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Wireless Networking Networking

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 Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @05:29PM (#46094621)
    Yeah, until you can't go through a thick wall, you know, like how people used to build houses before cardboard and sawdust were acceptable?
  • 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 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 short (66530) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @05:33PM (#46094689) Homepage
    Nokia N900 cannot do 5GHz. Besides that cheapest 5GHz router is still 3x more expensive than cheapest 2.4GHz router.
  • 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 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.

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