Need some advice on wireless devices...

I'm looking for the fastest wireless routers that...

1) are the fastest 2) will maintain the same speed with mixed matched network cards that support that speed. 3) supports WDS that won't chop up the speed as it retransmits 4) standard security stuff... WEP (or what is common now a days) 5) supports MAC filtering

At the moment the three manufacturers that come to mind are LinkSys, NetGear, and D-Link.

Currently, I have three LinkSys routers WRT54Gs all upgraded with the Alchemy (sp?) firmware for the WDS support. Works great, but, it's at 54mb and the network speed gets chopped in half of what it should be. I can live with it if I have to but if there are newer devices out there that will get me what I'm after I will definitely upgrade.


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How fast do you want to go? How many Mbits/sec? TCP or UDP? I assume you want 2.4GHz 802.11b/g.

Well, that's easy. Just set the access point to a fixed speed instead of the usual "auto" which adjusts the speed for best error rate. Of course with a fixed speed, the error rate will go up and down.

Sorry. That's not going to happen. WDS is a half duplex repeater. It can only transmit and receive one at a time. Because of this limitation, the maximum WDS thruput is 1/2 of the transfer speed, which is roughly 1/2 of the connection speed. Actually, this is the best case as mutual interference and timing issues can cause additional slow downs.

BARF. WEP is old and insecure. You should be using WPA or WPA2.

Waste of time and effort. MAC addresses are easily spoofed and offer little in the way of real security.

Ok, you also want cheap. Got a price limit?

That's the way it works. Transfer speed (i.e. copying a file) is about half the wireless connection speed. WDS cuts that in half again.

How fast do you want to go? Is WDS really required or can your run CAT5 to the various access points? What are you doing that requires such speed?

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

Not quite sure? What's the fastest available wireless available today?

I'll have to look closer at this on all the routers. I assume the setting would need to be same on all three routers that I currently have?

This is not good news. I understand, but I was hoping by now someone out there would have had a better solution.

That's how old my routers are... they only support two versions of WEP...

Cheap? Price limit? Not necessarily. If it is worth the cost then I'd be willing to bite the bullet. These three manufacturers came to mind. Are there others out there? I just learned today of another "Buffalo" from this group. As far as cost... at the moment I'm not thinking dollar amounts, if the hardware will get what I want then I'll weigh the cost at that time.

As fast as I can get with wireless. I'm getting back into development and will be running several VMWare servers through the LAN on my laptop. Because of the size of the VMWare files storing them on my laptop would not be feasible and I'd hate to swap them on and off as needed to. In my old home I personally ran CAT5 throughout the house so the whole house was hard wired (it was nice!). I'm now living in a 2 story 4000sq ft home, wiring the home could be done but not easily, it would be a major project and not sure I'm willing just yet to under go it. I'd rather not use WDS but at the moment and the size of my home that's my only current option.

With the laptop I like the idea that I can be anywhere in my home and be both on the LAN and internet, I'm just getting frustrated with the through put and bandwidth being chopped.

Hey Jeff... side note... I like your domain name below "", been in the industry now for just about 25 years and self taught everything.

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"AJM" hath wroth:

Gig-E wireless. 1.25Mbits/sec thruput.

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don't want to know the price.

The reason I asked is that it's YOU that has the applications requirement. I was hoping for some numbers. When you get beyond commodity 802.11g speeds, both the technology and the price escalate rapidly. If I had a clue what you're trying to accomplish and why you need the speed, it might be possible to offer a more practical suggestion. For example, a mess of wireless clients sharing an internet connection don't need to go any faster than the internet connection as the DSL/cable/satellite limits the speed, not the wireless. However, if you're running a wireless game network, speed is everything.

Nope. You can have each one fixed to a different speed. The client radios adjust to the speed of the access point they connect with.

Better than WDS? Sure, use two radios back to back on different channels. That eliminates the requirement for half duplex and allows full duplex operation. I have a repeater running in the tree tops arranged that way. There's no 50% reduction in speed through the repeater. However, there's still a reduction in speed due to timing problems. My guess(tm) is about 20%. Another catch is that such a two radio system hogs too many channels. There are "dual radio" wireless vendors, mostly found in the mesh networks area.

Well, if you have something to protect, or suspect you might be attacked, then upgrade before the inevitable disaster, not afterwards.

Look at wireless offerings by Cisco, Netscreen, 3com, and Sonicwall. They're considerably more expensive, but generally worth the price. However, none of these vendors care about speed. It's security and reliability that their business customers want. Speed is whatever the technology will bear. If speed is an issue, look into the various MIMO offerings. (That's MIMO using Airgo chips, not beam forming).

Ok, the network is local and you're doing local file transfers. Therefore, speed is important, but not critical.

Compromise. Run additional access points to get coverage to the various parts of the house, but use CAT5 for the backhaul to the main router. That won't require wiring the entire house, just the backhauls.

WDS is its own worst enemy because it all runs on one channel. My favorite demonstration is to setup a WDS network in a single enclosed room. The mutual interference makes the system almost unusable. It works much better when only the WDS bridges can hear each other.

Allow me to offer some general advice. Speed and range are inversely related. If you want speed, you don't go very far. You can tinker with the antenna patterns and gains to improve the situation, but there are limits to what can be accomplished. High speeds also implies susceptibility to interference. It doesn't take much "noise" to force an access point to slow down from the mythical 108Mbits/sec to something slower. High speeds also imply that inter-symbol interference from reflections and timing problems become more pronounced. None of these are fatal, but all of them conspire to make high speed connections rather unreliable.

The current best of the breed are the various MIMO implementations. I'm partial to the Airgo chipset products. They don't really go much faster than conventional 802.11g. What the offer is much better tolerance to reflections, interference, and multipath. What you'll notice is that you really do have a more reliable connection at generally higher speeds. Not the fastest available, but certainly the most stable and reliable. (Retransmissions are a common cause of apparent slowdowns).

I found an article that compares MIMO with beam forming wireless routers with some benchmark tests. Of course, I can't find it now. Maybe later.

Well, I have a sheepskin signed by Ronald Reagan (when he was Governor of Calif). The motto at Cal Poly, Pomona was "Learn by Doing", which I immediately butchered into "Learn By Destroying". Most everything else, I learned the hard way. You don't really know the subject until you actually work with it. Learning tends to be greatly accelerated immediately after breaking something important. Incidentally, that's why tech support tends to be so lousy; they don't get their hands dirty working with the stuff.

Good luck.

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Jeff Liebermann

Jeff Liebermann hath wroth:


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Jeff Liebermann

Actually, I do want to know the price... I've been searching the net and haven't been able to find it.... yet :)..... Is this more of a commercial solution rather than a home network solution?

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On Wed, 21 Jun 2006 18:01:49 -0700, "AJM" wrote in :


Please trim your posts down to the relevant part. Thanks.

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John Navas

It's very much a commercial solution. No home user needs it or can justify the expense. 60GHz is an unlicensed band. It is usually used as a backup for either a fiber link or FSO (free space optical) link. When the fog rolls in, 60GHz is unaffected.

Try searching eBay for "gigalink". It returns a variety of models ranging from $10,760 each to $20,800 depending on features and options. MSRP is usually about 25% more. You need two to make a point to point link. If you want really fast, you pay $$$$.

Try digging around the Winncom site for high end wireless goodies.

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can sometimes find the stuff used for much less than new. If you really want orders of magnitude increase in speed of 802.11g, the systems become either WiMax or point to point. The reason is that to get more speed out of the same occupied bandwidth, you need a fabulous SNR (signal to noise ratio). This can be achieve by either the increase in xmit power offered by WiMax, or high gain dish antennas. Neither method is currently useful for home wireless networking.

Good, Fast, Cheap. Pick two.

Reading between your line, my guess(tm) is that you want something better than commodity hardware for your home network. I think I previously suggested Cisco, 3com, Sonicwall, and Netscreen. If you have more money to burn, then look into one of the wireless switch vendors such as Aruba, 3com, Trapeze, Chantry, Meru, Symbol, Arespace (Cisco), and Nortel.

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Jeff Liebermann

If you're doing development and you don't have a drive big enough to hold the VMware images you have a problem. Get a bigger drive and stop dragging those huge images across the airwaves.

Or run VMware on a server and use VNC to connect to the desktop session. VNC requires considerably less bandwidth. And you can stuff disk, RAM and CPU into a desktop box for a lot cheaper than a laptop. Make the laptop do little more than act as a graphic terminal and it'll REALLY cut down on bandwidth demands. Most remote desktop protocols require around 30Kbps per session.

Right then you're definitely going to see only half your available bandwidth, at best, provided only one device is active. If you've got things going on with more than one wifi device then expect throughput to be considerably less.

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