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What is best to use? WWZC or manufacturer's software?

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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September 24, 2006 11:20:50 AM

Hello, I have a question about wireless network interface cards. I want to know what the best way to run these is. Is it better to use Windows Wireless Zero Configuration or to use the software that comes on wireless NIC installation CDs?

I currently have a small wireless network where an assortment of wireless NICs connect to a Belkin router. I have them setup to use WWZC because I like the simple interface. However some of the NICs are suffering from a lot of dropped or very slow connections, even at close range to the router. I was wondering if this could be because I'm using WWZC?

Any suggestions appreciated, thanks.
October 4, 2006 1:03:02 PM

im joining his question :) 

WZC is simply crap like most of the generic microsoft hardware software :) 

i personally use wzc cuz my manufacturers software is also crap as it doesnt even support WPA... (its an old antenna but the router is a new 3com...) so would anyone reccomend 3rd party software like in the old DUN software ? :)  plz share opinions :) 
October 4, 2006 2:33:27 PM

In general, use the manufacturer drivers and software. I have supported MS for a while and can definitely tell you their attitude is that their wireless software support is "as a last alternative use their configurations". High packet dropping, frequency studders, etc., are par for the course for MS whereas manufacturers are using model specific drivers (usually) and software that really increases throughput overall because they can gaurantee compatibility and may give you extra networking options (for some companies). However, having said that, some manufacturers are using much less reliable software and drivers than MS can provide - it's completely dependent on the manufacturer quality control. For example, my Linksys man. drivers get me consistent 802.11g speeds, but MS drivers and WWZC on the same NIC won't get me above 802.11b speeds - very frustrating. The rule of thumb that seems to really work, the cheaper the wireless hardware the more likely that you should use MS or 3rd party driver and software support.
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October 4, 2006 2:39:41 PM

do u know of or can reccomend any 3rd party wireless management software so i can stop using wzc?
October 4, 2006 3:40:04 PM

Quote:
In general, use the manufacturer drivers and software. I have supported MS for a while and can definitely tell you their attitude is that their wireless software support is "as a last alternative use their configurations". High packet dropping, frequency studders, etc., are par for the course for MS whereas manufacturers are using model specific drivers (usually) and software that really increases throughput overall because they can gaurantee compatibility and may give you extra networking options (for some companies). However, having said that, some manufacturers are using much less reliable software and drivers than MS can provide - it's completely dependent on the manufacturer quality control. For example, my Linksys man. drivers get me consistent 802.11g speeds, but MS drivers and WWZC on the same NIC won't get me above 802.11b speeds - very frustrating. The rule of thumb that seems to really work, the cheaper the wireless hardware the more likely that you should use MS or 3rd party driver and software support.


Thanks for the advice pkellmey, I'll definately consider this when making my next wireless NIC purchase. To be honest I can never tell the difference between WZC and manufacturer's software, they both seem the same to me performance wise. I would be interested in knowing what brands are considered good and bad. Perhaps you know of a list somewhere? Currently the network I'm managing uses internal InexQ NICs and USB Dell NICs. I think they were cheap, so I would imagine both are considered crap? The Dell NICs definately have more than their share of dropped connections.
October 5, 2006 11:42:45 AM

I am sure there is someone out there with a lot of experience using third party connecting software that can lead you better than I can. Each company is different for confiugration - example: Linksys has their own software that is pretty easy to use, D-Link connects seamlessly right into the WWZC, 3Com seems to depend on the sub-company that actually makes that model for them, etc. I would start by going to their web site forums or support page and see what people are saying about the NIC. Personally, I usually start with the man. drivers and if performance sucks I remove them and reboot, allowing Windows to install its own equivalent and check performance again. Also, if you are mixing and matching between NIC and router, make sure that the options on your NIC are set to match exactly what is supported on the router.
October 5, 2006 7:11:17 PM

I find WZC works just fine(2 laptops and misc USB sticks)....most of the software with USB nic's seems to suck...

Now drivers...those you want from the company who made the card....
October 17, 2006 12:03:06 PM

Quote:
do u know of or can reccomend any 3rd party wireless management software so i can stop using wzc?
Look this one over. I had a horrible time getting my wireless card to work with my win2k lappy until I found this!

Connection Manager
!