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A wireless desktop computer can refer to a number of different computer setups and configurations, though it generally means that a computer is designed to have a minimal number of wires between components. The devices used with this type of setup are typically wireless, though it is unlikely that the entire setup can be wireless. Wires and cables still usually connect the computer to a power supply such as a wall outlet, and a wire may still be needed to connect a computer monitor and tower. A wireless desktop computer can also have wireless connectivity to other devices, such as printers and a network router.
The major feature of a wireless desktop computer is, as the name implies, a general lack of wires and physical connections between various devices and peripherals. While this can be as simple as a wireless Internet or network connection, it can also mean an overall reduction in wires throughout a computer system. This typically refers only to the external connections between different devices and a computer system. Within the tower or case of a wireless desktop computer, there are still typically a number of wires and cables connecting various internal components.
An elaborate wireless desktop computer can include numerous devices and peripherals that are all connected wirelessly. For example, someone can have a monitor, a mouse, and a keyboard that are all connected wirelessly, usually through several universal serial bus (USB) port dongles that receive wireless signals from the mouse and keyboard. The monitor itself may still be connected to the computer tower through a wire, however, though some desktop computer manufacturers produce computers that house the actual computer systems within the monitor, eliminating the need for a separate tower. This allows a wireless desktop computer to have only a single wire, which connects the monitor and computer to an electrical outlet or other power source.
The use of a wireless router or hub to create a wireless network can further enhance the features of a wireless desktop computer. A computer that is connected wirelessly to such a router can then access local area networks (LANs) or larger networks such as the Internet. Wireless printers and other peripherals can then be connected to that wireless network hub or router, allowing the wireless desktop computer to utilize those peripherals as well. This type of network can allow a media player device in one room to play files located on a computer in another room, which in turn can be sending documents to a printer in a different room.