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Wireless Features

Wardriving: Taipei Style

By now everyone has heard of wardriving, or maybe even Warflying. Wardrivers find wireless access points (WAPs) by driving around and using laptops with wireless cards. They typically track the WAPs using free and simple programs such as NetStumbler for Windows or Kismet for Linux.

NeedToKnow: WiFi PDAs' Dirty Little Secret

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Updated PDA manufacturers have been previously caught "optimistically" specing both available memory and the number of screen colors really available in their products. This NeedToKnow shows that they also have some work to do to convey to prospective buyers the wireless speeds that their 802.11b-enabled products can really deliver. We found some surprisingly slow products, but also some that deliver what you'd expect from a device with WiFi inside.

Enhanced 802.11g NeedToKnow

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One of the wireless networking stories at this year's Las Vegas CES - aside from the scads of networkable DVD players and "media adapters" - was the battle for bragging rights to the highest throughput "starburst" number. (The "starburst" is the number prominently displayed on the front of a product's box).

Atheros Super-G NeedToKnow - Part 2

In Part 1 of this NTK, I described the elements of Super-G and took a detailed look at normal 11g and Super-G channel overlap. I also presented test results pitting Super-G against "normal" 11g wireless LANs and "normal" 11g WLANs against each other.

Atheros Super-G NeedToKnow - Part 1

As I described in my Comdex coverage, the short story is that Broadcom is asserting that Atheros' Super-G based products will interfere with neighboring 802.11b and g networks, severely limiting their speed and, in some cases, shutting them down completely.

Second-generation 802.11a NTK

The wireless networking world seems to have lost interest in 802.11a wireless LAN products. Although its advantages of operating in a quieter frequency band, significantly faster maximum data rate, and more non-interfering channels than 802.11b were attractive, its range problems and cost premium caused many prospective buyers to look, but not buy.

2.4GHz Antenna Gain vs. Range Table

Ranges are based on ideal outdoor conditions and using standard Lucent Technologies accessories. The distances referenced here are approximations and should be used for estimation purposes only.

802.11g NeedToKnow - Part 2

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In Part 1 of this NTK, I gave an overview of the state of 802.11g development, described the key performance related issues, and offered some advice for prospective purchasers of these not-quite-ready-for-prime-time products.

802.11g NeedToKnow - Part 1

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The wireless networking world is a' buzz with the new kid in town, 802.11g. As with most new technologies, some of the buzz is hype, other is rumor, and it's hard to tell the difference! Fortunately, one of the advantages that I have is detailed test data from the first products to hit the shelves, which I can use to help separate fact from fiction. I've also been busy corresponding with both the chip and networking product companies involved in the draft-802.11g market-share battle, most of whom have been very helpful in helping me get a better understanding of this new technology.

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