systems above and below this cost. This depends greatly on your IT and hardware skills, your location from an Air-Stream Wireless Access Point and finally how elaborate your set-up. An example of the bottom end is that if you are near enough to an Air-Stream AP, any wireless 802.11b enabled device (eg a laptop, pda, mobile) can connect and use the entire network.