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ShermDog
Jan 17, 2005, 11:59 AM
I've been seeing a lot of new 802.11g wireless routers that claim to be significantly faster than standard 802.11g. They have gone by the names: "Pre-N" or "802.11g Extreme". In fact, these products claim to be up to 600% faster and have 800% more coverage area.

I am in the process of setting up a wireless network in my home. Does anyone have any idea as to whether Apple is going to even incorporate this technology into their machines in the near future? Would this be a simple matter of updating the firmware of an airport base station, or would you need all new hardware?

3Memos
Jan 17, 2005, 12:09 PM
I've been seeing a lot of new 802.11g wireless routers that claim to be significantly faster than standard 802.11g. They have gone by the names: "Pre-N" or "802.11g Extreme". In fact, these products claim to be up to 600% faster and have 800% more coverage area.

I am in the process of setting up a wireless network in my home. Does anyone have any idea as to whether Apple is going to even incorporate this technology into their machines in the near future? Would this be a simple matter of updating the firmware of an airport base station, or would you need all new hardware?

Walt Mossberg gave his opinions here (http://ptech.wsj.com/archive/ptech-20050106.html) . As far as Apple supporting it, only they would know. I'm betting WWDC, we'll see updating PowerBooks and PowerMacs supporting 802.11N.

Westside guy
Jan 17, 2005, 01:01 PM
Don't know about whether the existing Apple base stations will be upgradeable, but I am doubtful. In any case be careful buying "pre-" anything. 802.11n is not anywhere near complete, so buying a pre-n product - even if they guarantee it will work with n final - is a gamble unless you're willing to go with all hardware from a single vendor (including wireless cards for your laptops).

Another thing worth noting is that "802.11g extreme" is not necessarilly the same as "pre-n". Usually "extreme" type products are using a proprietary extension to the existing protocol, and will only provide benefit if you're using that particular vendor's hardware for both the access point and the wireless cards. D-Link is one company that does this. Nothing wrong with it, as long as you understand that you'll need to lock in with that single vendor.

One final comment: For most people the increased speed is irrelevant. Home users have, at best, 3mbps connections to the internet (at least here in the USA). Going from 802.11b to 802.11g, or from 802.11g to 802.11 pre-n, is not going to speed up web browsing, e-mail, or file downloads. It's not going to speed up printing on your local network either. The only thing it may speed up is computer-to-computer file transfers within your local network. The claims of increased range, if true, will certainly be beneficial though.