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uk.telecom.broadband (UK broadband) (uk.telecom.broadband) Discussion of broadband services, technology and equipment as provided in the UK. Discussions of specific services based on ADSL, cable modems or other broadband technology are also on-topic. Advertising is not allowed.

D-Link & range / strength of wireless LAN signals...



 
 
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  #1  
Old June 21st 04, 01:56 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband,uk.comp.home-networking
Stroller
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 80
Default D-Link & range / strength of wireless LAN signals...

Hi all,

I'm sorry, but this is probably a really dumb question, but hopefully
someone here can put me straight fairly quickly.

I've been working for the last couple of months as a "PC doctor", and
I've just been asked to recommend / install ADSL wireless LAN for
someone. I can set this up with no problems, and I know wireless
networking will work fine in my one-bedroom flat, as it does for many
of my customers but, since this is the first time I've actually been
asked to recommend /supply the hardware, I'm concerned to make sure I
get the specification right.

In this particular instance all the PCs involved are desktops, not
laptops, and use of wireless is specified not for portability but to
save the hassle of network cables. Network speed is not an issue,
AFAICT.

My immediate reaction when installing kit in desktops is to use a PCI
card, but I seem to recall hearing a while back that reception WLAN
reception may not be so good with PCI wireless-NICs, especially as many
tower units are located low down at floor level. I seem to recall
reading that USB wireless adaptors get better signal strength, as the
USB cable allows one a bit of flexibility as to where one locates the
box with the aerial in it.
Is this information correct, or am I misguided..?

I have heard people say that their wireless laptops may work better in
some parts of the house than others, and that thicker walls in older
buildings may prevent connectivity.
Is this a consideration with current products on the market..?
Are the 54mbit or "G" products better in this regard than the older ones..?
Do I need to check with the customer the size / age of her house..?
What sort of range can I expect..?

I am considering the D-Link DSL-G604T ADSL modem-router & matching
D-Link cards, largely because these are the name brand that my favorite
supplier carries. I would be grateful to hear of anyone's experiences
with these products.

Many thanks in advance for any replies - I'm sure the posters here can
give me piece of mind before I order.

Thanks,

Stroller.

  #2  
Old June 21st 04, 04:04 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband,uk.comp.home-networking
Richard Perkin
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 40
Default D-Link & range / strength of wireless LAN signals...

Stroller wrote in
:

My immediate reaction when installing kit in desktops is to use a
PCI card, but I seem to recall hearing a while back that reception
WLAN reception may not be so good with PCI wireless-NICs,
especially as many tower units are located low down at floor
level. I seem to recall reading that USB wireless adaptors get
better signal strength, as the USB cable allows one a bit of
flexibility as to where one locates the box with the aerial in it.
Is this information correct, or am I misguided..?

I have heard people say that their wireless laptops may work
better in some parts of the house than others, and that thicker
walls in older buildings may prevent connectivity.
Is this a consideration with current products on the market..?
Are the 54mbit or "G" products better in this regard than the
older ones..? Do I need to check with the customer the size / age
of her house..? What sort of range can I expect..?

I am considering the D-Link DSL-G604T ADSL modem-router &
matching D-Link cards, largely because these are the name brand
that my favorite supplier carries. I would be grateful to hear of
anyone's experiences with these products.


1. If you do have a problem with PCI cards and the antenna 'hidden'
behind them, the lowest cost solution to to replace the stock antenna
(usually 2dBi gain) with a replacement 5dBi gain antenna. Cheap ones
cost under GBP7

2. USB devices have the advantage that it is possible to move them
araound to hopefully find a better signal, and they do work OK.
However my experience is that they are cumbersome. IMO they are best
used to give temporary connectivity to an essentially standalone
machine. Easy peasy, turn up with a USB wireless client device, plug
it in, transfer a few files, take it away again...

3. Positioning is everything, both with wirless desktops but
particularly with wireless laptops. The wireless Cardbus devices have
a tiny internal antenna; mini-PCI cards rely on an antenna within the
laptop. In either case they are small, and you may need to move
around to find a good position.

4. I have an old Victorian house (v. thick walls!) and get excellent
to good signal throughout the house and up to 30m from the house down
the back garden, where it starts to slope away. This is from an
802.11b D-Link DSL-604+

5. The range of both 802.11b and 802.11g devices is the same (same
frequency band) but you may not be able to achieve maximum 802.11g
speeds throughout the range. [Aside: since they transmit at a higher
frequency, 802.11a devices have a shorter range]

6. D-Link is similar to most other consumer brands. You will find a
mix of both satisfied and dissatisfied customers with all similar
brands. Personally I have no regrets over my purchase (I have a fair
quantity of D-Link kit) and I have found it reliable with good
performance. I have somewhat less confidence in their support
capability - but again you will hear both good and bad tales about
most other vendors in this (consumer) market segment.

7. The DSL-G604T is the latest D-Link all-in-one model and has been
out approx 3 months. Like most such products, early firmware was
slightly buggy (there has been a recent upgrade) and I would expect
problems (such as there are) to be ironed out by further firmware
releases.

Be aware of the technology: the DSL-G604T is based on a TI wireless
chipset. Suggest you use matching wireless cards also using the TI
chipset. Certainly you won't get the claimed 108 Mbit/s speeds
claimed for Atheros based products since thay are not compatible.
However, USR have TI based products with claimed 100 Mbit (soon 125
Mbit) speeds, and I expect D-Link to release drivers/firmware to
support similar speeds on their TI based devices. However, D-Link are
sometimes slow with new new firmware and drivers...

8. If you have a good relationship with your supplier, I'm sure they
will exchange products which prove unsuitable for a specific
installation.

Hope this helps

--

Richard Perkin
To email me, change the AT in the address below
richard.perkinATmyrealbox.com

It's is not, it isn't ain't, and it's it's, not its, if you mean it
is. If you don't, it's its. Then too, it's hers. It isn't her's.
It isn't our's either. It's ours, and likewise yours and theirs.
-- Oxford University Press, Edpress News
 




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