Desktop upstairs with Netgear RangeMax (thing is UNBELIEVABLY good) Notebook with vanilla Intel a/b/g internal card
I'm interested in adding a print server, and the best wired ones seem to cost as much as the best wireless ones. I'm worried that adding a 3rd b/g antenna in the house is going to cause too much 2.4GHz sword fighting.
Furthermore, it's location is likely to be *at least* within 5 feet of the rangemax.
Because, as I pointed out, the ones that don't cause trouble for people (according to posts) cost the same as the wireless ones. And then I have the freedom to put the thing /elsewhere/ later on. I originally wanted a wired printserver, but discovered the huge hassles that the cheap ones were causing even the system admins...
I think you'll find that the huge hassles all revolve around USB multi-function printer/fax/scanner/shredder devices. The printer section can usually be convinced to work, but the other devices require manufacturer supported drivers in order to "virtualize" these devices over an ethernet or wireless link. Also, please note that
802.11 wireless is nothing more than encapsulated ethernet (802.3) packets. Hidden inside each wireless print server is an ethernet print server. The problems with these devices should be identical, whether wireless or wired.
Frankly, I've become rather bored with salvaging customers print server installations, where a 3rd party wired or wireless print server doesn't work with some bargain basement multi-malfunction printer/fax/scanner device. Invariably, it's a driver issue that either demands that the customer purchase the recommended and overpriced print server, or wait until the next driver update (assuming the product lives that long). The print server often costs more than the printer. I don't do too many of these, but enough to notice that the problems with wireless are no different than the problems with wired print servers.
Ok, thanks for that. My concern, however, is primarily with the [airborne] signal discipline. I'm going to beat this dead horse one more time and then call it deceased :) only because there's an slightly different technology involved. My netgear RangeMax router has 7 internal antenna's. They are supposedly adapting to issues dynamically. All 802.11g.
Is there anything about the RangeMax setup in particular which will suddenly degrade by having a standard single antenna 802.11g within 5 feet of it? Will it partially attenuate the signal, or reduce it's ability to adapt, or eclipse a part of the house? Perhaps my concern here makes more sense when you realize that I *need* the RangeMax in my house, because nothing else maintains a connection.
Maybe this will help. Netgear RangeMax uses Beamflex for interference avoidance.
big difference between RangeMax/BeamFlex beam-steering and the competative beam-forming method is their tolerance to reflections. Beam-forming works much better for reflection reduction. They're about the same for interference reduction.
Yes, possibly. The increased antenna gain of the beam-steering system may cause the radius at which a nearby client radio can overload the receiver to be increased. A typical 802.11g access point gets overloaded at a distance of about 2ft. My guess(tm) is that the increased antenna gain in the RangeMax access point will move this distance out to perhaps 6ft. I'm guessing, but don't have enough numbers and specifications to be able to calculate this radius. It also works both ways. The RangeMax access point can overload the print server. It's easy enough to tell when you hit overload. Watch the S/N (signal to noise ratio) on the client. When it drops suddenly when you're too close, you've hit overload.
Want me to guess(tm) at the numbers and distances?
No. None of the above. It will increase the error rate between the print server and the RangeMax access point. That will show up as a S/N ratio drop, increased retransmissions, reduced thruput, and possibly a lower connection speed. You can simulate it with your existing system by simply moving your existing client radio as close to the access point as possible. If the receivers are good quality, with good dynamic range, you may be lucky and have absolutely nothing happen.
Well, let's look at this another way. The only time the print server might cause a problem is when it's transmitting. If the print server is just sitting there doing nothing but sending keep alive packets, the RangeMax access point will barely notice its presence. However, when you print something, the print server is using air time, which might have an effect. However, printing is so slow relative to the typical wireless to wireless speeds, that the interruption would barely be noticed. Perhaps if you're printing while watching some streaming video via wireless, you might see some slow down.