So what's the reccomended wireless solution these days?

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

I currently have a Linksys 802-11B router, and am looking to upgrade.
Unfortunately, the product offerings seem to be bifurcating rapidly,
starting to look like the DVD+/-/R/RW/RAM/ROM/CD/CDROM/CDRW confusion..

I'd like to retain compatibility with 802-11b but I'm looking to migrate to
higher speed.
Support is an issue, these days it seems rare to get something that works
properly out of the box.
Linksys has been ok in that regard for me.


--
KC6ETE Dave's Engineering Page, www.dvanhorn.org
Microcontroller Consultant, specializing in Atmel AVR
9 answers Last reply
More about what reccomended wireless solution days
  1. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Dave VanHorn thought carefully and wrote on 9/19/2004 8:25 AM:

    > I currently have a Linksys 802-11B router, and am looking to upgrade.
    > Unfortunately, the product offerings seem to be bifurcating rapidly,
    > starting to look like the DVD+/-/R/RW/RAM/ROM/CD/CDROM/CDRW
    > confusion..
    >
    > I'd like to retain compatibility with 802-11b but I'm looking to
    > migrate to higher speed. Support is an issue, these days it seems
    > rare to get something that works properly out of the box. Linksys has
    > been ok in that regard for me.

    I just upgraded my Linksys "B" home network to Linksys "G with
    Speedbooster" this weekend (1 wired, 3 wireless). WRT54GS wireless
    router and 2 WMP54GS PCI cards. My daughter's laptop has Atheros 54Mbps
    wireless chipset built-in.

    I was looking for higher home network speed, good product support, good
    experience of other users and increased range and spent a couple months
    looking here and there and pondering. (I failed at getting increased
    range). I considered Linksys, Netgear products and some high wattage
    routers mentioned here. I also considered D-Link, but I can't remember
    why I decided to drop them.

    The high wattage routers were eliminated because they're 802.11b. I
    considered the Netgear WGT634U and WG311T because they're both based on
    the same chipset, Netgear was eliminated because I couldn't find any
    user experience with the WGT634U and its firmware has been updated 3
    times in a few months (that doesn't make me feel good). Netgear was also
    offering a $70 rebate at one point, which sort-of makes be wonder if
    they're trying to get rid of them.

    Linksys won out because of my past and continuing good experience with
    their products and email support, good knowledge base, very positive
    user experience and 3 year warranty.

    My experience with putting together my network is OK. After working well
    for about 10 minutes, one of the '54GS PCI cards failed to achieve
    speeds above 5.5 Mbps and had a hard time connecting. That card was
    exchanged. Now I plan on burning-in the cards. I was disappointed that
    the WRT54G(S) doesn't support SNMP logging, but the the firewall enabled
    I guess there really isn't any reason for it.

    Otherwise, the hardware works exactly as advertised and installed
    exactly as expected - I really like that. The router webpage interface
    is really nice. My signal strength was not increased, but even the
    computer with the troublesome signal strength connects at a minimum of
    11 Mbps instead of 1-2 Mbps. My wife's computer connects at 80 Mbps, my
    daughter's laptop at it's max capacity of 54 Mbps. When my daughter is
    online, network speed does drop to accommodate the non-Speedbooster adapter.

    For a short period of time during the network upgrade, I was operating
    the PCI cards in "B only" mode for compatibility with my BEFW11S4 router
    and the network worked fine. The new router can also be set for G only,
    B only, mixed speed and off.

    One interesting thing about the 54G and 54GS series - you can get
    "customized" firmware written by others. It seems that there are several
    features of the chipset that Linksys firmware doesn't take advantage of,
    but they've released the firmware source so others can fool around with
    it (search for SeavSoft, HyperWRT and others). One feature is the
    ability to increase broadcast power - sounds like a potential way to
    increase range and burn out your router and I'll be looking into it further.

    Lance
    *****
  2. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    On Sun, 19 Sep 2004 10:25:37 -0500, "Dave VanHorn"
    <dvanhorn@cedar.net> wrote:

    >I currently have a Linksys 802-11B router, and am looking to upgrade.
    >Unfortunately, the product offerings seem to be bifurcating rapidly,
    >starting to look like the DVD+/-/R/RW/RAM/ROM/CD/CDROM/CDRW confusion..

    You left out DL (double layer), FatCD, and Blu-Ray Disk.
    http://www.blu-ray.com
    Everything you own is now obsolete. Product mutation is a way of life
    in high tech.

    >I'd like to retain compatibility with 802-11b but I'm looking to migrate to
    >higher speed.

    802.11g is the usual answer. However, you're about to have a
    potential problem. 802.11g compatibility requires that 802.11g access
    points and client radios slow down to 802.11b speeds in order to
    maintain compatibility. The slowdown is mostly in the speed of the
    management frames, which switch from the higher 802.11g speeds, to the
    ultimate in sludge at 1Mbit/sec, when the 802.11g access point hears
    even one 802.11b data frame. The good news is that although
    everything slows down, it's still faster than 802.11b. The bad news
    is that the typical 20-25Mbits/sec thruput you would get with a short
    range all 802.11g system, slows down to about 10Mbits/sec thruput in
    the presence of 802.11b radios. That's still faster than the
    5-6Mbits/sec thruput you'll get with an all 802.11b system.

    >Support is an issue, these days it seems rare to get something that works
    >properly out of the box.

    Well yeah. You're expected to upgrade the firmware and drivers of
    just about anything you buy these days. There is no way that a
    manufactory can deliver up to date firmware or drivers out of the box.

    Also, if the product were any good, it wouldn't need support. I worry
    seriously about the products of a company with fabulous support. If
    they needed such a great support organization, what problems are they
    trying to solve? Quality issues? Bugs? Incompatibilities? Also,
    why am I paying for a fancy support organization to answer YOUR
    questions? If I don't have any problems, why should I pay to fix
    yours?

    For example. Just about every operating system has a method of doing
    automatic updates from the internet. Plug it into the a DSL or cable
    connection and you're instantly updated to the latest revision.
    However, none of the cheap router manufactories[1] seem to have
    discovered this simple feature that will drastically reduce their
    support load. Methinks they should re-assign the outsourced support
    department into fixing the causes of the support calls, and not act as
    an expensive band-aid.

    >Linksys has been ok in that regard for me.

    Never judge a book or router by its cover. Linksys, Dlink, Netgear,
    and others all relabel boards made by contract companies in China,
    Taiwan, and Korea. In many cases, the same exact design appears in
    competitive products from different vendors. What you should be
    looking for is which chipset is best. Atmel, TI, Motorola, Broadcom,
    Atheros, and Prism are popular chipset. They can be determined by a
    simple web search, or a slog through the FCCID database. Review sites
    are also helpful and often discuss internals.
    http://tomsnetworking.com
    http://www.practicallynetworked.com
    You might wanna dig through the white papers and "need to know" stuff
    as it's full of realistic clues.


    [1] Sonicwall does online router updates. However, Sonicwall routers
    are expensive and they require a support contract.


    --
    Jeff Liebermann jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
    150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
    Santa Cruz CA 95060 AE6KS 831-336-2558
  3. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    I too I'm looking to move on. Linksys was a well supported product until
    Cisco moved tech support offshore. I'm looking for wireless network products
    (home) with good tech support. I will be replacing 6 Linksys products.
    TIA


    >
    > I currently have a Linksys 802-11B router, and am looking to upgrade.
    > Unfortunately, the product offerings seem to be bifurcating rapidly,
    > starting to look like the DVD+/-/R/RW/RAM/ROM/CD/CDROM/CDRW confusion..
    >
    > I'd like to retain compatibility with 802-11b but I'm looking to migrate
    > to higher speed.
    > Support is an issue, these days it seems rare to get something that works
    > properly out of the box.
    > Linksys has been ok in that regard for me.
  4. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    "Suds" <suds@ibm.org> wrote in
    news:A4i3d.1886$qA6.1061@newsread3.news.pas.earthlink.net:

    > I too I'm looking to move on. Linksys was a well supported product
    > until Cisco moved tech support offshore. I'm looking for wireless
    > network products (home) with good tech support.

    Everyone is moving offshore... that's a fact of life unless you're willing
    to spend more money on hardware.

    If you are... Zyxel makes good quality products.

    --
    Lucas Tam (REMOVEnntp@rogers.com)
    Please delete "REMOVE" from the e-mail address when replying.
    http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/coolspot18/
  5. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    In article <A4i3d.1886$qA6.1061@newsread3.news.pas.earthlink.net>,
    Suds <suds@ibm.org> wrote:
    >I too I'm looking to move on. Linksys was a well supported product until
    >Cisco moved tech support offshore. I'm looking for wireless network products
    >(home) with good tech support. I will be replacing 6 Linksys products.
    >TIA

    Judging by the names, I think it's offshore, but FWIW I actually had
    competent technical support through Proxim's website a few months ago.

    -- Mark
  6. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    SonicWall doesn't require a support contract... I'm a reseller and
    sell a lot of them but never do I require customers to buy a support
    contract.

    sj

    Jeff Liebermann <jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us> wrote in message news:<pbkrk0h5foh73ccmq8lvkjcu66gmfte8oe@4ax.com>...
    > On Sun, 19 Sep 2004 10:25:37 -0500, "Dave VanHorn"
    > <dvanhorn@cedar.net> wrote:
    >
    > >I currently have a Linksys 802-11B router, and am looking to upgrade.
    > >Unfortunately, the product offerings seem to be bifurcating rapidly,
    > >starting to look like the DVD+/-/R/RW/RAM/ROM/CD/CDROM/CDRW confusion..
    >
    > You left out DL (double layer), FatCD, and Blu-Ray Disk.
    > http://www.blu-ray.com
    > Everything you own is now obsolete. Product mutation is a way of life
    > in high tech.
    >
    > >I'd like to retain compatibility with 802-11b but I'm looking to migrate to
    > >higher speed.
    >
    > 802.11g is the usual answer. However, you're about to have a
    > potential problem. 802.11g compatibility requires that 802.11g access
    > points and client radios slow down to 802.11b speeds in order to
    > maintain compatibility. The slowdown is mostly in the speed of the
    > management frames, which switch from the higher 802.11g speeds, to the
    > ultimate in sludge at 1Mbit/sec, when the 802.11g access point hears
    > even one 802.11b data frame. The good news is that although
    > everything slows down, it's still faster than 802.11b. The bad news
    > is that the typical 20-25Mbits/sec thruput you would get with a short
    > range all 802.11g system, slows down to about 10Mbits/sec thruput in
    > the presence of 802.11b radios. That's still faster than the
    > 5-6Mbits/sec thruput you'll get with an all 802.11b system.
    >
    > >Support is an issue, these days it seems rare to get something that works
    > >properly out of the box.
    >
    > Well yeah. You're expected to upgrade the firmware and drivers of
    > just about anything you buy these days. There is no way that a
    > manufactory can deliver up to date firmware or drivers out of the box.
    >
    > Also, if the product were any good, it wouldn't need support. I worry
    > seriously about the products of a company with fabulous support. If
    > they needed such a great support organization, what problems are they
    > trying to solve? Quality issues? Bugs? Incompatibilities? Also,
    > why am I paying for a fancy support organization to answer YOUR
    > questions? If I don't have any problems, why should I pay to fix
    > yours?
    >
    > For example. Just about every operating system has a method of doing
    > automatic updates from the internet. Plug it into the a DSL or cable
    > connection and you're instantly updated to the latest revision.
    > However, none of the cheap router manufactories[1] seem to have
    > discovered this simple feature that will drastically reduce their
    > support load. Methinks they should re-assign the outsourced support
    > department into fixing the causes of the support calls, and not act as
    > an expensive band-aid.
    >
    > >Linksys has been ok in that regard for me.
    >
    > Never judge a book or router by its cover. Linksys, Dlink, Netgear,
    > and others all relabel boards made by contract companies in China,
    > Taiwan, and Korea. In many cases, the same exact design appears in
    > competitive products from different vendors. What you should be
    > looking for is which chipset is best. Atmel, TI, Motorola, Broadcom,
    > Atheros, and Prism are popular chipset. They can be determined by a
    > simple web search, or a slog through the FCCID database. Review sites
    > are also helpful and often discuss internals.
    > http://tomsnetworking.com
    > http://www.practicallynetworked.com
    > You might wanna dig through the white papers and "need to know" stuff
    > as it's full of realistic clues.
    >
    >
    > [1] Sonicwall does online router updates. However, Sonicwall routers
    > are expensive and they require a support contract.
  7. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    On 22 Sep 2004 19:50:11 -0700, schyler_jones@hotmail.com (Schyler)
    wrote:

    >SonicWall doesn't require a support contract... I'm a reseller and
    >sell a lot of them but never do I require customers to buy a support
    >contract.

    http://www.sonicwall.com/services/download.html
    "Some downloads may require a valid software support contract to be in
    place for the latest version of software to be available."

    Although I'm registered with MySonicwall.com for something like 22
    assorted routers, Sonicwall refuses to allow me to download updates to
    the firmware, VPN software, or anything else useful or important.
    Documentation appears to be available. My last call to support to
    complain about this specific issue (about a year ago) confirmed that
    this is the case. I stopped recommending Sonicwall about that time.
    If something has changed, I would be interested as I really like
    Sonicwall products. Incidentally, Watchguard has web based firmware
    updates, and a similar policy of requireing a support contract.


    --
    # Jeff Liebermann 150 Felker St #D Santa Cruz CA 95060
    # 831.336.2558 voice http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
    # jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
    # 831.421.6491 digital_pager jeffl@cruzio.com AE6KS
  8. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Jeff Liebermann <jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us> wrote:
    > Although I'm registered with MySonicwall.com for something like 22
    > assorted routers, Sonicwall refuses to allow me to download updates to

    My recollection was that they claimed "security" as the reason only certain
    people were able to download firmware and client software.
    I think we were allowed to have one point of contact for our company.

    --
    ---
    Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley (Lake County) CA USA 38.8-122.5
  9. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 03:23:28 GMT, Jeff Liebermann
    <jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us> wrote:

    >On 22 Sep 2004 19:50:11 -0700, schyler_jones@hotmail.com (Schyler)
    >wrote:
    >
    >>SonicWall doesn't require a support contract... I'm a reseller and
    >>sell a lot of them but never do I require customers to buy a support
    >>contract.

    >http://www.sonicwall.com/services/download.html
    >"Some downloads may require a valid software support contract to be in
    >place for the latest version of software to be available."
    >
    >Although I'm registered with MySonicwall.com for something like 22
    >assorted routers, Sonicwall refuses to allow me to download updates to
    >the firmware, VPN software, or anything else useful or important.
    >Documentation appears to be available. My last call to support to
    >complain about this specific issue (about a year ago) confirmed that
    >this is the case. I stopped recommending Sonicwall about that time.
    >If something has changed, I would be interested as I really like
    >Sonicwall products. Incidentally, Watchguard has web based firmware
    >updates, and a similar policy of requireing a support contract.

    Ok, I semi-lied. I just logged into MySonicwall.com to check status
    and which downloads are available. MySonicwall.com will let me
    download firmware for most of the older products on the list.
    However, all of firmware for the newer products, demanded that I
    "upgrade" my registration to install anything over version 6.5. I
    guess(tm) about a year ago is when this change happened as calling
    Sonicwall 8x5 support originally yielded a demand for a support
    contract.

    Back to my original point. It sure is nice to be able to go to a web
    page and update the firmware while online. Windoze, Linux, and
    MacIntosh can do it. Sonicwall and Watchguard can do it. Why not
    Linksys, Dlink, and Netgear?


    --
    # Jeff Liebermann 150 Felker St #D Santa Cruz CA 95060
    # 831.336.2558 voice http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
    # jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
    # 831.421.6491 digital_pager jeffl@cruzio.com AE6KS
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