Wifi Networking Guide
Well, now that 802.11g is out, it seems like a good time to figure out what Wifi network I’d buy. Will be nice to get a network up. Or course, the decisions aren’t easy, because as usual, although we have 802.11g, everyone is in the business of doing proprietary extensions that either interfere, cause interoperability ot other problems. Tom’s Networking (the old practicallynetworking.com site) has a great overview:
* “Atheros Super G Interfere with Broadcom”:http://www.tomsnetworking.com/Sections-article59-page1.php. Basically, Atheros has a chipset doing Super-G networking at 108Mbps maximum (D-link and Netgear). Only problem is that it interferes with Broadcom-based systems (Linksys). Basic trick is to bond channels so that you use two 54Mbps channels together. Of course, with only 6 channels at 2.4GHz, that’s a lot of bandwidth. Also, you have to specifiy if you want B-only, G-only, B and G (because if you allow B clients, you reduce G throughput) or Super-G only. Yikes!
* “Beyond G Overview”:http://www.tomsnetworking.com/Sections-article67-page1.php. A great analysis of all the schems. Nice this is that Broadcom’s upcoming scheme doesn’t use channel bonding so it won’t interfere as much nor does GlobespanVirata (what a name for a company!). The main point though is that it isn’t so much raw throughput as how much throughput degradation you get over distance and how much clean spectrum you have (a good argument for 802.11a running on lots more channels at 5GHz). Anyway, the confusing net of it all is that you can’t really call winners beyond 802.11g yet.
Makes it hard to decide what to buy right now. Get D-link and support Atheros as it jams the standards. Get the Broadcom technology when its available sometime this quarter? Or, figure out which is the best at a long distrance. Propagation still is king.