I have heard some stories about other 2.4 GHZ devices interfering with 802.11b, but for the most part wireless works if you have it setup correctly. One example of an increase in signal strength would be the Linksys AP Booster, which is OK for increasing the strength and giving you a greater coverage area.
The biggest thing you should focus on is your security. Be sure to have either not broadcast the SSID, use MAC Authentication or enable WAP...
I have some problem with 2.4 GHz phone. I have like 6 2.4 GHz phone in the house. Every time the phone starting ringing the network connection show a drop in connection quality. After I pack up one of the phone it will be fine again.
Depends on what you mean by "stable". If you mean that you will be able to connect to the network reliably: then yes wireless is stable.
But if you mean that you always expect good transfer speed: then wireless is unstable because you do not have control of the medium on wich you transmit (the air). Anything will screw up your transfer speed. Assuming that you are in the 2.4Ghz band (.11b/g), the microwave, 2.4Ghz phones, bluetooth devices and other networks will all make your transfer speed go down.
In ancient times they had no statistics so they had to fall back on lies
" Anything will screw up your transfer speed. Assuming that you are in the 2.4Ghz band (.11b/g), the microwave, 2.4Ghz phones, bluetooth devices and other networks will all make your transfer speed go down."
Which is why you spend some time setting it up right. All my WLAN's, which number in the hundreds, are stable in all respects. Give or take the odd few. It's a fair statement in general terms to say wireless is basically unstable because the gear is cheap and anybody with a few bucks can go buy it and set it up. What is not accurate is to say that as a blanket statement. Wireless LAN's are a buyer beware market. As long as the buyer is knowledgeable, thorough and efficient WLAN's are perfectly dependable and stable.
I must agree with you that with a well planned network the 90% of problems can be solved. But there is always some unstability.
I don't have a lot of experience with fully deployed wireless networks since I worked more in prototyping tasks such that I only delt with one or two APs with a couple of stations per AP and usually the channel was loaded at 6 Mbps. So when somebody starts the microwave and you see a 2 Mbps drop in troughput you conclude that wireless is unstable.
Also how many knowledgeable buyers do you think there are. 5 to 10% maximum, people don't take the time to learn about wireless, they just buy the first (and usually cheapest) thing they find and then wonder why it does not work. That is why IEEE have new groups to enable self-configuring wireless networks (802.11k I beleive).
"In your experience, did you see a big difference between 'enteprise' class APs and 'residential' ones."
Certainly. That article uses 3Com and SMC as their enterprise class models. As such the article doesn't have a lot of credibility. I believe they mentioned they tried to get Cisco and Proxim AP's, which would have made the article relevant. I would have held off benching until they had been provided. You can't have a consumer/enterprise 802.11 WLAN comparison without those companies products. Well, not AND be taken seriously.
Microwaves are a non issue when you use the right gear.
As far as the comment about the average user. No doubt, most users are newbies. With that as a criteria it makes a little more sense to say WLAN's are unstable across the board. Still not accurate but makes more sense.
Just a short note from the newbie faction: I have a Buffalo 802.11g router/ap and the tech at Buffalo was able to help me configure the router within a couple of minutes. Making the cable connections etc. was pretty easy too (as long as you can read directions). The hardest part was learning about the security settings. I had to do some reading up on that. My point is : a user with some skill and a lot of patience should be able to do this but most people are still stuck on that whole plug and play idea. The network doesn't totally configure itself (boy that would be nice).
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It's not that dificult a thing. Experience helps but WLAN's can be done well without it. Just substitute a small amount of patience, and uually you don't need that. WEP is fine with windows as well. There are some exceptions of course but by and large configuring a WLAN, including WEP, is fairly easy and straightforward, not to mention stable and dependable.