Rule #3: It never sets up as easily as they say it does
This rule might be a general rule for anything related to computing in general, but I include it in case you think that Microsoft Windows XP has cracked the code on making installing a wireless network a painless experience.
With wireless networking, you'll still probably run into the usual suspects of outdated, corrupted, missing, or mismatched drivers, balky Windows installations, and cryptic, incomplete, or conflicting installation instructions. And don't get me started about the totally confused mess that manufacturers have made of marketing and educating users on wireless bridging and repeating products! Fortunately, we're here to help on that subject with the Wireless Bridging Need To Know and Setting up WDS Bridging / Repeating How To.
But you'll also find it useful to have some idea of the construction materials used in your home or small office, be willing to understand how high-frequency radio waves travel, and to be flexible as to where you install your wireless networking equipment.
Now that you understand the rules of the game, we'll next look at what your choices are for Wireless Networking technologies.