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Wireless Networks

Wireless Networks

There are several types of Wireless networks. However, they can be broken down into very specific needs to help you determine what you are looking for in your wireless system.

If you have several computers inside of an office and you wish to connect them wirelessly, it is very simple. Each computer, whether it is a desktop or notebook will need a wireless card.

You will need an access point on your primary internet connection or router. You will need a wireless card for your other computers.

- PCI Wireless Card for Desktop computers.

- WaveRVII for notebook computers. or the Notebook Wireless Kits

- Wireless bridge for servers or Ethernet type computers.

Desktop computers will require a PCI Wireless Card that inserts into the back or your computer or even our custom solutions.

Notebook computers require either a built-in wireless card (which comes standard in most notebooks now), or you can get a much longer range WiFi card and antenna from RadioLabs. Another popular solution is the WaveRVII, high power 200mW output notebook system.

We offer 2 different kits, long range B and long range b/g/super g. If you are linking buildings, see the Wireless Bridge system we offer.

Here is the real difference and may make up your mind as to what you need. You do not need 802.11G, Super G or anything else if you just want a simple, high speed internet connection.

802.11B cards operate on a very well known, very stable, proven industry standard. The speed is 11MBPS. This is lightning fast, especially when you consider that the fastest cable modem has a download rate of 1.5 MBPS, 7.3 times slower than the 802.11 speed. In fact, a T1 line operates at even a slower speed.

You know that little icon that shows up and says you are connected at 54MBPS? Well, it’s definitely not telling the truth! In fact, you can be connected at a billion MBPS on some alien technology card, yet you are never, ever, ever going to connect to the internet at any speed higher than the internet connection… I don’t care who you are. If you are using a 54 MBPS card and connected to a Cable modem and you are surfing the web... you are surfing the web at ONLY 1MBPS +/- .5 MBPS depending on your carrier. DSL is worse, but I'm not going to get into that.

Sure, tell me you are connected to wireless, your little window on your computer pops up and says you are connected at 54MBPS and you are running DSL.. great, I’ll rip you up with a 2MBPS connection, a “B” speed card with a Cable modem!!!!

The speed indicator is the biggest misconception in wireless… It is a total marketing scam and should be outlawed nationwide. I know I am going to draw a ton of heat for this, but this has absolutely got to stop!!! The Mimo stuff, sure, it’s fast if you are transferring a huge file on a closed network system, guaranteed.. I love it for that reason. But, the speed, technology and the A/B/G/N standards are just totally crazy!

Here’s an example of what can happen with your network if you have no clue what’s happening:

802.11B – The first standard adopted.. and the best!!! 11MBPS, Ultra stable with the correct stable equipment will smoke anything on the market. “Tortoise and the Hair” type thing. It lopes along and is totally stable. My #1 choice and the only standard you will find at hotels, wifi hotspots, Internet service providers stable wireless links and almost anything you find out there in the community. It’s ‘da Bomb and it’s what you should use if you are not transferring massive files, at close range, in your office. 802.11B is the stuff to use and will be for a very long time! (as a side note, I didn’t like the fact that slower was better either, but it’s pretty awesome!) For the best 802.11B Notebook kit, please check out our notebook wifi kit. You won't be upset if you purchase it.

802.11G – This is the current standard for high speed wireless connect and what the market is touting. It is really good if you are trying to use it for transferring big files from a notebook or office computers, where someone doesn’t want to run a CAT-5 cable. It will lope along at about 1/5th the speed of a directly connected Ethernet cable and get your files transferred. However, if you have interference, no external antenna or you are trying to back up your hard drive at the same time as someone else on the network.. give up!! Make some coffee, move your computer closer and have a good night! I love the technology, but I hate the stupid understanding in the community that G is better than B, because it’s just not true unless you are sitting next to your computer. See my Latency explanation below. Our new WaveRVII WiFi High power card will give you 802.11B and G at the same time.

The difference between 802.11B and 802.11G

802.11B = DSS = Digital Spread Spectrum… like cordless phones. Cool stuff, developed a very long time ago by a famous actress Hedy Lamar during WWII. Yes, this technology was designed for weapons, specifically torpedoes. The technology was invented to eliminate signal jamming. It breaks the signal up and spreads the signal throughout a certain signal range. So, if it was developed for Jamming, it will probably help eliminate interference in your wireless system. Go figure!

802.11G = OFDM = Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing. Wow, huge word! What in God’s name does that mean? Without getting all Geek on you, that’s a more advanced, yet more interference prone form of communication for digital data transfer. More data sent through the air requires more complex ways of sending data. OFDM breaks the signal down into little chunks, transmits separate parts of the data out over separate frequencies and then, god forbid someone turn on a microwave oven in the next room and scatter your data all over the place. However, a High Quality card is “Smart” and can take that interference and change frequencies and channels. RadioLabs only sells “G” type cards which have this capability. If you go to some major retailer and find a wireless USB adapter that will do “G” speed and you are only getting 1 MBPS and ultra-low speed connect, don’t call us until you toss it in the garbage!

802.11A = Same thing as the “G” standard, but it’s currently done at 5.8 GHz and the band is much less cluttered. Really cool stuff and it works. If you are doing direct shots, contact us for your solution.

802.11N = Mimo… This technology uses multiple antennas to basically steer the antenna, route the packets to an individual client, increases the speed and is backwards compatible to all of the older standards. However, “N” is meant to be used at close range at increased speeds. I am sure the technology is going to do well, but I am still skeptical. I will take the old “B” speed now, with a good antenna and make long range connections.


There is one last thing I have to explain in this article, for everyone looking for wireless range. LATENCY!

No matter if it is a radio signal, a laser, the light coming off of the Sun or a Charged particle Ray shooting through space… nothing goes faster than the speed of light!

You can have your ULTRA high gigabyte, super – ultra speed million dollar network system, with the latest technology and whatever. Hell, you could invest 1 billion dollars into a wireless bridge for a 10 mile link. With the current technology.. good luck! You run into a problem “The Speed of Light”. Good luck on that one buddy… If I could figure out a way to speed up light faster, I definitely wouldn’t be writing this article or working with wireless. You cannot and will not get your single radio network to go faster than 11MBPS at more than 20 miles, especially considering path-loss. This is a completely different matter and we will deal with this in a separate article. You can increase your packet size, but if you have a problem in the packet it will take a while to correct.

The speed of light is really really fast! It travels at 186,200 Miles per second. But now technology has advanced to the point that it’s pretty slow now. Ok, figure you are sending 56 million bits (little on and off signals), through the air at the speed of light. Great.. congratulations! You’ve just now violated the speed of light. Those bits can’t travel that fast when you get out 5-10 miles. The bits are now having errors and colliding with each other when the radios talk back and forth. With only using a single wireless access point or router, this problem won’t be solved as long as I am alive.


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