Office Wi-Fi May Catch Up To Home - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Infrastructure
News
2/27/2006
11:25 AM
50%
50%

Office Wi-Fi May Catch Up To Home

Walk into any electronics store, and you can buy a wireless router that claims to break Wi-Fi's official 54-Mbps speed limit. But while home networking gear has crept up as high as 240 Mbps over the last three years, more expensive business-class access points are stuck in the slow lane. That changes in the coming weeks, as Cisco's Linksys unit and Trapeze Networks are set to unveil higher-speed products for businesses.

Why now? Compatibility concerns had stopped business access points from using the higher speeds. They're all proprietary, requiring that laptops and access points use radio chips from the same company. The IEEE last month published a draft of its 802.11n standard, aiming to boost Wi-Fi to more than 600 Mbps, giving vendors a spec to base products on.

But it's only a draft, so buyer beware. "Companies are being irresponsible if they say they comply with a standard that doesn't exist yet," says David Borison, director of product management at Airgo Networks, the first chipmaker to launch a "pre-N" line. The faster chips can interoperate, but only at ordinary, slower Wi-Fi.

Linksys and Trapeze are careful not to claim interoperability. "We see it more applicable to small businesses," says Malachy Moynihan, general manager of home networking at Linksys. A small business can standardize around one vendor, but a large one can't. He also says range is as big a benefit to business as speed.

Trapeze takes a different strategy. Its forthcoming access points are designed for outdoor use, creating wireless mesh networks. Using technology from chipmaker Atheros Communications for faster links, it relies on radios rather than wiring to link access points together. Trapeze will sidestep compatibility problems by using the faster Atheros-based links to connect its access points, with standard Wi-Fi for connections to end users.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll