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Old-school Wi-Fi Is Slowing Down Networks, Cisco Says 254

Posted by Soulskill
from the only-support-tech-less-than-three-months-old dept.
alphadogg writes "The early Wi-Fi standards that opened the world's eyes to wire-free networking are now holding back the newer, faster protocols that followed in their wake, Cisco Systems said. The IEEE 802.11 standard, now available in numerous versions with speeds up to 6.9Gbps and growing, still requires devices and access points to be compatible with technologies that date to the late 1990s. But those older standards — the once-popular 802.11b and an even slower spec from 1997 — aren't nearly as efficient as most Wi-Fi being sold today. As a result, Cisco thinks the 802.11 Working Group and the Wi-Fi Alliance should find a way to let some wireless gear leave those versions behind. Two Cisco engineers proposed that idea last week in a presentation at the working group's meeting in Los Angeles. The plan is aimed at making the best use of the 2.4GHz band, the smaller of two unlicensed frequency blocks where Wi-Fi operates."
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Old-school Wi-Fi Is Slowing Down Networks, Cisco Says

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  • by alen (225700) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @05:25PM (#46094587)

    and i mean the ones that sell the same device over many years like a game console. PS3, xbox 360, wii u, nintendo 3ds, etc
    and then you have something like printers. sure it's only $100 or $250 but no one wants to buy a new printer just to buy a new wifi router

    • by Antipater (2053064) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @05:29PM (#46094631)
      I'm willing to bet there'd be a $2 adapter for your old printer.
      • by Bacon Bits (926911) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @05:32PM (#46094677)

        I'm willing to bet there'd be a $2 adapter for your old printer.

        So do I. I'm also willing to bet printer manufacturers will sell it for $80.

        • Get the Ebay chinese version if you can wait 4 weeks!

          • Or Get the monoprice branded version for $10 and get in in a few days.
            • by Bloke down the pub (861787) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @07:54PM (#46095915)

              And then send it back because it doesn't fucking work.

              • by RenderSeven (938535) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @10:02PM (#46096697)
                I returned my last Netgear and LinkSys units. It was the cheap Monoprice one that worked right out of the box. I have no bad experiences with *any* of their stuff. In general I find that the name brands are so furiously writing crap front ends and bloated install utilities so that complete morons can use them, they forgot to make the even slightly advanced features (i.e. gateway only mode) work properly. I prefer unbranded goods that dont need a DVD full of garbage to install them ("Uncheck this box if you *dont* want to link your router to your Facebook account, submit traffic reports to Netgear, and receive our twice daily newsletter").
                • by MobyDisk (75490)

                  FWIW, I too have had success with Monoprice items. I suspect that Monoprice components are often the same as the brand name components, with a different outer shell, much like store branded electronics.

                  Specifically, I had a LAN party and I ordered a brand name Gigabit switch and a Monoprice Gigabit switch. Both worked as designed. The Monoprice one had the benefit that the case was flat, so it was more stackable than some of the fancier case designs.

      • by nurb432 (527695)

        And tablets? Phones? ... not so much.

    • by couchslug (175151)

      Add-on wireless print servers could be a fix for some, as could a slow subnet done by hanging a slow router off the fast router.

      People with a desire for speed will Ebay a lot of their old gear or Craigslist it, so those who like legacy systems can do as always and stock up.

    • by dj245 (732906) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @05:32PM (#46094663) Homepage

      and i mean the ones that sell the same device over many years like a game console. PS3, xbox 360, wii u, nintendo 3ds, etc and then you have something like printers. sure it's only $100 or $250 but no one wants to buy a new printer just to buy a new wifi router

      If you want to gain the advantages of the newest router you might, GASP, just have to run a wire to it. You might even have the inconvenience of having to relocate it next to the printer. Oh the humanity.

      Things that absolutely need wireless tend to be mobile. Mobile equipment which only takes 802.11b was probably obsolete years ago. For everything that doesn't move, it should be wired anyway.

      • by knarf (34928) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @06:08PM (#46095035) Homepage

        For everything that doesn't move, it should be wired anyway.

        Strange as it may sound to you there are actually reasons to have stationary things connect to the network through a wireless adapter. One good reason would be the simple fact that some of us live in areas where lightning plays havoc on infrastructure, especially telephone lines. If you connect to the 'net through ADSL you'll start seeing the wisdom of having as few wired connections between your modem and your network. While it is more or less impossible to protect the modem from a direct strike and usually inconvenient to protect the router, all other equipment should preferably be connected wirelessly or suffer the wrath of Thor.

        This is no idle talk, I have personally lost three modems, two routers, three Thinkpad T23 network adapters, one Intel SS4200 server network interface and one HP Jetdirect card to lightning strikes. The damage always came from the telephone line and was carried through the wired network to the victims. Nothing ever happened to any wireless device, ever.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @06:22PM (#46095175)

          what have you done to Thor, are you a desendant of his brothers.?

        • by Megane (129182)
          I hope you already at least have been using a surge suppressor on the phone line going to your modem. If it's really that bad, maybe you should find some kind of fiber-optic bridge between your modem and the rest of your network? I'm sure you could find some old 100BASE-FX adapters on ebay. (Better get a few spares for the modem end, I guess.)
        • by phoenix_rizzen (256998) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @06:42PM (#46095381)

          Ever considered spending $20 on a surge protecting power bar that includes RJ11 plugs? They're designed specifically for this, and go between the wall outlet and the ADSL modem.

          Coupled with surge protectors on ask the AC adapters, you'd be set.

          • by mjwx (966435)

            Ever considered spending $20 on a surge protecting power bar that includes RJ11 plugs? They're designed specifically for this, and go between the wall outlet and the ADSL modem.

            Coupled with surge protectors on ask the AC adapters, you'd be set.

            Oh for the love of Thor, this.

            I've set up server rooms in remote locations that get very dirty power on any interface, everything was surge protected. It's easy to get inline filters for ADSL modems that will also handle surges.

          • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

            Have you ever tried one? They don't work for lightning. Most use MOVs which are too slow to react and can't clamp the very high amounts of energy a lightning spike can cause. Often they fail to provide full protection as well. For example a lightning strike might cause a sudden change in earth potential, and few surge protectors can deal with that.

            Most of the time they just die. It happened to me a few times before I ditched dial-up/ADSL. Your equipment dies too, and they make you sent it to them (at your e

        • by Rick Zeman (15628)

          For everything that doesn't move, it should be wired anyway.

          Strange as it may sound to you there are actually reasons to have stationary things connect to the network through a wireless adapter. One good reason would be the simple fact that some of us live in areas where lightning plays havoc on infrastructure, especially telephone lines. If you connect to the 'net through ADSL you'll start seeing the wisdom of having as few wired connections between your modem and your network. While it is more or less impossible to protect the modem from a direct strike and usually inconvenient to protect the router, all other equipment should preferably be connected wirelessly or suffer the wrath of Thor.

          This is no idle talk, I have personally lost three modems, two routers, three Thinkpad T23 network adapters, one Intel SS4200 server network interface and one HP Jetdirect card to lightning strikes. The damage always came from the telephone line and was carried through the wired network to the victims. Nothing ever happened to any wireless device, ever.

          After the first time I'd have the run RJ11 through an APC UPS....Actually, no, when I had DSL I ran it through the UPS before all of my wired shit got toasted...which it never did.

        • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @04:11AM (#46097993)

          There are good reasons. That is not one of them. Lightning protection isn't hard.

          A more realistic reason is that many people just don't have the option of running cabling through an existing property - people who rent. Some businesses too, espicially those set up in listed historic buildings. It's hard enough putting electric light in those - it often has to be done via adhesive cable attachments to avoid having to make any structural modifications.

      • by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @06:12PM (#46095065) Journal

        Mobile equipment which only takes 802.11b was probably obsolete years ago.

        Obsolete is a meaningless term. Why replace something that is still as functional as the day it was made?

        • Why replace something that is still as functional as the day it was made?

          Because it makes the devices I bought yesterday far slower than they are designed to be.

          If I have a 802.11b print server on my network, it might work fine. However, when I get home with my new 802.11n laptop & want to get on the web at 50mbit, that obsolete device can slow down my Netflix streaming because it hogs the channel for longer while someone prints to it.

          More to the point, a single user in a public Wifi area (stadium, coffee house, etc) with 802.11b would cause EVERYONE to have a slower connect

          • by tlhIngan (30335) <.slashdot. .at. .worf.net.> on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @07:23PM (#46095725)

            If I have a 802.11b print server on my network, it might work fine. However, when I get home with my new 802.11n laptop & want to get on the web at 50mbit, that obsolete device can slow down my Netflix streaming because it hogs the channel for longer while someone prints to it.

            More to the point, a single user in a public Wifi area (stadium, coffee house, etc) with 802.11b would cause EVERYONE to have a slower connection. Their device is now obsolete and should not be permitted on the network.

            Except, you fail to realize one point.

            802.11 devices on the same channel are all affected. Even if they are on separate networks.

            It doesn't matter that your 802.11n network is fast. If your neighbour has an 802.11b device on the same channel on their network/strong, your network slows down.

            802.11 has channel signalling that applies to everyone on the channel, regardless of the network. Everyone obeys it as cooperation gets you better throughput than interference.

            So even if your network is 802.11ac compliant, as long as someone within range is on the same frequency, your network will slow down to accommodate their network.

            It's also why early "G-only" networks were doomed - just because your network only allows G clients in, someone on the same frequency using B forces G to downgrade.

            Just because two users are on two different networks, doesn't mean they can't influence each other. It's a shared medium.

            So your neighbour who's very happy with their 802.11b printer will still force your fast 802.11ac or 802.11n network to slow down until you change the channel, or helpfully upgrade their equipment.

            • I can typically see a dozen or so neighbors' wifi networks at 2.4GHz. Probably 2/3 are 802.11n, the rest g, no b. I used to run on g, and it worked ok except for the far edges of my house, but when my neighbors started upgrading from g to n (or maybe b to n:-), the airwaves were getting too crowded and I kept getting knocked off the network when I was in the room I usually used my laptop in. Eventually I bit the bullet and got an 802.11n router to get a bit more power and range, as well as switching chan

            • Your point is complete correct & I was aware & agree with you.

              However, my point was to the GP who was saying that nothing is obsolete. Hopefully, between the two of us, he will apologize for being so wrong. ;)

          • by skids (119237)

            Maye if you had bought an abgn radio for your hot new laptop and an abgn AP, neither your b devices nor your microwave oven would be slowing you down.

            The real progress of 11ac is forcing consumers to buy 5gHz radios on their gadgets. 2.5GHz is for crap/old devices.

        • by jxander (2605655)

          Because it's hampering progress.

          Would you see all highways limited to 30 MPH speed limits, just because someone might have a working Model T roaming around?

          • by Darinbob (1142669)

            Not quite the same. There are relatively new systems, 2 to 5 years old, that only did 802.11b. Just because some slashdotter says something is obsolete does not make it true. Most model Ts have worn out over time without expending a lot of work to maintain or restore them. Whereas many first generation wifi products are still working fine.

            Still, if you get rid of all those 802.11b devices, you still do not clear up the 2.4ghz bands. There are even older wireless phone handsets still in use (I have two)

    • by khasim (1285)

      I'd say the easiest way for Cisco to do that is to put TWO different implementations in one box.

      You can buy a USB dongle that does wireless. So why doesn't Cisco just put a USB port on their wireless access point and shunt the old stuff through that?

      Then, in the future when everything is faster and better and whatever, you just pull the old dongle out and ignore the old stuff.

      • by freeze128 (544774)
        Even usb 3.0 is limited to 4 Gbps. That would already be insufficient for the 6.9Gbps proposed in the summary.
    • by nurb432 (527695) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @05:35PM (#46094717) Homepage Journal

      They are all disposable, how dare you think you can continue to use a device for more than a couple of years..

      • by cusco (717999) <[brian.bixby] [at] [gmail.com]> on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @05:52PM (#46094871)

        This. Cisco is essentially annoyed because other people's wireless hardware doesn't fail fast enough so they can't sell them new junk. I have network hardware at home from the 1990s that still works, and since it's adequate for the traffic on my network there is no reason to replace it. If Cisco doesn't want to support the old protocols like 802.11b in their newer hardware they don't have to. If that protocol is all that works on my ancient backup laptop/dev box (it is) then I won't buy their new stuff. (Not that I would buy Cisco, anyway.)

    • What are they currently connecting to? Odds are, it's an existing router with WiFi capability. So when you get the new router, what's stopping you from having the old router connect to the new? It's a waste of power to have 2 routers running, certainly, but it may be a better option than buying everything new.

      If your current router is an ISP-supplied one and you have to return it when they send you a new one, then you'd just have to pick up any one cheap by-then-considered-old-but-not-yet-vintage routers

    • by mysidia (191772)

      and i mean the ones that sell the same device over many years like a game console. PS3, xbox 360, wii u, nintendo 3ds, etc

      The Xbox 360 and PS3 use 802.11n.... they are not part of the problem.

      An old printer that only supports 802.11b or 802.11g should definitely go; it's worth the replacement cost to "upgrade" to non-G supporting wireless hardware. It's probably so old at this point, that the drum is near end of life anyways, and everyone knows........ a new printer is cheap, the ink is the expens

      • by SirGeek (120712)

        Are you going to give me the 100+ bucks for a new printer, new cartridges, etc ?

        Why am I going to replace functional hardware JUST to "fix" a problem that isn't really a problem for me ?

        • by iroll (717924)

          Why am I going to replace functional hardware JUST to "fix" a problem that isn't really a problem for me ?

          Then why are you replacing your functional 802.11g router, smart guy?

      • My HP Laser Printer is running just fine after a decade. It doesn't have wifi, just ethernet and USB, though I think there was a wifi printer of the same generation. It usually sits in the same room as the wifi router. But Wifi uses channels, so if you've got an old 802.11b-only printer and want to keep it on the air instead of hanging it on an ethernet, you've probably got an old wifi router sitting around by now, so put it and the printer on one channel and your fast gear on another channel (or on 5 GH

    • "... no one wants to buy a new printer just to buy a new wifi router..."

      Backwards compatibility (or at least capability) is important. Look at TV.

      They could have chosen a digital broadcast TV standard that was backwards-compatible with the older signalling system. It existed. It was one of the choices.

      Instead they went with a brand-new protocol, that made all old TVs obsolete, unless they bought an expensive converter box and antenna. The result? Relatively few people in the U.S. watch broadcast TV anymore. Instead they pay outrageous fees for cable.

      If you want to kill

      • by omnichad (1198475)

        They could have chosen a digital broadcast TV standard that was backwards-compatible with the older signalling system.

        And how on earth do you propose a digital TV standard that's backwards compatible and still uses only 6MHz? We optimized our bandwidth usage and gained a whole block of frequencies for LTE.

        In the US, it cost maybe $10 (after government rebate) to buy a converter box during the rebate program. After, it was $40-50. That's maybe one month of fees for cable TV. And the picture was better than cable. If anyone spent more to switch to cable rather than pay a small one-time fee, they weren't making the best

        • by Obfuscant (592200)

          In the US, it cost maybe $10 (after government rebate) to buy a converter box during the rebate program.

          Sometimes it cost nothing after rebate. Unfortunately, the standards for the rebate units did not initially include analog passthrough, so if you put one of those converters on your TV before the cut-off date you lost access to analog channels. And if you have analog LPTV/translators, you still can't get to them. Only later did the passthrough get put in.

          And the picture was better than cable.

          The picture for the two "channels" I could get using the digital converter were very nice. (One station, two channels.) The other channels went away alto

      • "... no one wants to buy a new printer just to buy a new wifi router..."

        Backwards compatibility (or at least capability) is important. Look at TV.
        They could have chosen a digital broadcast TV standard that was backwards-compatible with the older signalling system. It existed. It was one of the choices.
        Instead they went with a brand-new protocol, that made all old TVs obsolete, unless they bought an expensive converter box and antenna. The result? Relatively few people in the U.S. watch broadcast TV anymore. Instead they pay outrageous fees for cable.
        If you want to kill off a technology, abandoning backward compatibility is a great way to do it. (Again I will add "or capability"... the new system doesn't have to be "compatible" with the old, as long as it will work in parallel.)

        TVs have a fair bit of backwards compatibility. New TVs can connect to HD content (through HDMI/DVI, cable/antenna, VGA), as well as SD content (composite, component, cable/antenna, VGA). And colour NTSC was made with excellent B&W backwards compatibility. In the past 6 years new LCD/Plasma TVs have seem a tremendous amount of market adoption. For the remaining six people the government subsidized receiver boxes. In the mean time anyone with a modern TV can hook up an antenna and get free HD content. A

      • by jader3rd (2222716)

        They could have chosen a digital broadcast TV standard that was backwards-compatible with the older signalling system. It existed. It was one of the choices. Instead they went with a brand-new protocol, that made all old TVs obsolete, unless they bought an expensive converter box and antenna. The result? Relatively few people in the U.S. watch broadcast TV anymore. Instead they pay outrageous fees for cable.

        There really wasn't a surge in cable subscribers leading up to the switch to digital in the US. Probably one of the reasons why they could pull off the switch is because of the fact that the vast majority of households have a pay for TV service, which wouldn't be affected by the switch.

      • by jrumney (197329)

        They could have chosen a digital broadcast TV standard that was backwards-compatible with the older signalling system. It existed.

        [citation needed]

    • by ArhcAngel (247594)
      Well unless I am missing something you could have more than one WiFi AP. I have one set to only accept bg connections and the other only accepts N. As soon as I pull the trigger on something that can use (and will actually benefit) from AC I'll add a third. Just pick different channels so they don't overlap and you can keep right on trucking with the old stuff without slowing down the new.
    • I have an iBook - I always liked the look of the thing when it came out and around 2005 when it was no longer the current model, I bought a grey&white 366mhz, 10gb HDD iBook and the matching curve-shaped bag via eBay

      Its had intermittent periods of use as and when I needed an extra machine, and although now 14 years old, with RAM upgraded to 392mb, an aftermarket battery giving 7 hours on a charge and OSX 10.3.9 installed, it still works. HOWEVER - it has an original Apple Airport card (probably worth
    • by mjwx (966435)

      and i mean the ones that sell the same device over many years like a game console. PS3, xbox 360, wii u, nintendo 3ds, etc
      and then you have something like printers. sure it's only $100 or $250 but no one wants to buy a new printer just to buy a new wifi router

      Most routers do both 802.11G and N these days. Unless your ancient devices are operating on the A or B protocols you should be fine.

      If they are, the simple solution is to get the new router and keep the old one as a dumb AP for the old device to connect to until you retire that device.

    • by Salgat (1098063)
      Then keep your older router or buy a compatible one. Hell, they still sell 56k modems if you need them. This is just about new hardware.
  • If you put in Cisco equipment your wired network speed WILL speed up.

    Since Cisco can't follow standards well and puts wifi systems that are constantly broken your wireless traffic will go WAY down.

    Sorry... the use of Cisco in many big complexes is because so many I.T. managers have to get the most expensive equipment. I've personally used Ubiquity and MicroTik equipment and they are more reliable.

    • I use Cisco wireless at work and Ubiquity at home. I have to say that there is still value for the Cisco products in larger companies.

      The Ubnt stuff works OK at home, but there is no way I'd deploy a factory full of them using that java "controller" compared to Cisco's WLCs.

      If you're a small business, sure, Ubnt is fine. If you have 300 sites to manage, you want something that can allow a single person to manage all of those networks from one console. The lower headcount can buy a LOT of expensive hardware.

  • What's wrong with the current system, where we use multiple letters? The answer is it's not just technical problem with unnecessary signals filling the airwaves, it's a sales problem. Customers don't grasp the differences between letter versions (a/b/g/n) so they purchase the one with the most letters, perpetuating the filling of the limited bandwidth available.

    • by xlsior (524145)
      it's a sales problem. Customers don't grasp the differences between letter versions (a/b/g/n) so they purchase the one with the most letters, perpetuating the filling of the limited bandwidth available.

      Not just sales -- if you've been bit by this a few times, you tend to buy the hardware that supports the most frequencies even if you may think you don't need them. For example, the Nintendo wii has a built-in 802.11b/g wifi adapter, but it has some bugs that prevent it from working on plain 'g' for many
    • by bws111 (1216812)

      No, it is not a 'stupid customer' problem. The STANDARD says that an 'n' device must also do a/b/g. That is what Cisco is complaining about. They want a new standard that does not have the requiement of supporting the old standards.

  • by ZorinLynx (31751) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @05:41PM (#46094783) Homepage

    All the newer, faster equipment supports the 5GHz band. Use a dual-radio access point, and set aside the 5GHz band for n/ac only. Run legacy devices on 2.4GHz. Use different network names for 2.4 and 5GHz so that people put their newer stuff on 5GHz.

    Easiest way to do this is have "networkname" and "networkname_fast". People whose devices support 5GHz will probably use the fast one. Those with only 2.4GHz-only devices won't even see the "fast" one and use the regular one. Everyone should be (relatively) happy.

    5GHz has been a godsend for WiFi performance. Sure, it doesn't penetrate as far as 2.4GHz, but in managed setups this is wonderful. Spend a little bit more on additional access points and have MUCH better performance.

    • by whois (27479)

      In managed environments you honestly have to do this. Windows (or the drivers) is real stupid about which band it wants to use so 90% of your devices hop on 2.4Ghz, which is congested already with all your neighbors also being on it. If you've got 100 people in a 5th floor downtown office it can get awful even if you put a bunch of APs in.

      So we make two SSIDs, one for 5G and disable it on the 2.4 radio.

    • Lack of penetration is a GOOD thing.

      In my apartment building, on the 2.4Ghz range, I get maybe 100 different wifi networks, including the coffeeshop down the street.

      When I switched to 5 Ghz only, there were many fewer networks (and much less interference). Sure some of that is because so many people run 2.4 Ghz. But even if they did, I wouldn't see nearly as much interference.

      Although I do hope Coffee Company doesn't switch to 5 Ghz. It's nice to steal their wifi when mine goes out.

  • by xlsior (524145)
    ....should find a way to let some wireless gear leave those versions behind

    So... similar to how pretty much most/all modern routers give you the option to switch between 'a/b/g/n' mode, or enable just 'n', or just 'ac'? And like how they let you choose to use the 2.4GHz band or 5GHz or both, or...? It seems to me that there really isn't a technical problem here, just a user education issue of TELLING them that there may be a speed benefit to turning off standards they aren't using anyway.
    • I think the point is that Cisco would like to ship their products with the slower stuff off, but if they do, they are no longer "Wi-Fi" compliant.

      They're asking for a second "Wi-Fi" standard created so they can give the user a faster access point right out of the box & still be compliant with a standard.

      • by Lehk228 (705449)
        cisco wants a new standard so they can push new network cards on everyone who doesn't currently care.
  • So default to OFF for the older protocols.

    eg. I have a 5GHz access point for my devices that support it, and a 2.5GHz access point for those that don't. I'm able to set my 6GHz band to N-only and my 2.5GHz band to G-only because all the devices I have on it support G. I'm able to effectively disable A/B support and speed up my network.

    Start shipping routers with A/B disabled, and make it an easy checkbox in the forced setup to enable "legacy" devices.

    No need to drop the functionality entirely is there?

  • 802.11b should be the first to go, but not 802.11a. Even though it didn't get good industry support, 802.11a is great. People instead adopted 802.11g, which is not 5 GHz like 802.11a, but it had better compatibility with 802.11b.

    I was pleasantly surprised when I learned that my Samsung Galaxy S III supports 802.11a. I took my 802.11a AP out of storage and returned to wireless.

    At some point in the near future I'll be purchasing 802.11ac equipment and putting my a network to bed. My two 802.11a adapters are P

  • Every router I have ever seen has an option for "n only" or "a only" or whatever band only.

    Just turn off the older standards. Done and done. Some people may want to maintain compatibility with legacy devices. That should be their choice.

    • by CdBee (742846)
      Mixed mode doesnt always work anyway - although its good to have it. Apple first-gen Airport cards cant connect to any 802.11n router whatever mode its in, they just wont do it. My fully functional grey&white 1st-gen iBook is a historic exhibit rather than a working spare machine now thanks to this.
      • by jrumney (197329)

        Apple first-gen Airport cards cant connect to any 802.11n router whatever mode its in,

        Realtek by any chance? I have an internet radio with an Realtek 802.11b USB dongle embedded. It crashes as soon as it sees any 802.11n router. For a while I was able to get by with running my router on channel 1 with n disabled so it would find it and connect before it got around to scanning my neighbours' routers, but eventually my neighbours figured out that it was pretty congested on channel 6, and started switching

  • Cisco is a company with its own interests at heart. In fact, the executive leadership's interests at heart. They want more and more money but they have to convince you there is something inadequate about what you are using now in order to sell it to you.

    Back in the earlier dot-com bubble days, no convincing was needed. Money-spending-executives (much like gadget buying housewives) bought into the notion that buying new tech will somehow translate into more money in their pockets.

    Right about now, tech has

  • Going out on a limb here (at risk of getting modded down or worse my butt flamed in front of all my friends) but someone wrote there was a time when RF was new and FCC carved out spectrum for various services. Then along comes the computer people, "we need wireless!" But everything was taken, except 2.4GHz that was given to ISM and microwave ovens. Kind of like land grabbing in early 1800s, by end of that century all the good stuff was taken. And everything that is licensed-free wireless is all put in 2.4GH
  • Fast and old school
  • That is interesting that wireless products are apparently required to support back to 802.11 1997 and b out of the box. I have seen that on my gear but didn't know it was mandated. Anyway, one of the first steps I take when deploying a new AP is to log in and, after disabling WEP and WPA1, change a dropdown box from b/g/n to g/n.

    This should eliminate all the legacy traffic, surely?

    • by jrumney (197329)

      It eliminates it from devices on your network. But your devices still need to play nice with your neighbours' networks on the same channel. Part of the problem I think is that 802.11b wasn't really designed to play well with different networks operating on the same channel in close proximity. So later standards need to detect 802.11b traffic and avoid it - which means slowing down due to gaps in the communication at least.

  • Ya, I'm no captain of industry and would consider myself pro-consumerist over pro-profiteer, but what's wrong with "Good Enough"? Most people have zero need for 6Gbps. Yes, most. Most people aren't downloading massive files over public networks nor does it matter if they get instant access to the newest viral craze on Youtube.

    For most people 802.11b is good enough. Upgrading is too resource intensive when the cost of continuing the status quo is ZERO DOLLARS.

    I equate this "issue" with Dell complaining that

  • It's called running your hardware in an exclusive mode. I'm not sure what other crappy access points everyone there is using, but my Linksys E2500 in it's Wifi settings has an option for operating solely in an 802.11N mode while throwing legacy compatibility to the wind. I've never enabled it due to compatibility reasons, but the option is very much there. So if Cisco is complaining about A/B/G revisions of wireless slowing down networks, then start selling hardware that's N or AC-only by default and make s

You can bring any calculator you like to the midterm, as long as it doesn't dim the lights when you turn it on. -- Hepler, Systems Design 182

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