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Networking mailbag: Withstanding 802.11g forces

Recently, we asked readers what they thought about 802.11g, the unratified wireless standard that has started hitting the market in some mobile devices. Here are some letters on the subject from our electronic mailbag.

Recently, we asked readers what they thought about 802.11g, the unratified wireless standard that has started hitting the market in some mobile devices. Here are some letters on the subject from SearchNetworking.com's electronic mailbag.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Poll question: Are 802.11g-based products ready for prime time?

802.11g not yet ratified, but early reports promising


Feedback on this story? Send your comments to SearchNetworking.com's editor.

Not worth the upgrade

No. I do not see the upgrade being worth it. Many competitors and global markets seem to be coalescing around 802.11a and the 5MHz spectrum generally. I am also concerned that spectrum issues in various international markets will make 802 more a "generalized" standard than a precise one.

David Mayes
Moss Beach, Calif.


'It's cheap!'

Absolutely. The reason? It's cheap! It's about replacing APs right?

Henry Ubik


It's worth the workarounds

Yes, it's worth it. I just purchased Linksys's 802.11g AP, router and switch. I love it. There are a few workarounds, but you can't beat the price. If you are looking to jump into wireless, why not jump into 802.11g?

Barry Walker
Network Support Engineer


So far, so good with 802.11g

My company is a property management company. We manage large student apartment complexes at many major universities across the country. We supply Internet access to the students at many of these locations. For those locations that were not wired when they were built, wireless offers us a cheaper solution than retrofitting the buildings with CAT5 and trenching/drilling for fiber runs. We are currently looking at the Vivato product that uses 802.11b -- and plans on 802.11g when it is ratified. If this works for us, we will almost definitely move to 802.11g on many of our locations so the bandwidth for students remains above the bandwidth of the Internet connection we supply. So, in my case, I am very much looking forward to it.

As far as the typical business wireless infrastructure that supplies wireless to its end users, 10 MB is generally all people need. I don't see a great push to move to 802.11g in those cases. I can see it taking hold, however, in wireless bridging solutions where the extra speed between buildings would be beneficial.

Michael R. Farnum
Network Engineer
Houston, Texas


Adoption may take a while

I think the products that are out now probably have the base feature sets of the new 802.11g, but hopefully they will be able to be upgraded via firmware later when IEEE puts its stamp of approval on it. I think for the masses this new product line will not be adopted right away as you stated.

I think some folks are still hesitant on adopting 802.11b, just because of the bandwidth limitations, distance limitations and security issues associated with it, but those of us that love wireless and want more bandwidth are eager to get this ball rolling. I think this new standard will take off pretty well -- especially with the higher throughput, but as the case with most new technologies, it's unproven ground and most will wait for the big boys to roll their products out first. I guess we'll see.

Ben Wilson
Remote Managed Services Field Supervisor

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