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Wireless Networking Hardware

Does 802.11n Spell the 'End of Ethernet'? 404

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the not-bloody-likely dept.
alphadogg writes "Is the advent of the 802.11n wireless standard the 'end of Ethernet'... at least in terms of client access to the LAN? That's the provocative title, and thesis, of a new report in which the author began looking into the question when he heard a growing number of clients asking whether it was time to discontinue wired LAN deployments for connecting clients. Would 11n, the next generation high-throughput Wi-Fi, make the RJ45 connector in the office wall as obsolete as gaslights?"
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Does 802.11n Spell the 'End of Ethernet'?

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  • Um, no. (Score:5, Funny)

    by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @09:58AM (#20571669) Homepage Journal
    When the Porcine Aviation Assocation makes WiFi as secure as wired LAN, then we'll see the end of Ethernet. Until then, no.
    • Re:Um, no. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Praedon (707326) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @10:00AM (#20571705) Journal
      I think we will always have wired networks, for the simple fact that as technology progresses, so do the methods of spying and such. It's much easier to eavesdrop on WiFi than it is on a wired network. You would need physical access to the wired network in order to carry out your plans for espionage.
      • Re:Um, no. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by cayenne8 (626475) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @10:01AM (#20571749) Homepage Journal
        Yep...I was thinking one word when I read this:

        SECURITY.

        • by xSauronx (608805)
          i was thinking "interference" but i havent kept on top of how super-special-awesome 802.11n is supposed to be. is there something about it that allows it to work magnificiently when everyone in an area is trying to run 10 or 15 APs at once with 802.11n equipment?
          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by jimstapleton (999106)
            it uses a hyperdimensional tracever, which sends the signal through its own alternate reality, where no signal is being sent to interfere with it, and not only that but there is no pesky weather to bother it either!

            No, those space ships popping into existance in the sky aren't angry-transdimensional aliens coming to ravage our world because we were dropping harmful EM radiaition onto their pleantes, honestly!
          • Re:Um, no. (Score:5, Interesting)

            by NeilTheStupidHead (963719) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @11:22AM (#20573323) Journal
            In my apt building, someone just moved in and brought an 802.11n supported router with them. All of a sudden the 10 or so 802.11g routers in the building have all but stopped working. I used to be able to pick up my wireless connection anywhere in the building, but now I can't see it at all if I'm more than two rooms away and the connection constantly drops. I've talked to some of my neighbours and they have been having the same difficulties.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              It looks like you need to repaint your apartment. Try this :http://www.safelivingtechnologies.ca/RF/Products_RF_Shielding_Paint_HSF54.htm [safeliving...ologies.ca] Maybe if you just paint the wall that faces that neighbor, you will still get your signal down in the lobby.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by MojoStan (776183)
              Have you asked the new neighbor to update his/her firmware? I'm not sure if this will help, but the new 802.11n Draft 2.0 certification is supposed to prevent interference problems with legacy 802.11b/g gear. Some, but not all, "draft" 802.11n routers can be upgraded to Draft 2.0 with a firmware update.

              From the Wi-Fi Alliance's Draft 2.0 FAQ (PDF file) [wi-fi.org]:

              • I heard 802.11n can cause interference problems with other Wi-Fi networks. Is this true?

                In some configurations, 802.11n products can interfere with ot

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by sam0vi (985269)
          I was thinking about something else: Gigabit Ethernet
      • by coyote-san (38515) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @10:30AM (#20572307)
        Don't forget that there are multiple aspects to security. You don't want the sleazy competitor sniffing your network, but you don't want them blasting your network out of existence two days before the RFQ is due either. The bad actor could be hard to track down if they're using a highly directional antenna and an illegal amplifier.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mulvane (692631)
        Not true. I could drive up in a surveillance van parked a couple doors away with extremely sensitive gear and actually tap into your electrical system and read what is going on with your system. Not to mention EM transmissions. Wired networks decrease this ability, and fiber all but eliminates it without some very sophisticated splicing tools. All in all, a wired network as far as security goes does improve it. The only way wireless will be secure if the wireless link itself is secured via encryption, and t
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by swillden (191260) *

        It's much easier to eavesdrop on WiFi than it is on a wired network.

        Not if the WiFi network is configured for reasonable security. Physical access is typically much easier to get than the AES keys.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by mcmonkey (96054)

          It's much easier to eavesdrop on WiFi than it is on a wired network.

          Not if the WiFi network is configured for reasonable security. Physical access is typically much easier to get than the AES keys.

          It's not just about ease of access, it's also about detection. It's very easy to break a window to get into a building, but it is also very easy to detect that type on intrusion. It may be more difficult to crack a WiFi connection, but it also not as obvious when someone is sniffing your packets.

          And in any

      • Re:Um, no. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by InvalidError (771317) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @01:20PM (#20575539)
        Security is one reason I prefer wired over wireless... and since most of my networked equipment stays put in one room, extra cables are non-issue.

        The other reason is reliability: I can count on my 100BaseTX network delivering 7-9MB/s with very little chance of external influences causing my link to either slow down or die. With wireless, I am at the mercy of nearby interference sources including cordless phones, electrical appliances, various gadgets and other wireless networking equipment, any of which can cause the link to do a number of undesirable things from retraining to going down.

        There are two reasons I got WiFi: 1) my previous router was dying and 2) I got a laptop. I only use WiFi with the laptop but whenever I do large transfers, I still hook it up to Ethernet since it is ~5X as fast and never goes down. 802.11g is good enough for internet access and moderate file copying with my two laptops so I most likely won't be bothering with 802.11n until my 802.11g router either dies or becomes a broadband bottleneck.

        BTW, it is possible to eavesdrop on Ethernet without touching the cables by capturing EMI from the UTP cables - there was a proof of concept for this some years ago where they managed to reconstruct a B&W image from a VGA cable by placing the receiver antenna ~1m from the cable using commodity components. That's pretty far from monitoring from a van parked a few houses down the road but it certainly proves the feasibility.
    • Re:Um, no. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by niceone (992278) * on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @10:01AM (#20571741) Journal
      And that's going to happen just after the Porcine Aviation Assocation makes WiFi actually run at the speeds that it says in the headlines.
    • Re:Um, no. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Jaqenn (996058) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @10:04AM (#20571801)
      I agree that wired LAN is more secure than WiFi. But can't you do some pretty scary signal reconstruction by reading electromagnetic noise coming off your network cable? It's my understanding that this can be done from X yards away, through walls, whatever.

      Yeah, that moves your vulnerability away from the hobbyist tier and into the professional tier, but honestly, which one scares you more?

      Guess you could always wrap your cable in tin-foil.
      • Re:Um, no. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by bleh-of-the-huns (17740) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @10:19AM (#20572103)
        Yes, its called STP instead of UTP...
      • Re:Um, no. (Score:5, Informative)

        by Tiger4 (840741) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @10:40AM (#20572529)

        I agree that wired LAN is more secure than WiFi. But can't you do some pretty scary signal reconstruction by reading electromagnetic noise coming off your network cable? It's my understanding that this can be done from X yards away, through walls, whatever.
        Where X is 1 - 3 meters. If you are running a Must Be Secure network in a single cubicle of a hostile cubicle farm, or up against the wall of an apartment, you might have trouble. The vast majority of people are inherently secure, at least against this particular threat.

        Guess you could always wrap your cable in tin-foil.

        Shielded Twisted Pair will deal with this for you. It has been on the market for the past 2 or 3 decades. Maybe more.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Actually, twisted pair does a pretty good job of shielding itself. It's far easier to detect and reconstruct the video output to a computer monitor (CRT) and can be done from quite a distance (tens of metres). We did this in school once as a demonstration, using perhaps $50 of components from a supplier, $50 of common household items from Walmart and an old B&W television that was in scavanged from a storage locker. We made a simple directional antenna using a steel collander and were able to read a mes
    • Re:Um, no. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @10:08AM (#20571893) Homepage

      Right. There are too many reasons to use ethernet, and security is just one of them. Ethernet is also more reliable, and it's still faster. 802.11n is not running as fast as 1Gbps (which is what both my home and work network are running at). Give it a couple years, and we'll probably all be running 10Gbps networks, and though wireless speeds will improve too, I see no reason to believe that they'll ever catch up. Also, wired connections are more reliable, easier to control, etc.

      Now, I don't see much reason to string ethernet through people's homes, at least not most of the time. Use WPA, secure each of your computers (password protect them and firewall any services you aren't using, preferably don't use Windows). You'll be fine, and 802.11n is probably way faster than any internet connection you might have.

      • The security doesn't bug me at all compared to the issue of open drivers. If all the drivers for 802.11n products were as open as wired ethernet then it would be an almost maybe possibility but as we've seen with regular Wifi, there's no way in hell. Personally, I think pushing yet more closed and fucked up drivers is almost certainly one of the goals of the 802.11n standard.

        It's a well known fact that UWB and other existing techniques can push wireless bandwitdth far past what 802.11n offers, but they're n
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by nine-times (778537)

          The game is to incrementally push the consumer market into a series of screwed up proprietary drivers to push out open standards and ensure that only "enthusiasts" use open source.

          It's possible that you're being paranoid on the drivers issue (sorry, don't mean to be insulting, but it's possible). However, I'm sure that the game is to incrementally push the consumer market to new devices. Many hardware companies do this-- they don't want to release a real solution all at once, but instead constantly relea

      • by timeOday (582209)

        Give it a couple years, and we'll probably all be running 10Gbps networks, and though wireless speeds will improve too, I see no reason to believe that they'll ever catch up.

        This is basically what the article is about - not whether wired is faster (it is), but whether that matters to most users? They argue that metrics like ease of moving around to collaborate with different people are more important than technical benchmarks like latency and jitter since 802.11n is "good enough" in those respects.

        • Whether it's RAM, processor speeds, or bandwidth, the history of computers has shown the same pattern. As our capabilities increase, we find ways to use the "extra".

          Maybe we'll hit a ceiling when we can stream multiple uncompressed full-length movies in real time without bottlenecks. I'm of the opinion, though, that computers (and networks) can never be too fast, too small, or too energy efficient.

      • Re:Um, no. (Score:5, Informative)

        by swillden (191260) * <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @10:57AM (#20572859) Homepage Journal

        Now, I don't see much reason to string ethernet through people's homes, at least not most of the time.

        I do. Media servers. Although the theoretical data rate of 802.11n is high enough for several HD video streams, in practice you only get a third of the theoretical data rate reliably, making it barely adequate for 1-2 streams. Start actually moving those files around to store, say, on a laptop drive for watching later, and you'll really find wireless inadequate.

        You'll be fine, and 802.11n is probably way faster than any internet connection you might have.

        There are places in the world where that is not true today, where 100Mbps Internet connections are common. I expect we'll see that even in the US, as fiber-to-the-home initiatives are rolled out. There's one in my neck of the woods, called UTOPIA. Right now they're only providing 10Mbps (symmetric), but the plan is to ramp that up to 100Mbps in the future.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by tooslickvan (1061814)
          This UTOPIA you speak of sounds ideal. Does it come with fluffy white bunnies?
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by mcmonkey (96054)
            ]This UTOPIA you speak of sounds ideal. Does it come with fluffy white bunnies?

            No, but it does come with OMFG ponies.
    • Re:Um, no. (Score:4, Funny)

      by arivanov (12034) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @10:14AM (#20572023) Homepage
      Pigs can fly. It is a matter of applying sufficient thrust.

      It is a matter of contention ratio.

      An average office has a contention ratio of 1:100 for server access and it still works. A WLAN contended to 1:100 will not work. So you have to upgrade your porcine fleet with higher thrust engines. You do that by rolling out a big wireless switch and many small accesspoints under its control each of which has a contention ratio of under 1:10. At that contention ratio deployments for anything more than 10PCs is uneconomical.

      This is all of course if we leave the security aside. But that is another story.
  • wait (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wwmedia (950346) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @09:58AM (#20571679)
    didnt they say the same about 802.11g not too long ago?

    and what do we have now? both systems coexisting with each other

    same gonna happen again
    • by myth24601 (893486)

      didnt they say the same about 802.11g not too long ago?

      and what do we have now? both systems coexisting with each other

      same gonna happen again


      The bigger question is will it coexist with my cordless phone or will I have to upgrade to 5GHz?

      • 802.11n runs at 2.4GHz and/or 5GHz. Legacy support for your G hardware and 5GHz for your newer N hardware and your legacy A (if you have it). Should coexist just fine.

        • by DrSkwid (118965)
          I'm certainly no expert in real world signal processing but I'd expect harmonics of 2.4ghz and 5ghz to interfere with each other's bandwidth.

          All radio signals interefere.
      • Two other options:
        1. Get a DECT cordless phone. DECT frequencies are reserved for DECT, there's no chance any variant of Wifi will ever run on them (except in some form that co-exists, ie DECT does actually have a data mode, but nobody ever uses it.
        2. Get Wifi phones, so your cordless phone system is part of your Wifi network rather than competing with it. This is somewhat expensive, and complex if you're not already using VoIP: you'll need to set up an Asterisk server and get something to hook that up to your
    • by Jugalator (259273)
      Since it was "not too long ago", maybe the transition has just yet to take place. ;-)
  • Well, it might very well mean a decline in the number of cabled set-ups in the future, but it won't immediately kill the infrastructure that's already in place. People are loath to change their way of doing things when what they have is good enough.
    • Not only that but there are cases were wireless just doesn't work. For example, if my file server is in the basement and my media device in the upstairs living room, wireless may be hit or miss. However, a $30 cat-5 run will work just fine all the time. Even when you're in the same room, when everyone else is running wifi it might get bogged down. Especially if you live in a younger neighbourhood.

      I think wifi has *already* replaced quite a few cat-5 networks [or network attachments]. the 'n' revision j
    • by Znork (31774)
      "when what they have is good enough."

      What I have is gigabit, and it's just barely good enough. Once you move to gigabit, it's perfectly workable to set up diskless clients booting over the network off iSCSI disks. No more disk noise in the workstations or the media PC, much easier backups, no more hundreds of gigabytes wasted distributed around where you need maybe 4 for the OS. Etc.

      And if 1 gigabit made moving disks out of the local machines useful, going to 10 gigabit will make moving even more things out
      • by Vancorps (746090)

        I submit to you that a RGU is a better option for the home than a complicated iSCSI PXE boot process where you have to construct a new image for every new machine.

        Naturally Matrox has this one covered. RGU Link [matrox.com] Fanless, no moving parts, you have all your USB and firewire and you're free to have a noisy PC in the basement with all the power you want. Much easier to setup and use.

        I do agree though, in the work environment I barely get by with gigabit and 10gigabit isn't cost effective yet. I'm looking at

  • No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DJ Jones (997846) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @10:00AM (#20571727) Homepage
    RJ45 jacks will never be obsolete for one reason... Security.

    And I don't know what you're talking about, I still use gaslights.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DrSkwid (118965)
      > RJ45 jacks will never be obsolete for one reason... Security.

      Just like BNC
  • Shared medium. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by saintlupus (227599) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @10:01AM (#20571729) Homepage
    I can't wait for wireless to take over everything. Collisions and shared bandwidth are awesome. I miss hubs so much.

    --saint
  • when you pry it out of my cold, dead hands. The day wireless can beat wired not just in theory but also in practice is the day I see how much copper I can get out of the building.
  • What about situations where something is causing inference (material in building/other signals/etc?). At home I have 2 laptops, each one will get different speeds in different rooms (I'm talking about sometimes a 10 - 15 mbps difference).

    Then there is the security issue. Yes you can lock down your wireless but since it is wireless someone can sit outside and keep trying over and over vs. if you don;t have it they need physical access.
    This isn't saying wireless is bad, just they are factors which wil
  • Can 802.11n get 10Gbps? When you get those kind of speeds, we'll talk :-]

    • The point is that most current installations support 10/100. When considering upgrading to GbE (10 Gbps isn't available in desktops at reasonable prices), you can get half the speed without switching from Cat 5 to Cat 5e or Cat 6 at the end-user end. One router can cover two dozen cubicles, and at draft-N speeds, that's not much of a problem for email/web.
  • Yes, of course (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blueZ3 (744446) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @10:03AM (#20571785) Homepage
    This is totally a replacement for wired connectivity, because in a building with three or four hundred computer users, there won't be any radio interference between wireless cards. I'm sure that there won't be any issues in high-density deployments. I mean, the four PCs in my house never, ever have any reduction in speed when they're all connected simultaneously.

    What do they teach them in schools these days?
    • by winkydink (650484) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @10:07AM (#20571877) Homepage Journal
      What do they teach them in schools these days?

      Had a look at Myspace or Facebook? Sigh.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by peacewon (895131)
      Hmmm... Makes you wonder about the effects of multiple sequences of ones and zeros traveling through my brain right now in radio frequency form. Also makes me think of the fried egg drug commercial.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Tiger4 (840741)

      This is totally a replacement for wired connectivity, because in a building with three or four hundred computer users, there won't be any radio interference between wireless cards.
      And when someone decides to fire up the microwave oven for coffee break or popcorn, all those other users can take a break with them. "Teaming" at its finest. This is Win-Win for all concerned! Synergize forward to the Wireless Productivity Revolution!!
  • Doubt it. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ynososiduts (1064782) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @10:03AM (#20571787)
    Unless buildings are made of less concrete and brick. My school has a wireless network, but it's spotty due to the big maze of concrete and brick buildings. You only get a connection when the room you're in has a wireless bridge, but every room has a RJ45 port. There really is no question of signal strength when talking about wired networks.
  • Wireless AP can handle as mean users per AP as a switch can and you will still need to run wire to each AP anyways as you may have a hard time getting all systems to work off of one AP.
    Also RJ45 ports are build in to just all systems now days build in the chipset or running over the pci-e bus that can hit the full gig-e speed. There are a few with build in wireless but most of there are on the slower usb bus that pushes up cpu load. Pci N cards are $50 or more per card.
  • The wireless in my home cuts out when the microwave is started, has 802.11n fixed that? How about secure systems? There is much less of a chance of your network being broken into if the thief needs physical assess to the network.
    • IANAE, but maybe you should think about having the microwave replaced, or atleast inspected for faults. I can't fathom what sort of problem would cause it to interfere with wireless, but I can almost certainly say you should have that checked out...
      • I've wondered about that, but haven't cared enough to do anything about it. My AP is at one end of the house and the microwave is in the middle. Everything on the side opposite the AP cuts out when the microwave is started and won't reconnect as long as it's running. It's a new microwave (>1yr old).
      • I can't fathom what sort of problem would cause it to interfere with wireless

        Because microwaves are imperfectly shielded and operate at 2450 MHz.

    • The wireless in my home cuts out when the microwave is started, has 802.11n fixed that?

      Yes [wikipedia.org]

      I'm surprised at the number of people that don't realized 802.11n can operate at 5GHz, like 802.11a. I thought this was one of the major selling points.

  • Yeah OK (Score:5, Interesting)

    by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @10:08AM (#20571885)
    Wireless will never beat Ethernet, if for no other reason, simple reliability. I have seen odd things happen with radio waves, like have a very good signal in one spot, and almost no signal just a few feet away. Or getting the signal strength affect by where some random person is standing. Or signals not passing through walls (getting a cable through a wall requires no more than a drill). Or microwave ovens killing the signal.

    The strangest was a friend who used a linksys router with the SSID "linksys" and WEP encryption, who lived next door to someone using the same SSID but no encryption. Oh yeah, the wireless network managers on various OS's had a field day with that one. Ethernet just doesn't have those problems, so it will always been needed when mobility is less important than reliability.

  • I am skeptical of the ability of any wireless standard to handle a large network with many nodes. Won't the clients interfere ? With switches and routers you can build a tree. I suppose you could do that with 802.11 as well with different parts of a building, etc, but can it handle 500 people in a room all using the connection ?
  • and they can take the gas light from my front yard when they pry my frozen tongue from the lamp post.
  • by GodCandy (1132301) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @10:12AM (#20571971)
    First I will admit. I have an 802.11n setup at my house for my laptop and a desktop on the far side of the house. It works well for this.

    The issues are as follows.
    Security: There is little or none. All of your transactions are flying through the air and anyone with the proper equipment (which can be obtained at the local electronics store for very little money) can intercept those packets. Even if you bother to use encryption all that has to be done is some processing to "crack" the encryption. Without breaking into my house/office and tying into my physical copper network there is no way to intercept packets on a copper network.

    Stability: I cant speak for 802.11n as of yet. My AP has never been rebooted and my clients stay conected. However my prior 802.11x products were somewhat less stable.

    Speed: 802.11x is a bus topology much like a hub. True they are running a great deal of bandwidth now. For few users this is great however what happens when you have 20 users on the same access point sharing the same bandwidth.

    I do however see uses in business for this. I don't think at this time it is the end all replacement for the simple switch and the complicated wiring closet yet.
  • not in my office, or for that matter not in my house. The office might have a wireless network but it's there for breakout areas (terrible phrase) and places where isn't viable to lay cable. Desktops are still cabled for security and speed.
  • Won't wired always be faster than wireless, at least for the guessable future? We're running at 54mbit for wireless, 100mbit for wired most places, and 1000mbit with the new hardware. In other words, wireless is only running at half the speed of the old wired standard and the new wired standard is ten times faster. This is setting aside questions of security and the like. Wireless is "good enough" for everyday home use certainly. It's good enough for laptop users in the office. But if people are doing any k
  • Can anybody explain what a gaslight is? I presume its a term used frequently in the usa.
  • The company I still work with, as a part-time consultant instead of full time employee these days as I am in Grad School, will not be going to wireless anytime soon. One reason is security. They are a video production company and post house that sometimes does sub-contracting work on TV and Film. There are some big fines in there if it was ever proven that materials were ever leaked by our people.

    Secondly, we run ScreamernetII & Qmaster/Xgrid on every single machine in the building. That is one re

  • This is just the same as the way broadcast television took over and drove the original cable TV out of business. Oh, wait...
  • I could think of a laundry list of things that make ethernet more attractive to a company, but off the top of my head, two are key.

    1) Your guaranteed a signal, which you are not with wireless where hotspots and coldspots can be noticed.

    2) Intercepting a wired transition is much more difficult, to next to impossible without physical access to the location if set up properly. A wireless signal can be intercepted and possibly decoded by just having someone drive by the place.

  • Ubiquity (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Alzheimers (467217) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @10:28AM (#20572279)
    It will only be truly ubiquitous when it's a common check box feature on every PC sold, built-in to the motherboard and included in the final price.

    As long as it's a peripherial, I don't care how cheap or easy to install, it'll never replace what's already there, ie. the Ethernet port. For more reference, see USB vs. Firewire.
  • 2.4GHz Hell (Score:2, Informative)

    by pcjunky (517872)
    I once got a call from a client who said her WiFi wasn't working in her study. When I got their I found she was using a bluetooth mouse, 2.4GHz cordless phone, Wireless video extension (also 2.4GHz), and cooking diner in her microwave (big 2.4GHz transmitter). This piece of spectrum will only take so much. She asked if changing to a 5.8GHz phone would help. I said probably not as most transmit from the base to the phone on 5.8Ghz and the phone transmits 2.4GHz back. (900MHz would be better). As we use more
  • FTA: "If you look at 11n with 150Mbps and 20 users sharing the access point, they get 7Mbps average throughput," he says. "They don't get that in their homes with DSL and cable modems. It's time for people to reset their thinking."

    Obviously this idiot doesn't understand the difference between 7mbps Internet access and access to files, printers, databases and other applications.

    "Currently I think [150-180Mbps] is plenty," says Ruman. "Most companies are still using 100Mbps switches and have not made the

  • No, Ethernet isn't going anywhere, especially for "mom-and-pop" businesses. Why? If you have a small retail store with two cash registers, and your wireless connection acts up, you have -zero- income until it's fixed. That's pretty mission critical. On the other hand, if you're IBM, and some of your wireless goes flaky, IBM isn't going to shut down. A lot of people will be inconvenienced, but very few parts of a giant corporation are mission critical. If anything, I'd expect to see wireless at big bus
  • As with the other forms of 802.11, it'll only be useful if you use/emulate a toy OS or go hunting for very specific hardware.
  • Shared bandwidth (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gravis777 (123605) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @10:51AM (#20572719)
    The problem that clients in our building seem to neglect is that, yeah, while we are running G, which is 56Mbps, that does not mean that it will be only half the speed of their 100 Mbps ethernet connection, its generally much slower. The problem is, on ethernet, you have a 100 Mbps connection straight to the switch, dedicated to you. Over the wireless, you are sharing that 54Mbps connection with 50 other people in your area, so you are not getting 54 Mbps, you are getting between 1-5 Mbps. This is why you ge an excellent signal, then almost cannot browse the internet. i think we finally got it through most of our users minds that the wireless was there as a convienince, not at a replacement for the ethernet, and most will now use their ethernet cable.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jeremy Erwin (2054)

      Over the wireless, you are sharing that 54Mbps connection with 50 other people in your area, so you are not getting 54 Mbps, you are getting between 1-5 Mbps. This is why you ge an excellent signal, then almost cannot browse the internet.

      So, are people at your company so accustomed to browsing wit personal T3 lines, or what? Will they break down in tears if forced to work with 768 kb/s DSL?
      • by tehcrazybob (850194) <ben.geekNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @01:45PM (#20575981)
        I can't speak for his company, but at mine there's a great deal more to the network than internet access. All of our files are stored on network servers. Since we are all connected via gigabit ethernet, these shares are as responsive as local hard drives. Our work would continue undeterred if we were limited to browsing the internet on 768 kb/s DSL, but if we started connecting to our server with the DSL I think productivity might drop. In fact, you're right, I might even break down in tears.

        For reference, gigabit ethernet offers theoretical 128 MB/s transfers, while local hard drives offer between 60 and 90 MB/s. Obviously the latency will be a bit higher on the networked drives, but you'll see no drop in sustained transfer rates. Compare that to a theoretical maximum of 37.5 MB/s for wireless N or 6.75 MB/s for wireless G, and bear in mind that those speeds will be shared with all clients rather than dedicated as with the ethernet connection.
  • 3 words (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MSDos-486 (779223) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @11:30AM (#20573469)
    Power over Ethernet
  • tcp vs udp (Score:3, Funny)

    by sgt scrub (869860) <saintium@@@yahoo...com> on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @01:06PM (#20575287)
    Wireless will displace wired in the same way that UDP displaced TCP.

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