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Wireless Networking Hardware

Pre-802.11n Offers 4x the Speed 214

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-now-thats-something-isn't-it dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Belkin said on Monday that they'll be releasing a wireless network card and router that uses pre-802.11n multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) antenna technology created by Airgo Networks. Belkin said the new pre-n products will provide four times faster speed and coverage area than 802.11b and g products. The new products will also be compatible with older products and in fact will increase performance on those older products."
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Pre-802.11n Offers 4x the Speed

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  • Great (Score:3, Funny)

    by myz24 (256948) on Thursday August 12, 2004 @03:02PM (#9951211) Journal
    I just upgraded to g!
  • Multiple signals? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Davak (526912) on Thursday August 12, 2004 @03:03PM (#9951219) Homepage
    Anybody know if the increase number of signals increases the amount of interference?

    • I don't know about the amount of interferance, but I'm sure the amount of cancer being caused by these things will increase expontentially ;)
    • Re:Multiple signals? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Klar (522420) *
      I dunno. I've been having problems with my 802.11b network anytime someone is on a 2.4ghz phone in the area.. I'm debating buying a 5.8ghz phone to get rid of this problem, but the ones i've seen have been a lil pricy.

      I'm supprised I can opperate the microwave while being online.
      • by rmayes100 (521535)
        Buy a 900MHz phone if you can still find one, they're cheap and work fine.
        • Every 900MHz phone I've used yet has been horribly prone to interference and has absolutely atrocious behavior when you start to go out of range. 2.4GHz and 5.whatever GHz phones seem to be much better. If the degradation of quality is "just fine" for you that's ok, but most people would like to be able to hear the people they're talking to.
          • Re:Multiple signals? (Score:2, Informative)

            by ductormalef (260954)
            You are buying the wrong phones then. There is nothing magical about the frequency that makes 2.4 and 5GHz phones better.

            Get yourself a nice DSSS 900MHz phone and you'll get every bit of the audio *quality that the more expensive 2.4 and 5GHz phones have.

            *Telephone signals can hardly be referred to as quality audio :)

      • I have a metal plate in my head. Every time I use the microwave, I piss my pants and forget my name.
    • Re:Multiple signals? (Score:2, Informative)

      by shawn_f (620177) *
      http://www.nwfusion.com/news/tech/2004/072604techu pdate.html [nwfusion.com]

      I think this may answer, not only your question, but a lot of others here on MIMO...seems to be pretty cool technology. More antennas, though, generally mean more power consumption...
  • So? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 12, 2004 @03:04PM (#9951224)
    What I'd prefer to see is a smaller boost in "speed" (I'm guessing that the speed "increase" is in bursts, not sustained) and increased security that doesn't cause a hit in terms of network performance.
    • Re:So? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ron_ivi (607351)
      I'd rather see "more coverage area". I can barely get my home-wireless-network from the coffee shop at the end of the block; and prettymuch everyone there (except those I'm sharing it with) is pretty jealous.

      Security can be handled on the end-systems (install SP2 :), iptables, etc).

      Range isn't so easy in real-world (obstructed) environments.

  • new pre-n products (Score:5, Insightful)

    by router_ninja (584254) on Thursday August 12, 2004 @03:04PM (#9951225)
    Pre-standard? I'll wait thanks. Especially with the history of this company.
    • by Gr8Apes (679165) on Thursday August 12, 2004 @03:10PM (#9951306)
      Heck, I've got a virtually unusable Belkin 54g router sitting at home (well, at least until I flash its firmware with sveasoft or the like)

      The damn thing won't hold a configuration for crap, reboots like a windows machine, and otherwise is about the most unpleasant networking product I've owned since the 3Com 503 (I think that was the model #, might have been 501). Fortunately I had a cheap netgear 54g router on the shelf, plugged it in and all was well, except for sustained connectivity. Seems there's lots of interference in my neighborhood (about 12 networks show up, maybe I should just use one of them? :)

      • For the record, I've had a Belkin 54g AP that has worked flawlessly. Not only have I never experienced such results as you describe, but it works better than competing products produced by Linksys and D-Link.

        Maybe you just received a bad unit, or I received a rare good one?
        • It's always possible I just got one of a bad batch. I did only pay $18 for it, after all. :)

          But, I bought it knowing they had problems, and no, I do not have the latest firmware flashed to it. I will give that one more shot before going for a third-party firmware. The innards are supposedly the same basic components as a Linksys WRT54g, so firmware like the vaunted Sveasoft should work fine. At most I'd be out $18.

          Heck, for that matter, the Netgear 54g cost me $8.
    • Ugh... Belkin's WLAN products have the worst quality control I've ever experienced...

      We had an 11b router, crashed all the time. A firmware update fixed the crashing, for about 6 months. Then the thing just outright died permanently.
  • by shadowcabbit (466253) <`cx' `at' `thefurryone.net'> on Thursday August 12, 2004 @03:04PM (#9951232) Journal
    OK, so we have 802.11b, 802.11n, and 802.11g. Is there an 802.11o? Because that would be interesting, seeing a wireless router advertise itself as being "802.11b/o/n/g Compatible!"

    Oh, and I would have titled this "First Pot", but that would just be low-class.
  • wireless vs wire (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Davak (526912) on Thursday August 12, 2004 @03:05PM (#9951246) Homepage
    Reliability rivaling that of wired connections and effortless connectivity at real-world distances is why Belkin's True MIMO products have ushered in a new era in wireless."

    When I can wirelessly play my PS2 and download torrents at the same time, I'll be in heaven. As much as I love wireless, I think we are far from the reliability and connectivity of a hard wire.

    • Re:wireless vs wire (Score:4, Informative)

      by peculiarmethod (301094) on Thursday August 12, 2004 @03:10PM (#9951300) Journal
      yup, I agree. I live under a flight path in san diego.. 2 miles outside of downtown, and 8 miles from the airport. Every 15 mins or so, abotu every 5th airplane, they are either low enough, or a specific type of airplane broadcasting signals strong enough to interfer with my wireless network. It only take 20-45 secs to re-establish the connection.. but you must agree this is not acceptable for some routines online, and obviously does not happen with hard wire.

      pm
      • eeek,
        If you happen to get a better antenna could you be arrested for having WMD?
      • That's actually not really a "signal" they are broadcasting. Your average radar is right around 2.4Ghz, same as the phones, microwaves and your wireless network. But with enough power/interference to make communication in the same spectrum nearly impossible. Very effective jamming... I'm pretty sure they use a completely different spectrum for communication with air traffic control - for much the same reason.
        • i don't buy it, without further explanation, like a radar amplification site near me that's signalled by the airport radar to check on planes weakly detected from that site. I am not knocked off by all planes.. I am not directly near the airport, and I use wifi networks all over town, much more near the airport.. the planes passing overhead are the cause, this much is obvious. What's not obvious is how it could be radar when these planes are not AWACs. I have always lived around military bases, and was b
      • What?!? That's outrageous!

        Take it from me, my friend. Don't let these airlines push you around. Get yourself a pringle can setup, point it straight at the flight path and take out THEIR wireless communications.

        That'll teach 'em!
  • Wireless-G (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Klar (522420) * <curchin@g m a il.com> on Thursday August 12, 2004 @03:07PM (#9951266) Homepage Journal
    For me, 802.11G is by fast enough by far for my uses. B is good enough for web traffic. Hopefully this introduction of new A, and now N configerations will lower prices more for the G routers making it even easier to find access points. *crosses fingers for easier wardriving*
    • For me, 802.11G is by fast enough by far for my uses. B is good enough for web traffic. Hopefully this introduction of new A, and now N configerations will lower prices more for the G routers making it even easier to find access points. *crosses fingers for easier wardriving*

      Unless you are moving large files on a regular basis over the network B (and even lower) is fast enough for most people's needs (web traffic or internal).

      I don't know too many people that have 10mbit connections to the net. Most peo
      • FYI: Optimum Online is rated as having 10mb down and 1mb up. I personally have topped my connection out at around 8 mb/s down (hard wired ethernet) - it's pretty easy to saturate an 802.11b with internet downloads. My 11g is sufficient (mainly because I don't do large downloads wirelessly or play heavy network-oriented games from my laptop).

        I found some people on DSL reports that report meeting and even exceeding these download speeds with Opto (our shortened term for Optimum Online). Heck, my brother's
      • A friend just got his new 5Mbps cable service installed and found that his 802.11b network was actually interfering with his speed tests from DSLReports.com.

        Plugged directly into his router and got 4.7Mbps. Needless to say, he's pretty pleased (for CDN$45/month!)
    • Well, the improvement is more than just speed...it's speed at a distance. I only get 1 mb/s on my porch with G...if N can bump that up to 4 mb/s, i'll be a happy camper.
  • The article contains this statement:
    "True MIMO is one of the underlying technologies being considered for 802.11n, a standard in the works for the next generation of Wi-Fi technology. " ...and then it has this quote from Greg Raleigh:
    "The immediate performance benefits realized with True MIMO, especially over expanded coverage areas, are why this technology has been chosen to power the upcoming 802.11n high-performance wireless standard. "

    Has "True MIMO" already "been chosen" to power 802.11n, or is merely
    • Re:Contradiction? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Doug Dante (22218)
      Has "True MIMO" already "been chosen" to power 802.11n, or is merely "being considered"?

      According to this Intel Whitepaper [linuxdevices.com] both MIMO and an increase in channel widths from 20MHz to 40MHz will both be required to meet the 100Mbps performance goals of 802.11n. (See Figure 2)

      So, it's merely being considered, but it's also pretty much a given for 802.11n.

  • n>[bg] (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 4of12 (97621) on Thursday August 12, 2004 @03:08PM (#9951273) Homepage Journal

    Belkin said the new pre-n products will provide four times faster speed and coverage area than 802.11b and g products.

    Faster!?

    More coverage area!?

    Then, how much power does it typically take to run an 802.11n card compared to the established alternatives?

    • Re:n[bg] (Score:2, Informative)

      by Zabu (589690)
      802.11 n will use 802.11e (Qos) which introduces Direct Link Protocol (DLP). This allows station to station transfer. Currently in infrastucture mode you can only communicate with the access point, when MIMO and DLP are implemented together, you can essentially chain wireless stations by using them as repeaters.
    • Re:n[bg] (Score:3, Informative)

      by uss_valiant (760602)
      Not sure if 802.11n uses V-BLAST or some other space-time code, but the nature of V-BLAST, a MIMO scheme, is that the more signal scattering/mutlipaths you have, the better. Signal power is usually splitted on all antennas, the total power isn't more than when using a single antenna. Using the multipath environment with different signal transmitting times you can transmit mutliple signals in the same time frame on the same frequency!

      From the Bell Labs Homepage:

      The central paradigm behind BLAST is the exp

  • by Saint Aardvark (159009) * on Thursday August 12, 2004 @03:08PM (#9951277) Homepage Journal
    This is the same company [slashdot.org] that lost my trust by screwing their customers. They've done nothing since to earn that trust back. (And no, removing their stupid adware, when it shouldn't have been there in the first place, doesn't count toward earning my trust back.)
    • Apart from trust, it's not like they make reliable products in the first place. The only things from Belkin that I have use without having to return them because they didn't work are: 1. USB hubs and PCI cards 2. Power strips 3. Cans of compressed air Most likely, they don't even make 2 and 3, and the only time I buy those from Belkin are because they're free after rebate. Even the USB stuff you can get a reliable alternative for cheaper most of the time.
  • Non line of sight? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Can anyone comment about the range where there is non line of sigh, maybe 3 townhouses in between?
  • This is slightly offtopic but this article got me thinking again. I recently bought a powerbook (and spent a good bit of money), I'm loving it but I am curious about upgrading things like the airport card or processor in the future. I have no experience upgrading Apple computers. How would I go about upgrading to 802.11n if I decided to do so? Would it require an upgrade of the built in antennas?
  • Math? (Score:4, Funny)

    by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Thursday August 12, 2004 @03:13PM (#9951325) Homepage Journal
    4 times faster than b and g? How do they do that, given that g is 5 times faster than b? Hopefully they don't reduce the speeds of them all to 0...
    • Re:Math? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Biff78 (694374)
      Um sounds like your math needs a little work too. If b and g speeds were 0, 4x0=0. They would all be the same speed, and n would not be 4 times faster than either b or g. However, since both b and g have approximately the same range g's speed will decrease faster with distance from the antenna as both approach zero speed. At some point prior to 0 speed there will be a given distance for g and a given distance for b where speeds will be equal. In turn, at some given distance from the antenna for n there will
      • Um sounds like your math needs a little work too. If 4x0=0 then 4x0 is four times greater then zero. It may still equal zero, but it is still four times greater then zero.
  • by SuperBanana (662181) on Thursday August 12, 2004 @03:13PM (#9951326)
    The new products will also be compatible with older products and in fact will increase performance on those older products

    Yup, but the box will say "4X FASTER! Also speeds up 802.11b and g networks!" Consumers will think, "hey, it'll speed up my 802.11b network by 4x! Yeah!"

    Corporations need to learn to write clear, concise blurbs for their packaging, so customers don't feel ripped off or mislead (and never buy their products again as a result).

    • Corporations need to learn to write clear, concise blurbs for their packaging, so customers don't feel ripped off or mislead (and never buy their products again as a result).

      They choose not to write clear for marketing purposes. The whole point is to sell more products to people who don't understand the technology. They are only bound by laws of truth in advertising (hmm... <insert witty statement here>). Basically, they can't lie about the product. They can mislead (even intentionally), but not
  • Wow! (Score:5, Funny)

    by dhoonlee (758528) on Thursday August 12, 2004 @03:13PM (#9951329)
    How many pringles cans does this come with?
  • question... (Score:3, Funny)

    by WormholeFiend (674934) on Thursday August 12, 2004 @03:17PM (#9951375)
    what are they going to do when they run out of letters after 802.11z?
  • Article Text (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 12, 2004 @03:19PM (#9951392)
    Wi-Fi Gets Speed Boost with Pre-802.11n Products
    Posted: Wed, 11 Aug 2004 11:38:03 GMT
    Author: Matt Cameron

    Belkin said on Monday that they'll be releasing a wireless network card and router that uses pre-802.11n multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) antenna technology created by Airgo Networks. Belkin said the new pre-n products will provide four times faster speed and coverage area than 802.11b and g products. The new products will also be compatible with older products and in fact will increase performance on those older products.

    "Our research shows that, with current wireless technology, people are experiencing poor coverage and performance at farther distances in their homes due to interference from other wireless networks, cordless phones, and other appliances," explains Eric Tong, VP Marketing and Product Development. "Our Pre-N products with True MIMO will empower users by providing a wireless network that makes poor coverage issues a thing of the past."

    Belkin utilizes True MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) from Airgo Networks in its Pre-N products. True MIMO is the first technology to address the issues of coverage, speed, and interference in larger homes and offices.

    True MIMO is a smart-antenna technique that uses multiple antennas to transmit and receive wireless signals. It reaches a step further than other smart-antenna technologies by transmitting multiple signals on each antenna. As a result, Belkin's Pre-N products with True MIMO technology create a robust wireless connection while providing a larger coverage area with the bandwidth and quality of service needed to run advanced applications, such as streaming video or Voice over IP (VoIP).

    True MIMO is one of the underlying technologies being considered for 802.11n, a standard in the works for the next generation of Wi-Fi technology.

    "True MIMO is a breakthrough technology that fundamentally changes the way radio waves are sent and received. More importantly, True MIMO changes the way consumers are able to use wireless products," says Greg Raleigh, Chief Executive and President of Airgo Networks. "The immediate performance benefits realized with True MIMO, especially over expanded coverage areas, are why this technology has been chosen to power the upcoming 802.11n high-performance wireless standard. Reliability rivaling that of wired connections and effortless connectivity at real-world distances is why Belkin's True MIMO products have ushered in a new era in wireless."
  • by frovingslosh (582462) on Thursday August 12, 2004 @03:20PM (#9951398)
    Unfortunately, I know way too many people who paid a lot extra to get 802.11g than 802.11b - but only use it to surf the Internet. The truth is that even the 802.11b connection is faster than high speed brodband to the home, so there is no real gain in using 802.11g. I even saw (in a previous /. forum) someone who was plannig on opening a "Internet cafe" and was thinking he should go for 802.11g, not understanding that no user would exceed the 802.11b speed and not even realizing that the entire network would downgrade to 802.11b anyway if even one user was connected through 802.11b equipment.

    Now, it seems, people are going to be rushing to these new "standards". Sure, if you're going to be transfering a lot of large files around your internal network, perhaps while you stream real time video to your "entertainment center", then you might justify the extra cost and being on the bleeding edge; but most users just think in terms of "I want the newer faster stuff" or simply "I want the good stuff" and they will end up paying a lot more now for the technology they never use than they would if they just waited until the standrds were worked out, the products came down in price, and the connection to the rest of the Internet caught up in speed to justify the choice.

    • by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Thursday August 12, 2004 @03:33PM (#9951563) Homepage Journal
      Isn't Verizon doing FTTP with up to 30mbit speeds available? Some people have cable speeds of 6mbit downlink, which is a bit more than what "b" can provide in useable bitrate.

      It isn't prohibitively costlier to go with "g". It is like, 4x faster for only 10$ per component? If you must scrape every dollar, then $10 savings is important, but I'd think for the long term, it is worth while.
    • by bogie (31020)
      Just some quick points. While 802.11b is faster than most people's high speed connection that's not true for all. Cable Providers like Optimum Online( a decent size provider in the NJ/NY area) and others give about 10Mb and sometime higher connections. My Orinoco gold card tops out at like 440KB a sec which didn't come near my Internet top speed. So that's not really true in all cases. Secondly if you like many people do have a home network 802.11g makes a huge difference. Transferring large files via 802.1
    • Are you on crack? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by brunes69 (86786)

      The truth is that even the 802.11b connection is faster than high speed brodband to the home, so there is no real gain in using 802.11g.

      No real gain?

      How about sharing files between computers? How about being able to buy a $200 gadget at your nearest electronics store that hooks up to your TV and lets you stream movies over the wireless?

      Home networking is here to stay. I know people who don't have two clues about computers, yet they have home networks and like to transfer files quickly. And the faster the

    • the entire network would downgrade to 802.11b anyway if even one user was connected through 802.11b equipment.

      That's not the way it should work. You should be able to set a g network to g-only. Even in the default of b+g, you lose a little throughput because the broadcasts are sent out in b in case anyone with b is listening. But the g clients transmit at g. The AP tranmits to g clients at g. The b clients transmit at b.

      The effect is that if you have 10% broadcast traffic (usually at 2 Mb), 45% of t
    • First off, 802.11 brings us back to a shared medium system; this isn't throroughly switched networking people, so your effective maximum bandwidth may never occur in multiple machine situations.

      That said, I've got an 8Mbit cable internet connection at home for $45(CAN)/mo. I want a LAN that does at *least* that.
  • by puzzled (12525) on Thursday August 12, 2004 @03:25PM (#9951475) Journal


    Who really needs 100 mbit in their home? I can see some corporation in a union bound town like St. Louis wanting to replace current wired LAN deploy costs with simple wireless gear, but the 802.11b device I've connected through to write this provides 5x the speed I need in a worst case scenario ... I guess I'm just a text interface BSD Luddite ...
    • who needs it?

      anyone who moves files larger than couple of ten megs(like moving a gig of raw pictures from computer to computer). doing that you'll start lusting after 1gbit real quick..

    • Anyone with more than 3 computers. Anyone that wants true security. It never ceases to amaze me that after suffering through non-switched ethernet for years (decades?) people are ready to go back to a medium which is broadcast. When you use wireless (as I am, even now) you're using a single "cable" for everyone. One 100mps switched cable exceeds wireless by a factor of 9.... but the second switched 100mps cable does that again!

      Think of it this way, with only a little cable-pulling effort in your home (an investment) you are adding oodles of bandwidth. And if you need more, pull more cable. But you're only (generally) going to get 1 virtual 11mps "cable". Once you use that all up, its gone. So, when your wireless MP3 stereo component, and the 2 tivos, 2 game consoles, your computer, your wife's computer, your children's computer are all on wireless, not to mention the laptop and the ipaq, and you newly installed VoIP phones are all one wireless... you'll be wondering why you ever thought it so great.

      My own rule of thumb: Use wireless sparingly, like the limited resource it is.
      • I have to fully agree with you.

        After a few abortive attempts with desktop WLAN solutions, I have a cable run from the router downstairs up to a switch in my room. The only time my laptop ever goes wireless is when I am on campus, or surfing the net on the deck/in the living room/etc. When the laptop is on my desk, it's plugged into my 100 Mbit switch.

        There's only one reason to go for G over B - Streaming DVR video. (such as MythTV) - 802.11b is not fast enough to stream high-bitrate MPEG2.
      • Why the hell would anyone want to use wireless for VoIP? Plug the damn VoIP into your router. I suppose you are afraid of that nightmare scenario where you'll be listening to the wireless MP3 stereo, streaming two Tivo shows, using both game consoles, have friends over to surf with the wireless laptops, and blab on your wireless VoIP all at once.. well, it's your fault for turning your house into a Dave and Busters. Use two APs.. maybe three.. nice Dlink ones go for $50. I don't know how much time and m
  • by Jtheletter (686279) on Thursday August 12, 2004 @03:41PM (#9951644)
    Woohoo! Finally, now I don't have to sit in my car in front of my neighbor's house, I can just leech their connexon from my living room!
  • If the coverage area is getting wider, possibly several hundred feet in radius of the antenna, shouldn't the companies be providing better security too go with it as well? I'm sure there's probably already a few people getting free Net access and not paying for it by using their neighbor's unsecured networks - without the neighbor even knowing.
  • Wasn't 802.11i supposed to bring vastly improved security ?
    IEEE Approves 802.11i [slashdot.org]

    Does 802.11n incorporate the ideas from 802.11i ?

    The Wikipedia entry on 802.11 tech [wikipedia.org] doesn't appear to offer much insight into this - other than stating which letters are supposed to be for what purpose.
    Taking that, would a well-encoded, high-security, high-(multi-)speed 802.11 essentially be 802.11bin? (b, i and n combined)
  • by Zabu (589690) on Thursday August 12, 2004 @04:01PM (#9951910)
    Task Group N is still in the mix.
    TgN's point of focus is to offer better wireless service. It will operate in the frequency range 5.18 Ghz and 5.32 Ghz. The current frequency range that all 802.11a products use. I think the plan is to use the OFDM rates of .11a with 802.11e (QoS). Using MIMO on all stations, with DLP (802.11e) would in fact allow stations to communicate through eachother, instead of the access point. Relaying signals on multiple frequencies through stations would give better coverage, and with DLP essentially cutting all station-2-station traffic in half would free up the medium (their idea of faster?). Either way it is still not going to be around for a while.
  • by mcmonkey (96054)
    With an acronym like MIMO, and no DV-DA jokes?

    For shame, /.
  • Is any of these wireless technologies... Safe? We have heard of what cell phones and wireless home phones can do
  • 4x what? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Thursday August 12, 2004 @05:52PM (#9953202) Homepage Journal
    "4x the speed" of what? 802.11b's 11Mbps? b+ 22Mbps? a/a+ 55/110Mbps? An unladen african swallow?
  • by MonkeyCookie (657433) on Thursday August 12, 2004 @06:46PM (#9953673)
    I was absolutely certain when I clicked on the comments link that I would immediately see a joke involving downloading 4x the porn over someone else's wireless connection.

    I didn't know what else I'd find in the comments, but knowing Slashdot, that joke should have been an absolute certainty.

    How disappointing

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