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Interoperability Tests of Draft 802.11n Routers 103

mikemuch writes "ExtremeTech has done interoperability testing of five wireless routers from Belkin, Buffalo, D-Link, and Netgear — along with their matched NICs. Results (summarized in a color-coded table) are very mixed, with several of the products not talking to one another at all. From the review: 'Netgear's RangeMax NEXT devices dominated in the throughput race, but interoperability was a mixed bag...Stick to a single brand and a single product line...Don't expect all of your existing clients to work with the new hardware. If some don't, you may have to pony up for some new wireless equipment. No one ever said early adoption was cheap.'"
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Interoperability Tests of Draft 802.11n Routers

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  • This is why (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Amouth ( 879122 ) on Friday September 08, 2006 @03:15PM (#16068713)
    This is why you wait for it to be a standard.. and not a draft.... anyone buying 802.11n stuff should realize that they are paying to be beta testers
    • Does anyone remember when we used to get a finished product on the shelves and you had to sign up to be a beta tester long before the product was released to the public?
      • by jo42 ( 227475 )
        They figgered out that making people pay for beta-level quality products is better for the corporate bottom line...
      • Nope, sorry. ...I do remember telling people not to buy 56k modems until the standard was finalized though...
        • by Amouth ( 879122 )
          yea.. v.90 and kflex... lucky that hey both got adopted but v.90 was the most wide spread.

          kflex tried to rush to market.. but i personaly think it was USR that made v.90 stick

          i miss USR.. they made great stuff till 3com bought them and then cut them down........
          • weren't there two competing 56K modem systems before V90 with V90 being the attempt to try and find a standard that both camps could upgrade thier firmware to?
            • by Ucklak ( 755284 )
              Yes there was.

              There was K56flex by Rockwell and X2 by USR. V90 was the finalized standard for 56K.

              IIRC, you had to dial a 56K modem bank that suported either.
          • kflex tried to rush to market.. but i personaly think it was USR that made v.90 stick

            Ironic, when only a couple generations of modems prior, it was US Robotics that rushed their proprietary HST modems to market rather than wait for the v.32 (and up) standards to be formalized.

            • Let's not forget about V.FC, and V.34.

              Oh how history repeats itself. "Firmware upgradable" my butt.

          • Re:This is why (Score:4, Informative)

            by rcw-work ( 30090 ) on Friday September 08, 2006 @04:09PM (#16069070)
            kflex tried to rush to market.. but i personaly think it was USR that made v.90 stick

            That's rewriting history. USR promoted X2 [wikipedia.org], Lucent/Rockwell promoted K56Flex [wikipedia.org]. There was no interoperability. A year or so later, with poor sales and no clear market leader, they both compromised with the v.90 standard. USR equipment sold after that point typically supported X2 and v.90, Lucent/Rockwell equipment sold after that point typically supported K56Flex and v.90.

            Sort of reminiscent of DVD+RW vs. DVD-RW, Bluray vs. HD-DVD, etc, etc. It seems that if you want everybody's product to follow a documented open standard, you should have the first implementation of it be done by an academic institution.

    • This is why you wait for it to be a standard.. and not a draft.... anyone buying 802.11n stuff should realize that they are paying to be beta testers

      Everything's a beta test! Even the Pet Rock was a beta test.
    • Most of this stuff isn't even based on a draft. A lot of the "Pre-N" gear came out before the first IEEE draft of the 802.11n document was even up for vote. Belkin's initial gear was released long before a draft of the IEEE document was ever available. Now they're claiming to be "draft 802.11n", whatever that means. ;)

      It's unlikely that any of this gear is actually going to be compatible with the 802.11n standard, which isn't due until early 2008. If you really need the speed it might be worth the inves
      • You guessed wrong - completely. If your motivation was to help people stay informed, you'll need to rethink your methods.

        Except for the Airgo, none of these are the Pre-N gear you heard about. They're all Draft-N. The Belkin product was the latest released of the group (you're thinking of Belkin's Pre-N product probably, not this one) The Airgo wanted to be 11n, but they lost the standards war, and now they make no reference to 11n at all.

        I'd say it's likely that all of these will conform to the eventual 11
    • Very True. Who wants to go shell out alot of money on a piece of gadgetry that might not work in a year or two.
  • Your basic components of draft 802.11n hardware are the same. At the heart of the 802.11n is multiple-input/multiple-output (MIMO) communication--using multiple radios simultaneously transmitting and receiving different signals to and from at least two radios on the client side to and from two or more on the access point.

    Instead of just adding more radio's, transmitters and receivers, when will we actually start seeing real innovation?

    As far as I'm concerned, 802.11g works fine for me!
    • by mnmn ( 145599 )
      The 11n is on many peoples radar including mine.

      We have two buildings interconnected at 1km using 802.11b connections. No other method is in this price range so I cannot goto dedicated lease lines or VPN through Internet or licensed spectrum radio.

      If I could get two or more 802.11n at its highest spec speed and load balance it (with directional antennae), I'm home. I know I could use 11g but even g speeds wont allow me to remove the citrix licenses, second domain controller etc, unless I use MANY g connecti
      • by Amouth ( 879122 )
        I am confused.. you can afford citrix license but not a leased line???
        • 'Afford' and 'want to pay for' are seperate concepts.
          • by Amouth ( 879122 )
            very true.. you might want to look into getting a commercial wireless link.. i think AirBand will set them up for a decent price.
        • by mnmn ( 145599 )
          No.

          100mbit connection through Bell is $3000 a month.
          And fiber was quoted to us as $50,000 CDN just for the installation.

          Our location is partly to blame.
      • Go ahead, use many connections. Highly-directional antennas should cut down on the interference enough to make it feasable.

        Although in your case, mated draft-n items might be the way to go. Just realize you are buying a temporary solution and the equipment may be obsolete when N comes out. Then again, so will g equipment.
        • by gregmac ( 629064 )

          Although in your case, mated draft-n items might be the way to go. Just realize you are buying a temporary solution and the equipment may be obsolete when N comes out. Then again, so will g equipment.

          Why? It's not like the existing gear will stop working once the standard comes out, or he needs to expand it (worst case, if he can't find something compatible with what he has, then he can set up a totally separate link - these are building to building links, it's not like you add new buildings everyday). Cha

          • I should have said depricated, not obsoleted like the old-band FM Radio [wikipedia.org]. Mea culpa.

            However, pre-N and g will soon join the ranks of a and b as protocols almost nobody wants.
          • Also, using draft-N offers a minor measure of additional security, if he goes with one of the less interoperable product lines.
      • I don't know what your scenario is like exactly, but wouldn't running a little bit of fiber be a *much* better solution than using flaky 802.11 or paying monthly for leased lines? It'll be more secure, much faster, and won't cost you money every month.
        • Buying up a 1km swath of the city between the two buildings to bury the fiber in might be a tad expensive though.
        • by mnmn ( 145599 )
          Fiber was quoted at $50,000 by Bell.

          We have more than 10 businesses between our sites. I tried this venue the first thing.
      • You would be much better off considering a carrier grade link designed for point to point applications as opposed to trying to use standard WiFi gear.

        A link from Orthogon Systems for example. You can run thesse links at speeds ranging from 21 to 300 Mbps on the unlicensed bands.

        These are much better systems in terms of reliability or throughput then you'll ever get with the current WiFi standards. They are a little costly ($10,000 - $20,000) but still significantly cheaper then fibre for point to point conn
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kesch ( 943326 )
      What do you count as innovation? I see two ways in which wireless can get better 1) more bandwith 2) more range. 802.11n adds more bandwith (and range too I think, I can't remember). If it's cheaper/easier to use 2 antennas in a MIMO setup instead of making one really expensive super antenna then why not do it?
    • these go to 11n!

    • Isn't 11n supposed to allow meshing? So instead of having to run a hard wire to each router, you only one to be wired, then you expand your range by plugging more in to an outlet. To me, that's innovation and could be the beginning of even more shared connections with friends & neighbors.
      • I thought "g" was supposed to allow meshing too. Heck, that's what I did with the Linksys WRT54G routers, I have set up WDS links to extend the range of a wireless network.
        • we tried this method and had little success, too many fumbled handoffs. Have you had much success ? A meshed worksite has been a HOLY GRAIL with my employer for quite some time. We've used a portable virtual-desktop shared terminal system for years waiting for a reliable and SECUREABLE wireless solution so the programmers could all flit about as is their nature....  :)
        • by chris234 ( 59958 )
          Meshing is covered by another 802.11 spec, I forget which offhand. It's not a part of a/b/g/n.... For that matter, WDS isn't really a mesh technology either, or at best a really crude version. It's biggest problem is that all the APs and client stations are on the same channel, so you can't really make a large "mesh".
      • by Bretai ( 2646 )
        802.11s is the mesh standard. The first draft should be available July 2007 with the final spec maybe a year later. 11n and 11g do not do mesh, unless you count setting up repeater APs to a single wired AP.

    • MIMO technology changes how information for multiple users is mapped to signals so that performance for everyone is increased. It's been a hot topic for quite a while now and a lot of brainpower went into it. Performancewise MIMO, the major updatee in 802.11n, should produce a 10 fold increase in maximum thoroughput and 8 fold increase in average thoroughput over 802.11g while increasing the range. How is that not innovation? I supposed you don't think all the work that goes into silicon processing to make
    • >Instead of just adding more radio's, transmitters and receivers, when will we actually start seeing real innovation?

      Err, MIMO isnt just adding more radios. Its pretty damn clever. Youre still only using one channel. Unlike 108mps channel-boding stuff.
  • ExtremeTech has done interoperability testing of five wireless routers from Belkin, Buffalo, D-Link, and Netgear -- along with their matched NICs. Results (summarized in a color-coded table) are very mixed, with several of the products not talking to one another at all.

    I'll say. Doing a quick-and-dirty measurement of the fitness of 802.11n for prime time by taking all the numbers in that table and averaging them, one comes up with the unappetizing figure of 30.9. I'll stick with my 802.11G, thanks....at l

    • What i found interesting was that Belkin's card seems to connect better to D-Link's router than to its own.
    • by Bretai ( 2646 )
      at least I know it'll work pretty much the same wherever I go.

      Yeah, I hate it when my wireless card runs faster than I was expecting ;-)

      The Marvell gear appears to have issues at the moment, and the Airgo shouldn't even be in the comparison, since that's not 11n. What we don't see is how the new gear works with existing 11a/g access points and adapters. I'd say the Belkin and D-Link cards would make fine replacements for your 11g dinosaur.

      By my math, if all I use is the gigabit rangemax, then my average is
  • A warning against buying technology that is not yet proven and standardised?
  • Dial N for $$$ (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kesch ( 943326 ) on Friday September 08, 2006 @03:24PM (#16068770)
    I don't even know why the notorius early adopter crowd would buy draft-n wireless equipment. When buying a laptop recently I had the choice to get a draft-n wireless card, however some quick googling showed me that draft-n devices universally underperform. The biggest thing though is that there is no garuntee whatsoever that these cards will work with n networks (they don't even play well with other draft-n devices) when they finalize the spec. I don't see any reason to buy into draft-n except that it contain 85% percent more buzzwords than leading competitors.
    • by MogNuts ( 97512 )
      Underpeform is an understatement. I bought a brand new Linksys router with that fancy MIMO technology and the exactly the same corresponding PC Card. Yea it's fast, when it works. It only connects 75% percent of the time. And the funniest part is that 100% of the time it is unable to connect right next to the router (but can connect when i have 25% signal). Go figure.
  • by loose electron ( 699583 ) on Friday September 08, 2006 @03:24PM (#16068776) Homepage
    That's the great thing about "standards" there are so many to pick from!!!

    Funny thing, the data thruput bottleneck is generally not at the 802.11X point anymore.

    802.11"X" - hm, that has a nice ring to it.... Sorta sounds like upgrading my 80286 to a 386, to a 486, to a...

    Seriously the 802.11 interface will shake out.

    Stay tuned for 802.16A WiMax!

  • Yeah, especially when you buy stuff that isn't based on a ratified spec and then complain about interoperability. Smart folks!
  • by frovingslosh ( 582462 ) on Friday September 08, 2006 @03:32PM (#16068818)
    What amazes me is that by far the majority of the public who think they have to have the fastest technology out there will be using it exclusively to access the Internet with their 1.5 meg DSL or 3 to 5 meg cable connection, a situation where they will see no improvemnent over existing, compatablle, and less costly 802-11g technology, in may cases that they already own. Sure, high speed wireless access is nice if you frequently move huge files across the wireless link between local machines, but in my experience talking to users who have bought into high speed, the average smuck that just has to have the newest fastest technology has no clue where his bottleneck is.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by carl67lp ( 465321 )
      I've had this discussion with my father-in-law many times. I've even used the straw/pipe analogy: Your Internet is a 2" pipe, and your wireless is a 12" pipe. Doesn't matter how big you make the wireless pipe, it will always have more than enough room to slide the Internet pipe through it.

      So indeed, there are plenty of people--not necessarily all schmucks (my father-in-law is, in general, a very smart man)--who think that the faster the wireless is, the faster their Internet connection will be.
      • by poot_rootbeer ( 188613 ) on Friday September 08, 2006 @04:11PM (#16069080)
        I've had this discussion with my father-in-law many times. I've even used the straw/pipe analogy: Your Internet is a 2" pipe, and your wireless is a 12" pipe. Doesn't matter how big you make the wireless pipe, it will always have more than enough room to slide the Internet pipe through it.

        What's it like being married to Sen. Ted Stevens' child?
      • My dad is very mechanically resourceful in many ways, a lot more than I am, but he does not understand technology.

        He complains about the speed of the computer when he's really complaining about the speed of the internet connection. Granted, his computer is slow by today's standard but IMO, still very useful. I've had to tell him several times that buying a faster computer won't make web pages load faster.
      • I've had this discussion with my girlfriend many times before: when we want to stream HD content across the wireless network reliably from one room to another to support our video on demand system, we'll have to upgrade our wireless router.

        Oh, you mean people have a need for bandwidth on the LAN, even though they're only connected to a 10Mb internet connection?
    • by Surt ( 22457 )
      They may find that it makes a practical difference, though ... due to the latency differences in packet handling and response, tcp/ip may actually yield significantly better throughput on 802.11n. I can get about 20kilobyte/second transfer rate (from roughly 130 to 150 kilobytes/sec) using a wired port (100 megabit ethernet) on my router vs the wireless (54 megabit 802.11g from <20 ft).
      • Perhaps, but until someone can show real data that confirms that this is due to the speed of the connection, and not just due to wired ethernet's much lower overhead than wireless, I'm not convinced that any wireless speed "improvements" over 802.11g really affect anything when connecting to the Internet on normal "high speed" services".
    • by MtlDty ( 711230 )
      I bought a pre-n router, and its not because I'm 'clueless' about bottlenecks. There is a major USP to most of the pre-n gear, and its range.

      With my old .11b router I could get a decent signal at most points around the house, but as soon as I took the laptop outdoors I was in trouble. I basically had to huddle near the wall and hope the signal didnt drop.

      I passed the .11b router onto a friend and bought a belkin pre-n router and was astonished at the range. I can get great signals outside now, and actua
  • pre n no thank you. (Score:3, Informative)

    by atarione ( 601740 ) on Friday September 08, 2006 @03:32PM (#16068822)
    http://www.tgdaily.com/2006/08/30/opinion_wifi_all iance/ [tgdaily.com]
    The cease-fire agreement included the "Draft 1.0" of the standard that allowed manufacturers of consumer WLAN gear to spawn the current crop of "draft 802.11n" products. These half-baked, rushed-to-market products are buggy and interfere with legacy 802.11b/g WLANs. They also, with the rare exception, fail to crack the magic 100 Mbps mark under best-case conditions and mostly lack the gigabit Ethernet switches that should go hand-in-hand with products that prominently display speeds in the hundreds of Mbps on their product boxes.


    until 802.11n routers can play nicely with other wireless networks and not interfere with 802.11b/g WLANS...and can offere some actual performance benifit I fail to see any reason to have anything to do with 802.11n (pre n)
    • by MojoStan ( 776183 ) on Friday September 08, 2006 @05:43PM (#16069565)
      until 802.11n routers can play nicely with other wireless networks and not interfere with 802.11b/g WLANS...

      The conclusion to Anandtech's review on "draft 802.11n" routers [anandtech.com] showed just how bad these products can interfere with existing 802.11b/g networks. It's pretty freakin' bad (bold emphasis mine):

      In our preliminary mixed mode testing we experienced the "bad neighbor" effect several times. Not only with our own internal 802.11g network but also visits from actual neighbors who were upset with having to constantly reboot their systems during our testing phase. As we stated earlier, the current 802.11n Draft 1.0 products utilize channel bonding to combine two 20MHz channels into a one wide 40MHz channel. Without proper fall-back techniques, this type of channel bonding can basically take over the entire 2.4GHz band that these products utilize. While the current 802.11n draft states that routers should not interfere with other networks in the area there are not any specifics as to how this will occur. At this time it is left up to the individual manufacturers to determine a "good neighbor" policy.
      So even if you can get good 802.11n performance now, you'd probably be an arsehole to your neighbors (literally crashing their wireless networks). I hope the sellers of "draft n" products include an appropriate warning on their products for those who aren't arseholes.
  • You buy these products knowing that there is no standard - each vendor has there own implementation. So if I was going to buy a proprietary technology it would only make sense to buy the same product from the same vendor. The fact that most of them do work with each other, at least at some level, is a bonus.

    All that I really would expect compatibility-wise would be complete interoptibility between b and g standards, so if I chose, I could still use either my g adaptors with the Pre-N router, or vice ver
  • by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Friday September 08, 2006 @03:47PM (#16068934)
    Sure, your access point only works with one brand of hardware, that just makes it harder for people to steal your precious bandwidth!
  • by postbigbang ( 761081 ) on Friday September 08, 2006 @03:48PM (#16068941)
    Next summer, the first standards-compliant firmware will arrive. A year later, that firmware will have been debugged and protected.

    By then, WPA-PSK will have been handily cracked.

    So buy now, if you need the speed, and hang on to your 802.11a/b/g card just in case you have to leave your 802.11n captive-vendor AP behind for a while.

    And remember: gross payload might be 108mb, but actual max next-hop throughput is on the order of about 3.2megabytes/sec., using bsd ftp's number as a guide with puts and gets, on a clean GBE switch with no other users or interference or other obstructions.
    • Next summer, the first standards-compliant firmware will arrive. A year later, that firmware will have been debugged and protected.
      you just have to hope to hell that 1: your device can actually handle the final spec and 2: they actually bother to do so.
      • It just takes time and known bugs. Look at the pre-release of 802.11g stuff, and how awful it was. It took about a yr AFTER the approved draft for things to settle down. Now you can use a b/g chipset from about anybody about anywhere.

        MIMO is silly, and an interim patch until someone figures out decent and legal channel bonding, etc.

        • sure but if you buy now there is no gaurantee that your devices will be upgradeable to meet the final spec.
    • WPA-PSK has been cracked for some time now ... maybe you meant WPA2?
      Even that has some well analyzed flaws, though I'm not aware of any freeware tools for hacking it.
      • I haven't found any FOSS or other tools for WPA-PSK cracking. I must be looking in the wrong places.

        Proxy authentication with temporal keys might be good this week. I wonder what's good next week.
        • Here's some light reading [google.com] for you.

          Basically, you can offline-brute-force TKIP fairly quickly, on the order of a few hundred guesses per second. Not nearly enough for a good key but plenty fast to crack a dictionary word.

          If you "pre-hash" a dictionary, you can test a given connection in less than a minute. If the passphrase is in your prehashed dictionary, you 0wn it. If not, then you know it's not a totally lame passphrase.

          Here's what Wikipedia has to say about WPA [wikipedia.org] TKIP passphrases:
          "Security is strengthe
    • Next summer, the first standards-compliant firmware will arrive. A year later, that firmware will have been debugged and protected.

      Nope, hate to break it to you but very little in existing 802.11n devices is software defined. Existing devices will mostly liklely not be firmware upgradable to the final standard, so you will be stuck with a device that is incompatable, underperforming, and will completely fuck up surrounding 802.11g/b networks. No thanks.

      By then, WPA-PSK will have been handily cracked.

      Already
    • 11n raw data rate is 140 to 300Mbps for this generation. The 103Mbps measured in the test was actual TCP throughput.

  • What kind of machine is it? Does it have enough flash/RAM? What about (undocumented) serial ports?

    You gotta realize that there will be updates in the Pre-N spec, as it is adopted. I would expect that the range of manunfacturers would produce a firmware upgrade on some of these units. But will the hardware work for the full spec? Is it robust enough a device?
  • ... to support the final standard? Don't buy a product that isn't guaranteed to be upgradable to the final standard spec for free.
  • by engine matrix ( 553187 ) <clint AT enginematrix DOT com> on Friday September 08, 2006 @04:49PM (#16069301) Homepage
    Everyone seems to be criticizing people for buying draft wireless equipment. I bought the D-Link RangeBooster N for my home laptop (which never leaves the table) because I was tired of my neighbors G routers constantly dropping my connection.

    I've never been happier. The speed is extremely fast, the signal is strong, and best of all my connection never drops. When I get home my SSH sessions are still logged in... that's a first. It's also a great router too with decent QoS.

    I'm totally happy to be a beta tester if it means I'm flying solo in the frequency spectrum for a year or so.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by finkployd ( 12902 ) *
      I am sure they are happy also. Your crappy, pre-standard N card likely screws up their g network. Good neighbor :(

      http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=2824&p=9 [anandtech.com]

      Finkployd
      • Do I care? No. Their crappy 2wire AP's have been dropping my connection for over a year. At least I'm not running fakeap or something.

        Wireless access is an arms race. There are many people with the speedbooster G technology that totally causes havoc to normal G users like me. Is that speedbooster technology an official standard? Being a "good neighbor" may gaurantee that you get mediocre connectivity.
    • by Guppy06 ( 410832 )
      "I bought the D-Link RangeBooster N for my home laptop (which never leaves the table) because I was tired of my neighbors G routers constantly dropping my connection."

      That will solve little, as n and g both use the same frequency range. Between you and your neighbors, it's simply a contest of who's putting out the stronger signal, and you're still all screwed when somebody decides to microwave something.

      A cheaper solution would have to simply move to a different channel, or leave the b/g/n/noise spectrum e
  • Santa Rosa (Intel) (Score:4, Informative)

    by Chowser ( 888973 ) on Friday September 08, 2006 @05:31PM (#16069512)
    I was just reading something interesting as well. Intel plans on releasing the next platform chip Santa Rosa before the final standard. Santa Rosa will supposedly have the new 802.11n centrino technology. Check out the news story here http://news.com.com/2061-10791_3-6110311.html [com.com]
  • by Hamster Lover ( 558288 ) * on Friday September 08, 2006 @06:01PM (#16069627) Journal
    If memory serves, networking gear manufacturers did the same thing with 802.11g by releasing "802.11g ready" routers and wireless network cards before the standard was even finalized. I remember this because I bought a "g ready" Linksys wirelss card that worked with my 802.11b router, but never worked with the D-Link "true" 802.11g router I upgraded to, so I tossed the card and had to buy another.

    Isn't this a lesson we should have learned by now?
    • Isn't this a lesson we should have learned by now?

      They learned the lesson all right, but it wasn't the lesson you wanted. Chip and system vendors learned that products based on draft standards make money, especially if you release yours first. So for every future version of 802.11 there will be a race to the bottom to ship draft hardware as early as possible.
      • Get range over 2km and you won't need any more standards, people will start sharing more and try and find some way to protect their data (piped data through a trusted intermediary? Hello big big big money!)

        Anyway...
    • so I tossed the card and had to buy another.

      Isn't this a lesson we should have learned by now?

      Interoperability is highly desirable, but it isn't the be-all-end-all.

      If, for whatever reason, I need more wireless bandwidth than 802.11a/g offers RIGHT NOW, I'm going to buy a draft MIMO device, period.

      Sometimes, you can't wait 2+ years, for the standard to be finalized.

      Most users shouldn't buy-in, but there are lots of reasons someone might need to.

  • Firmware fixes? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Junior J. Junior III ( 192702 ) on Friday September 08, 2006 @07:14PM (#16069889) Homepage
    How many of these problems can be fixed by firmware patches once the N standard is finally finalized?
  • Looks like we'll just have to wait for apple to come out with a solution so people start using it.
  • Why is it taking them so long to ratify this standard? Packets seem to go in one end and come out the other (Grin).

    They have the G and B specs and those are quite good, I understand there are currently problems involving airwave sharing but if that is the only consideration why did we get the other three standards?

    Also what happened to 802.11i?

    Maybe I'm being paranoid but is it possible the standard is being delayed for something like Vista or Intels new chipset? Something to package into new machines
  • Where did 802.11a go? Why does it seem nobody is selling it any more?
    • by Bretai ( 2646 )
      Where did 802.11a go? Why does it seem nobody is selling it any more?

      80% of new client cards are 11a capable. Even the MacBooks have it, although they don't tell you. The problem seems to be AP manufacturers cut corners to make the cheapest router and saving a few bucks by going 11g-only is part of the deal. When they do get around to selling A/G APs, they charge double, because they figure you need 11a if you go out of your way to buy it. A high density wifi area could knock 11n down to 11g rates, or worse
  • I have had many connectivity problems since this was installed. My response has been to turn the power on my WRT54GS all the way up (third-party firmware), and lock-in to 802.11b mode. 802.11b is plenty fast enough for the only reason I use it, internet, and maybe the higher power level blasts my neighbor off from time to time.
  • Pre-N is mainly a marketing game. How many of those in the general public is knowledgeable enough to know what "Pre-N" really means? And who cares when it "is" faster and still compatible with 11b/g?

    The only goal of the big boys is to win the largest chunk of the market share - better win today, or else there is no tomorrow.
    ---
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