Last Friday, I took my M200 over to the lounge to watch the Sci-Fi Channel while I did some work. It turned out to be a most unpleasant experience.
In the past, our wireless configuration in our office has been rather….shall we say, less than desirable. Consisting of two Linksys WRT54G routers, any computer connected to the wireless network would have its connection inexplicably reset by the access points at inopportune times. I know this because I’ve had two computers next to each other reset at exactly the same time…so it’s not the individual computers causing problems. Not only does that bomb out any unreliable file transfers, it also pops you off and on IM, announcing to all your friends on a regular basis just how crappy your wireless setup is.
Friday was the last straw. I was trying to offload some files from my notebook in preparation for the drive swap and I literally could not keep a connection for more than 15 seconds. Then…it just stopped working altogether. Not even unplugging the routers worked.
I just wired in with a really long Ethernet cable lying around the lounge and gave up.
So Sunday, having had enough of this crap, I did a little research on wireless technologies, referred regularly to an excellent MIMO roundup from Tom’s Networking, and concluded that buying something based on Airgo’s third generation True MIMO chipset was the way to go. Getting a MIMO router would probably allow me to cover the entire office with one router, plus eliminate dead spots and significantly improve the reception for existing clients.
The third generation True MIMO chipset, when paired on both ends, literally reaches about 240 mbps of throughput…which, when translated down to real world throughput, still exceeds the bandwidth of Fast Ethernet. Impressive!
I chose the WRT54GX4 from Linksys over the RangeMax 240 from Netgear because the Linksys appears to cooperate better with foreign networks. Yes, even though Linksys was the company that made the crappy wireless access points we were using in the first place. Give me ten lashes, I’m a glutton for punishment. Even though many of these products seem to have some various issues (I note that the WRT54GX4 with SRX400 has some complaints about VOIP support), I use these things strictly as an access point anyway, so I bypass a lot of these issues.
Long story short, we get in the office, unplug all the other access points, plug it in, configure the security, and let ‘er rip. To summarize, the range really is quite good and it does cover our entire building. On top of that, I haven’t had any wireless dropouts today. So yeah, it looks like it’s working pretty well.
So now that this is working so nicely, I’d like to get a compatible True MIMO card for my notebook. Not one of the cards that sticks a dongle out of the PC Card slot…a real Mini-PCI replacement card. Unfortunately, I don’t see where to get one…maybe they’re not out yet?
Oh well…I’ll have to be happy with stable wireless access for the moment.