If you haven’t heard yet, Linksys is making yet another aggressive move in the wireless marketplace by promising “Wireless-G” equipment by Christmas that supports the draft 802.11g standard. (That’s the wireless networking standard that supports the speeds of 802.11a in the frequency band of 802.11b.) In reading the press release and product pages closely, though, I noticed that Linksys never promises that the equipment will be able to be upgraded to the final 802.11g standard once it’s ratified. Interested, I emailed them about this, and after a few attempts at avoiding answering the question, I was able to get the sales representative to state specifically that owners will be able to flash the gear up to the final standard once it exists.

Just thought you’d like to know; if you’re thinking about buying a wireless access point for someone for the holidays, you may want to consider one of these puppies, because with that information, they look great.


Barring commercial use of these access points, how many people really need 22MBPS at home? The majority of home broadband users use cable or DSL and the speeds of these devices are well below the 11MBPS offered by the “b” standard. I’m sure that this next statement is a bit short sighted, but what would you be doing at home that would warrant the need for “a” speeds? I am actually curious if there are applications for purely home users.

• Posted by: Jonah on Nov 25, 2002, 2:02 PM

There aren’t any reasons you need that kind of speed, really. And the other problem with A is that the speeds are limited severely by distance to access point. I’m convinved that flashable B/G hardware won’t have solved this problem, especially from linksys. Additionally, I don’t trust linksys salespeople.

I bought Linksys gear for a couple of years, but I’ve recently switched to D-Link. The Linksys gear is inferior in every way, and the techs I’ve spoken to with Linksys are clueless. For instance, we use a Novell VPN solution at work, and I cannot VPN through a Linksys router without flashing the Bios with 300,000 untested Alpha-release patches, sacrificing a chicken, fasting, and praying nightly for a full moon cycle. The D-Link worked out of the box.

Suffice to say, all of my linksys gear is routing dust motes through the basement, and I have D-Link cable routers, access points, and hubs managing my traffic smoothly through my apartment.

• Posted by: Karl on Nov 25, 2002, 2:18 PM

As for high speeds in the home setting, the need comes if you are using wireless machines to talk either to each other or to other machines on your home network. Moving files (MP3s, graphic files, etc.) is much nicer with faster speeds, honestly.

In terms of distance from the hub, 802.11g is the precise solution for the problems of 802.11a. In the 5 GHz wavelength band, distance is much more important than in the 2.4 GHz band (hence 802.11a requiring you to be much closer to the access point than 802.11b requires). 802.11g puts 802.11a speeds on the same bandwidth as 802.11b, and from reports, the distance-from-hub requirements are the same for 11b as it is for 11g.

And as for Linksys, I’m totally happy with mine. Really — no complaints, at all. I can’t say that I’ve had to rely on the salespeople all that much, nor have I had to rely on the support group, but in terms of functionality, my BEFW11S4 (the 802.11b access point and 4-port switch) performs flawlessly. I’ve recommended it to about a half-dozen other people, and nobody else has had any problems, either. I have a 4-port Linksys NAT switch at Shannon’s house, and it, too, causes me no grief.

• Posted by: Jason on Nov 26, 2002, 12:33 AM
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