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  • 802.11 G, B or A?

    Just polling the masses. I'm in the market for a new office wireless network. I hear unfavorable stuff about the state of 802.11g, although it seems like things are close to being right.

    Is 802.11b still the way to go? Who makes the best gear for this stuff?

    Also, what kind of range can I realistically expect in a two-story office space totalling around 1400 square feet?

    I own a Linksys Etherfast 1 port router and a 10/100 8 port workgroup switch in my current location, but I'm moving and running cables all over the place for what will be something like 10 computers just isn't in the cards for me.

    So, can I still use my trusty old router and just add an access point for all the wireless connections?

    Thanks for the insights!
    Eric Darling
    eThree Media
    http://www.ethreemedia.com

  • #2
    Re: 802.11 G, B or A?

    I just set up an 802.11B wireless network at home. I looked into 802.11g, but kept hearing too many negatives - not quite ready for primetime, although once the spec gets finalized, it seems like the best of both worlds.

    For now, the 11mbps of 802.11B is certainly suitable for things like wireless internet access, email and access to most standard network resources and files. I might be a bit slow for working with large video/graphics files though - when compared with 100mb ethernet.

    As far as range goes, it's pretty darn good. Tons better than the other wireless options. I've maintained good signal strength over an area quite a bit larger than 1400 sq ft. Of course, the biggest factor is the construction material. Some things like brick might cause a problem. Going through floors hasn't been a problem for me.

    You can opt for an access point and connect into your existing switch/hub - or do what I did and just replace all that with an all-in-one unit. I ended up getting the Microsoft Wireless Base Station (MN-500) for a variety of reasons (cost being among them) and a couple of their notebook adapters. In any case, I'd recommend buying all of your equipment from the same manufacturer to minimize any setup problems/incompatibilites.

    Works for me. Your mileage may vary. etc etc.

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    • #3
      Re: 802.11 G, B or A?

      Yeah, I'm holding off on 802.11g, at least for now. I just wish I didn't have to plunk down the cash for so many computers to get hooked up with soon-to-be-outdated gear. I've added the absolutely insane prospect of 2 Mac G4s into the mix. Airport cards for those guys, since they are too vintage for the new Airport Extreme, unfotunately. I am told that as long as my access point is Wi-Fi certified, I'm in good shape, and the radios will all talk.

      Your insights are much appreciated, Colin. I've got to cut the time of getting this new network running down to size, and 802.11b sounds like the best bet for now.
      Eric Darling
      eThree Media
      http://www.ethreemedia.com

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      • #4
        Re: 802.11 G, B or A?

        How can I network my Newton with my Sinclair? Once I figure that out I can get started on that world domination thingy.

        Corey Milner
        Creative Director, Indigo Rose Software

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        • #5
          Re: 802.11 G, B or A?

          I went with the 802.11b for my home network too. I actually got a Belkin all in one router, switch combo. Was really simple to set up. Range is kinda weird ... Seems to depend a lot on the router and the type of card your using. My d-link pcmcia card doesn't have near the range of the Belkin one.

          Construction seems to play a role too in that my router is on the 2nd story and I can get a signal fine in my basement but not on parts of the first story ???

          Everything I've read about G says it's not ready yet cause it isn't a standard. 11MB is plenty fast for most things I do any way.

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          • #6
            Well, here goes security protocol. (grin)

            However, I have a Netgear MR814 (version 1) with latest firmware updates and a Netgear 401 wireless PC card. The MR814 is a 802.11b which I get around 2mb/sec. transfer across my network of two desktops and one laptop.

            This router is a big seller and I see why. I never had setup a wireless network before and this took under 15 minutes to set up and have properly running for all three machines!

            The web interface is excellent (lots of useful information and options to use/edit).

            It is a 'stand up' unit so it takes up less space too!

            I recommend this router (and PC card)!

            ps. I have yet had to forward an I.P.
            Intrigued

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            • #7
              Wow - it's been a year since I started that thread... A lot HAS changed. I did go with a Linksys Wireless G AP, and have since upgraded the network switch to 16 ports.

              All has been smooth sailing since the install, for the most part. Even the Macs running Airport cards see the AP and connect with very strong signals - through a brick wall, no less.
              Eric Darling
              eThree Media
              http://www.ethreemedia.com

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              • #8
                D'oh! A year!

                I see it must have got 'bumped' up and I just jumped on the bandwagon.

                Better brick that steel/tin!

                Glad it is working out.

                We just put in (not my residence, work) a new 3COM 24 port SuperStack 3 switch. Nice unit.

                I think we have a 12 port 3COM SuperStack 2 switch for backup or sale still.
                Intrigued

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                • #9
                  G all the way!

                  Purchased a Netgear WGT624 a few weeks ago. Set up not a problem as an access point. I have the WG511T for my laptop and a pci WG311T for a pc. Running on average 80mbps anywhere around the house. With latest flash they have up to WEP 156bit encryption. I am running 128bit and mac address only. I have a RO318 as my primary router/firewall. Check out netgear if you can.

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                  • #10
                    Watched a CBC program on "Warchalkers" last week, you can watch it here if you like:

                    http://www.cbc.ca/consumers/market/f...e/warchalking/

                    Keep your eyes in your fries. :o

                    Corey Milner
                    Creative Director, Indigo Rose Software

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                    • #11
                      About a year ago I purchased a Linksys WAP11 for my one laptop. The linksys died last Nov. I have no idea why I just cant get it to do anything. So for x-mas the little lady went to the Apple store here in town and picked up the Apple Airport Extreme for me. Talk about an improvement!!

                      I had my linksys wireless hub in the computer room, I went into the backyard on the patio (which is right by the house) and I was showing a poor connection. At times I had to pick up my laptop and wave it in the air like I was trying to set it free to get it to load a web page. With the airport extreme I went into the back yard in the furthest corner and I was at a good connection. I have sence added an antenna and now I can go to the neighbors house and get an excellent conncetion. The airport is based off of the 802.11g which is what my Powerbook is, and my Windows laptop is the 802.11b and that works fine no problem. I have noticed that the Powerbook can download/upload faster every time. Because it is an Apple or the 802.11g? I am not sure. But I'll take it!

                      Just a funny note is that if you are at my house and open your laptop and have it search for connections you will find on the average of 25. Only one is mine. I have 24 neighbors who are also on wireless. Only 5 of us have ours encrypted.

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                      • #12
                        WOW, that's spooky.

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                        • #13
                          Corey, I think my neighbors need to watch the program.

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                          • #14
                            My understanding of this issue is that your neighborhood scenario is fairly typical right now. Cringe, shiver, crawl... Mind you, what am I cringing about? Oh yeah that's right, the wireless, cringe, crawl, shrivel...

                            Well look at it this way, it's a great time to be alive. Pioneer days. Once *the man* figures out how to crush all these little anomalies the world will be a boring place. Like George Carlin says, "C'MON! Take a chance once in a while would you?"

                            Corey Milner
                            Creative Director, Indigo Rose Software

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