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The Future of 802.11ac

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the always-a-game-of-catch-up dept.

Communications 125

CowboyRobot writes "The 802.11ac standard is expected to be ratified in 2013 and NetworkComputing has an interview with representatives of Cisco Systems and Aerohive Networks about what that will mean for everyone else. 'Out of the gate, the increases in performance over 11n will not be tremendously impressive. The second wave--which will require a hardware refresh--gets far more interesting... First-generation 802.11ac products will achieve up to 1.3 Gbps through the use of three spatial streams, 80-MHz-wide channels (double the largest 40 MHz channel width with 802.11n), and use of better hardware components that allow higher levels of modulation and encoding (up to 256-QAM). Whether we will actually see 802.11ac products capable of 6.9 Gbps is dependent on hardware enhancements on both the access point and client that are not certain.'"

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125 comments

ho hum. still waiting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42431481)

for 802.11y hardware

Re:ho hum. still waiting (2)

TuringCheck (1989202) | about a year and a half ago | (#42431539)

for 802.11y hardware

The real speed will arrive with 802.11xxx - specially designed for broadcasting 3D porn ;-)

Re:ho hum. still waiting (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42431615)

Hah, that's nothing. 802.11ac was developed by those trolls who keep posting stuff with my slashdot account!

-
A. C.

Re:ho hum. still waiting (1)

osu-neko (2604) | about a year and a half ago | (#42433405)

The real speed will arrive with 802.11xxx - specially designed for broadcasting 3D porn ;-)

Are you implying there are network protocols designed for other uses primarily?

I'm a wire guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42431485)

I have to ask: Is anyone getting even close to these advertised transfer rates in real world scenarios? I haven't seen more than low single digit MB/s over wireless LAN, even under line of sight conditions with hardly any interference.

Re:I'm a wire guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42431497)

Omnidirectional, not really. Directional? Hell yeah, I have Ubiquiti Powerbridges deployed and I'm pushing ~297 Mbps.

Horse Hockey!!!!!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42433025)

Omnidirectional, not really. Directional? Hell yeah, I have Ubiquiti Powerbridges deployed and I'm pushing ~297 Mbps.

That's what the AP's dashboard reports. And tyhe manufacturer and its Apple-esque acolytes will argue that that's "radio" speed. But, run iperf , or some internet bandwidth tester and get back to us.

Actual TCP/IP bandwidth on your ~297 Mbps link is less than 100Mbps. Hell the PowerBridge only has a 10/100 Base-TX ethernet interface! How do you suppose they squeeze 297Mbps over 100Mbps? Yea. Horse hockey!

Re:Horse Hockey!!!!!! (1)

FrankSchwab (675585) | about a year and a half ago | (#42434443)

I don't know about the GP's Powerbridge, but I had a pair of Ubiquiti NanoStation Loco M5's providing bridge service between two of our offices that got real-world throughput of around 75 Mbps (Measured by transferring a 4GB file using Windows Explorer to another Windows box, and stopwatching the time). The offices were only a hundred yards apart, but I had the TX power cranked down to minimum.

I've measured similar on other wireless routers. Haven't tried on Gigabit connected routers. So on to the question: Yes, you can get 100 Mbit Ethernet speeds - but recognize that's only about 10 MBytes / sec.

Re:I'm a wire guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42431503)

I've had just over 200 Mbit/s with 5 GHz 802.11n, sitting in the next room from the AP, with a wall between us.

Re:I'm a wire guy (3, Insightful)

TuringCheck (1989202) | about a year and a half ago | (#42431529)

I've had just over 200 Mbit/s with 5 GHz 802.11n, sitting in the next room from the AP, with a wall between us.

And probably noone else using the 5 GHz band in your area - am I right? Because as soon as the signal / noise ratio decreases the high efficiency modulations stop working and you must live with much lower spectral effifciency - that is' much lower usable bandwidth for the same slice of the spectrum.

Unfortunately increasing the transmission power doesn't help a lot - after all, the neighbour wants high bandwidth as well leading to an arms race.

Re:I'm a wire guy (5, Interesting)

neokushan (932374) | about a year and a half ago | (#42431563)

Remember that 5Ghz has a much shorter range than 2.4Ghz so the problems with traffic congestion won't be as bad. If all of your neighbours switched to 5Ghz, you'd still see a noticeable real-world improvement over 2.4Ghz.

Re:I'm a wire guy (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#42431949)

Bimbo Newton Crosby, it all comes down to the neighbors. in areas where nobody else is running .N hardware? I've been able to get speeds for my customers on their wireless networks that were as fast as the cable could go, whereas in places where multiple people are using? They are lucky to get 200k in some places.

The problem is just too damned many people are jumping on the wireless bandwagon and even the ISPs have started handing out wireless routers (at least in my area) so the whole thing is just too crowded. I would say we need another channel but considering how much wireless spectrum goes for good luck with that, I'm shocked some company hasn't bought from the government one of the channels we already have.

Re:I'm a wire guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42431509)

MB or Mb? We use bits for measuring data transmission.
Either way, yes, I do get a high through and goodput on wifi. I still prefer wired though.

If you're seeing poor performace check the frequencies for interference with a spectrum analyser or (free) for other wifi signals with inSSIDer.

Re:I'm a wire guy (2)

Ultra64 (318705) | about a year and a half ago | (#42431511)

"I haven't seen more than low single digit MB/s over wireless LAN, even under line of sight conditions with hardly any interference."

You must be using shitty hardware. We're using ubiquiti hardware at my office and getting the expected speeds.

Re:I'm a wire guy (1)

Andtalath (1074376) | about a year and a half ago | (#42431631)

I've got a cheapass n router and I get 11 MB/s, which is pretty decent considering it's only got 100 Mb/s into it.

Re:I'm a wire guy (1)

solidraven (1633185) | about a year and a half ago | (#42431653)

I usually get 3-4 MB/s, have had more than a few peaks of 5 MB/s. Which isn't all that weird considering 54 Mbps. And that's through laminate, not exactly the best material for WiFi. Important side note is that I live in the middle of nowhere and the 2.4 GHz band is almost empty except for my neighbours routers which aren't too close either. If you're in an environment with a lot of noise like an apartment building it's worth the additional expense to get the 5GHz equipment.

Re:I'm a wire guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42431941)

Cisco EA4500 (3-stream, 450Mbit/s max) to a 2011 MBP. The laptop says it's connected around 430Mbit/s, and the throughput is on par with 100Mbit/s ethernet (around 12MBytes/s)

So, just scaling linearly, 802.11ac should see somewhere around the equivalent of 200-250Mbit/s wired.

Re:I'm a wire guy (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about a year and a half ago | (#42432789)

I have to ask: Is anyone getting even close to these advertised transfer rates in real world scenarios? I haven't seen more than low single digit MB/s over wireless LAN, even under line of sight conditions with hardly any interference.

Same problem here. At 25 feet, 100mbit wired trumps 802.11n significantly for streaming video. It's good for cellphones, laptops, and other toys but for moving anything other than tiny amounts of data it's insufficient for me. Of course, I've got everything running gigabit wired now, so this really won't even be slightly interesting to me until the "second wave". By that time 10GB wired or better will probably be running through my attic... so we'll see.

Re:I'm a wire guy (1)

skids (119237) | about a year and a half ago | (#42434491)

Yes, something is definitely wrong there. Even in our most crowded areas on campus our clients manage more than that on raw tx/rx rates -- of course, having that raw "wirespeed" doesn't mean you get that amount of data throughput when tens of other clients are also using the "wire".

Not sure the big deal here... (2)

RLU486983 (1792220) | about a year and a half ago | (#42431515)

damned ISP's choke the shit out of our connections so what is the purpose for exactly... killer LAN parties?!?

Re:Not sure the big deal here... (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | about a year and a half ago | (#42431549)

Streaming media within the LAN for a start. I had to put in gigabit cable throughout the house as wireless was inadequate. I wonder though is there anything in the standard to better cope with interference, wouldn't greater channel width mean even worse interference problems?

Re:Not sure the big deal here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42431953)

For the record, 100Mbit ethernet would've likely worked fine. I needed to drop another switch to get ethernet out to my tv, and the only switch I had handy was an old 100M one. I figured I could easily just replace it when I need to... and I haven't -- 1080p streams easily over 100M ethernet.

Re:Not sure the big deal here... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year and a half ago | (#42432123)

How is your media encoded? BBC iPlayer HD content is 3.6Mb/s, and even DVD rips are only 10Mb/s. Unless you're streaming BluRay rips (without any recompression), 802.11g should be more than adequate. Even BluRay is only 36Mb/s, which is a bit much for 802.11g in the real world, but well within the capabilities of 802.11n.

Re:Not sure the big deal here... (1)

grumling (94709) | about a year and a half ago | (#42432191)

So many variables though. I have one of those cheap Android HDMI computers [amazon.com] on my TV. When connected via 802.11G streams were somewhat intermittent, even with line of site to the AP. When I switched over to a wired connection [amazon.com] all the stuttering stopped, and even web content like Ustream improved.

I suspect a poorly designed antenna in the Android device, but it could just as easily been bad drivers, interference from neighbors, or another device using bandwidth on the wireless channel. Some other big differences: wireless networks are 1/2 duplex, while wired Ethernet is full duplex, Ethernet (through switches) is basically a dedicated channel between devices, and overall more bandwidth available.

Re:Not sure the big deal here... (1)

fa2k (881632) | about a year and a half ago | (#42432801)

TV recordings from mythtv are about 4 Mbit/s too (standard def). There are significantly more interruptions on "11n" "Lite" gear (with just one antenna, claimed ~100Mbit/s) compared to Gbit wired. One killer is buffering when skipping back and forward. If it takes a second to buffer a second of video, that's very annoying.

Compressed video streaming isn't a great argument for anything beyond high-quality full speed "n" components though. Raw speed is great when moving big files around, if the CPU and hard drive can keep up.

Re:Not sure the big deal here... (1)

fufufang (2603203) | about a year and a half ago | (#42431779)

Well, it is designed for you to stream 3D porn at Blu-ray quality across your house.

Re:Not sure the big deal here... (3, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#42431867)

My somewhat extensive experience with mythtv and wireless is that you need speed to work around latency due to interference or random multipath or whatever it is that occasionally slows stuff down. If you've got 1000 mb to transfer over 1000 seconds then on average you only need average speed X. However if you need to transfer exactly 1 mb every second, or the picture breaks up, and you occasionally endure 9/10ths of a second interference/outages, then you need 10 times the average speed to deliver. Or a bigger buffer, which means a long spooling up delay.

A good IT analogy is its like the difference between batch processing and a realtime OS.

Or maybe a standard /. car analogy is something like if you've got a 200 mile range gas tank, it doesn't really matter where the gas station is as long as its less than 200 miles away when you have a full tank... but the instant that the closest open gas station is 201 miles away, you're all done. Maybe thats an awful analogy...

No wait I've got a better car analogy. My gas station can deliver something like 5 gallons per minute, which seems like gross overkill for my fuel injectors which barely burn 2 gallons per hour on the highway. However the key point is my fuel injectors do NOT use 2 gallons per hour, they really use a microscopic droplet 60 times per second. Or something like that. Too early in the morning...

Re:Not sure the big deal here... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42432235)

At 55 mph your car gets 40 mpg, and at 70 mph your car gets 20 mpg, and you've got three gallons of fuel and you've got an appointment in one hour, seventy miles away, and you've only got two gallons of fuel. No, that sucks too.

How about, the highway can carry 100 people per unit of length at 70 mph without collisions or it can carry 200 peopler per unit of length at 35 mph... no, wait...

How about we just only make car analogies when they make sense :/

I know, I must be new here

Re:Not sure the big deal here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42433173)

No. A car that gets 35 MPG is travelling down the highway at 65 MPH. In 3 hours it will be 7:00 PM EST. So what is the temperature in Seattle, WA?

I think that makes much more sense.

Re:Not sure the big deal here... (1)

Jeng (926980) | about a year and a half ago | (#42432349)

Ok, so lets say that you are driving across a bridge and while you are driving across it it starts to collapse behind you at a certain rate. If at any time you get below that certain rate the collapse catches up to you and you die.

Re:Not sure the big deal here... (0)

haruchai (17472) | about a year and a half ago | (#42432653)

Or you could get your girlfriend to run around naked.

Oh, wait, this is /.

Never mind and carry on.

Point to point links? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about a year and a half ago | (#42432005)

This is kind of like asking, "What is the point of having 100 megabit ethernet when hardly any ISPs have 100 megabit service?"

Not much of an improvement?!? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42431517)

Am I missing something here? Using math "up to 1.3 Gbps" is more than 4x N's "up to 300Mbps" which was a huge jump over G's "up to 54Mbps" so, apparently you need to be 5.5x or faster to be classified a huge jump for cisco people, a measly 4.3x doesn't do it.

Re:Not much of an improvement?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42432293)

It is the lack of CPU power that they want to put on the consumer plastic routers that can actually the "6.9 Gbps" speed. To make a box at the $200 range, they probably don't want to send more than $15 on a SoC. Also kind of LAN/WAN interface in the router to feed the data? 10Gbps Ethernet would be too expensive for that market segment.

Re:Not much of an improvement?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42432437)

The summary is technically correct, but doesn;t quite do the math for you:

First, the 802.11ac speed quote is with 3 spatial streams, while the 802.11n speed you mention is with 2. n supports up to 4, although 4x4 devices are still not available (3x3 only really happened recently in consumer devices). This brings the "speed" of 802.11n up to 450Mbps.

Next, 802.11n 3x3 at 450 Mbps is using 40 Mhz wide channels, while 802.11ac is using 80 Mhz wide to get 1.3Gbps. Sure, it makes it go faster. But in lots of real world situations you are not going to be able to consume that wide a channel without runnng into interference. Doubling your specturm doubles your bandwidth (literally). If we make ac use a 40 Mhz band, it comes down to 650 Mbps.

The last part is the addition of 256 QAM modulation. I don't know nearly enough about how this works, but most of the people I trust about this expect this to be a non factor. You need a very clean spectrum in order to maintain this modulation, ie not be in a heavy residential area once 5Ghz becomes congested.

To sum up: If you compare apples to apples, it really isn't much faster than n. It theoreticaly can be, in the right environment. But you might be living in an unexplored wilderness.

Congestion & old nets = little benefit (5, Insightful)

phayes (202222) | about a year and a half ago | (#42431521)

802.11ac isn't out yet but I have little hope of it really helping. I live in an apartment building I can already see 50+ routers on 2.4 & 10+ ON 5GH.

I just don't see that much of a benefit unless the congestion avoidance is really better than 102.11n.

Re:Congestion & old nets = little benefit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42431595)

You sound like a good candidate of our new high speed data networking system, our transmissions are heavily shielded and all securely transmitted via 50ohm coax cable, ;)

Re:Congestion & old nets = little benefit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42431969)

Just don't forget your terminators, or you'll spew bits all over your floor

Re:Congestion & old nets = little benefit (1)

RicktheBrick (588466) | about a year and a half ago | (#42432095)

I was hoping that this would free me from purchasing a lot of equipment. I was hoping the cable company would purchase the router and place on pole around my house. I would than purchase adapters for every television and have wireless reception. I would than purchase cordless phones with the base being the router. I would not have to purchase a video recorder since the cable company would record all the channels I receive and allow me to choose what time to watch them. Until this happens, I will not be excited by any advance in routers.

Re:Congestion & old nets = little benefit (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about a year and a half ago | (#42432777)

I was hoping the cable company would purchase the router and place on pole around my house

Just wait until you have trouble, call the ISP's tech support line and they tell you to go up the pole, unplug the router, wait ten seconds, then plug it in again.

Re:Congestion & old nets = little benefit (1)

RicktheBrick (588466) | about a year and a half ago | (#42432813)

I forgot that router should also have a 8 core microprocessor with 20 GBytes of ram memory and 120 GBytes of SSD and a Terabyte of hard drive space. Wireless keyboard and mouse should be able to communicate with router so any television should be able to be used as a monitor for that computer. Of course all of this should be available for around a $100 a month.

Re:Congestion & old nets = little benefit (1)

phayes (202222) | about a year and a half ago | (#42433393)

Move to France, I actually have most of what you're asking for as I am on Free.fr.

My Freebox server v6 provides:
- ADSL connection
- 802.11n (2.4 & 5Ghz)
- a 250Gb NAS
- DECT for my wireless phones (& free calls to much of the world - to almost all places I call)
- 4 Gb ethernet ports

The Freebox player provides:
- television over ADSL or antenna
- recording emissions to the Freebox server
- playing videos from all DLNA servers on my LAN
- airplay from the Macs & iDevices (no video though)
- Digital connection to my dolby decoder.

Re:Congestion & old nets = little benefit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42431603)

I wonder that if you ran one central network and vlanned (can you do that with wifi?) the traffic over it in sharing the bandwidth out equally With one vlan per apartment you have privacy and because there's only one professionally set up network in the building it should cut down on the interference. Whether or not you get a speed increase would be the question.

Re:Congestion & old nets = little benefit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42432465)

Sorry AC. But you are trying to solve a layer 1 issue with a layer 2 solution. To best understand why this won't work let's switch some of the descriptions around. Let us make it a layer 1 non-switched network. You have many users connecting over a hub to talk to an end point. When one is transmitting, no others will in a wired network. They will check to see if there is signal on the line. We can then add layer 2 sitching to seperate collision domains and allow multiple talkers. However in wireless we have to worry about signal what we don't see at the transmitter that may be seen at the receiver. We only have collision domains dictated by which bands we are transmitting on.
Creating a logical abstraction of a vlan wouldn't resolve the issues of the medium looking diffrently to the transmitter then to the receiver at the time of transmission.

Now if the centrally administered network controlled the bands that individual transmitters opperated on, you could use vlans on the wire to enhance the security posture. In an appartment building you are going to have alot of transmitters however, and are quickly going to have alot of bleed over and collisions. The upside might outweigh the costs, but you are still at the mercy of the networks on your fringes.

Re:Congestion & old nets = little benefit (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year and a half ago | (#42431623)

If you transmit at higher speed it takes less time to send a given volume of data, allowing everyone else more time for theirs. Compared to 802.11n which will use 50%+ of the available bandwidth for streaming HD video the new AC standard might only need 10%.

Of course all that is mitigated by a single 802.11g router being maxed out by someone doing a download.

Re:Congestion & old nets = little benefit (1)

phayes (202222) | about a year and a half ago | (#42431901)

Does 802.11ac slow down in the presence of older networks like 802.11g slows down in the presence of 802.11b clients? All you needed was one old client present on the network for all transfers to slow down by 50%.

Yeah, you could set the access point to be 802.11g only but even then the 802.11b would keep interfering with the access point...

Re:Congestion & old nets = little benefit (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year and a half ago | (#42434139)

Depends what you mean... The slow down was actually due to having to wait longer between the end of one transmission and starting another one to give 802.11b clients a chance to jump in. I don't know if it matters for 802.11ac or not.

Re:Congestion & old nets = little benefit (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year and a half ago | (#42432513)

But the download will either uses less time-share, or complete faster. Depending where the bottleneck is.

Re:Congestion & old nets = little benefit (1)

phayes (202222) | about a year and a half ago | (#42433463)

Not if 11ac access points slow down automatically when seeing non 11ac access points like 11g access points do when they see 11b traffic...

Re:Congestion & old nets = little benefit (1)

skids (119237) | about a year and a half ago | (#42434755)

Yes and no, dot11ac requires 5GHZ radio support, and there are more channels available there -- and also consequently on a 5GHz network enterprises can pack APs more tightly without turning down the power level. So dot11h and other frequency conflict avoidance schemes should allow APs to automatically avoid each other. However, because of the 80MHz channel option, which will doubtless be turned on by just about everyone, this advantage is mitigated to half over a 40MHz dot11n network and to 1/4th of an unbonded dot11n network, because in that scheme, you may be taking less time to transmit the packet, but you are doing it over 4 channels instead of one, so you have to wait for all 4 to be clear and all 4 have to wait for you to be clear.

In addition spatialized MIMO should theoretically act not only as a bandwidth booster but also as a way to reduce crosstalk.

The real winner will be the 2.5GHz spectrum, because forcing vendors to put a 5GHz radio in means that we'll finally reach some level of sanity and balance between the two bands.

Re:Congestion & old nets = little benefit (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | about a year and a half ago | (#42431817)

Unless they start putting phase array antenna's on APs to tight beam data to devices there is simply no avoiding time sharing channels... still for a given time on a channel it still gets more data through it, so even in congested situations it helps.

Re:Congestion & old nets = little benefit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42432339)

802.11ac includes beamforming.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/beamforming-wifi-ruckus,2390.html

The ability to deliver a higher bitrate to particular points, without needing to increase the radiated power (802.11 has limits on radiated power) is a wonderful thing.

It does use multiple antennas to do this.

Being able to increase the SNR between the router and a handful of specific points is very helpful. Being able to "tune out" interference in certain areas also helps.

Not sure if this standard will allow you to have 2 different clients at 2 different locations use the exact same channel at the same time; we're certainly headed that direction, though.

Re:Congestion & old nets = little benefit (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | about a year and a half ago | (#42433195)

It helps against interference and attenuation ... but competing routers aren't treated as interference. Once they can beam it tight enough that the CSMA/CA algorithm is adapted to take it into account (ie. the spec allows one router to simply shout across a competing one with a directional signal) then things will change. I don't think beam forming with 4-8 antennas will be nearly tight enough to allow that.

Re:Congestion & old nets = little benefit (1)

Tagged_84 (1144281) | about a year and a half ago | (#42431943)

I know the feeling, used to live in a city apartment myself, similar numbers. The good news is that 802.11ad [networkworld.com] , operating at 60ghz, is expected in 2014.

Re:Congestion & old nets = little benefit (1)

TheBlackMan (1458563) | about a year and a half ago | (#42432131)

802.11ac isn't out yet but I have little hope of it really helping. I live in an apartment building I can already see 50+ routers on 2.4 & 10+ ON 5GH.

I just don't see that much of a benefit unless the congestion avoidance is really better than 102.11n.

You are probably right. I think this invention will be of more help: http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/12/10/23/1946248/increasing-wireless-network-speed-by-1000-by-replacing-packets-with-algebra [slashdot.org] It works basically "repair data" in RAR archives for WiFi networks, so distorted/damaged packets can be recovered even if their checksums don't match.

Re:Congestion & old nets = little benefit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42432165)

Next time you change wall-paper, put a layer of aluminium foil behind the outer walls of you apartment. You cell-phone coverage might suffer a bit but it should keep down the congestion.

Re:Congestion & old nets = little benefit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42434299)

802.11ac isn't out yet but I have little hope of it really helping. I live in an apartment building I can already see 50+ routers on 2.4 & 10+ ON 5GH.

I just don't see that much of a benefit unless the congestion avoidance is really better than 102.11n.

Except that I'd wager if those 50+ on 2.4 GHz switched to 5 GHz, you wouldn't see 60+ in total, but rather 30-40. There are probably 25+ on 5 GHz in the same area/range as some of the 2.4 GHz signals, but you're only seeing half of them.

The reason for both is that 5 GHz has a much lower (relative) range. You also have to remember that most of the channels at 2.4 GHz overlap each other, but each channel at 5 GHz is independent, You can have maybe four networks (@20 MHz each) on 802.11b/g/n before they start stepping on each other's toes, but in 5 GHz you can have over twenty different APs, each getting 20 MHz, before they start colliding:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_WLAN_channels

As long as you and all your neighbors don't need the range of 2.4 GHz all at once, then everyone switching over to 5 GHz will improve things in a rising-tide-all-boats kind of way.

Firjst poSt (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42431527)

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Re:Firjst poSt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42431809)

You forgot to include "BSD" there somewhere.

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Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42431573)

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Costco Greeter: [Greeting every customer] Welcome to Costco, I love you. Welcome to Costco, I love you. Welcome to Costco, I love you. Welcome to Costco, I love you.

Doctor: [laughs] Right, kick ass. Well, don't want to sound like a dick or nothin', but, ah... it says on your chart that you're fucked up. Ah, you talk like a fag, and your shit's all retarded. What I'd do, is just like... like... you know, like, you know what I mean, like...

Officer Collins: [addressing military brass] You see, a pimp's love is very different from that of a square.

Rita: Can you take me there?
[Points at TV where "Monday Night Rehab" is showing]
Frito: [Lifts Rita to TV]
Rita: Not here, you fucking moron - there!
[Points at TV again]

Secretary of State: I'm Secretary of State, brought to you by Carl's Jr.

[Billboard Ad]: If you don't smoke Tarryltons... Fuck You!

Doctor: Don't worry, scrote. There are plenty of 'tards out there living really kick-ass lives. My first wife was 'tarded. She's a pilot now.

Frito: [Acting as Joe's public defender] It says here you robbed a hospital. Why'd you do that?
Pvt. Joe Bowers: I'm not guilty!
Frito: That's not what the other lawyer said.

Judge Hank "The Hangman" BMW: Now prosecutor, why you think he done it?
Prosecutor: 'Kay. Number one your honor, just look at him. And B, we've got all this, like, evidence, of how, like, this guy didn't even pay at the hospital. And I heard that he doesn't even have his tattoo.
[crowd boos]
Prosecutor: I know! And I'm all, 'you've gotta be shittin' me!' But check this out man, judge should be like
[bangs fist on table]
Prosecutor: 'guilty!' Peace.

Pvt. Joe Bowers: I just need you to tell me how to get to the time machine.
Frito: Oh, that's easy. You go down by the museum and stuff... It's like- it's, like, by the museum... Sorta by... Actually, not really. More like on the street, you go, um... Wait, let me start over. Okay, you know where the time machine is?

Female Reporter: It started off boring and slow with Not Sure trying to bullshit everyone with a bunch of smart talk: 'Blah blah blah. You gotta believe me!' That part of the trial sucked! But then the Chief J. just went off. He said, 'Man, whatever! The guy's guilty as shit! We all know that.' And he sentenced his ass to one night of rehabilitation.

Pvt. Joe Bowers: Today I step into the shoes of a great man, a man by the name of Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho.

Frito: I can't believe you like money too. We should hang out.

[repeated line]
Frito: I like money.

Pvt. Joe Bowers: Man, I could really go for a Starbucks, y'know?
Frito: I don't really think we have time for a handjob, Joe.

Doctor in Waiting Room: Clevon is lucky to be alive. He attempted to jump a jet ski from a lake into a swimming pool and impaled his crotch on an iron gate. But thanks to advances in stem cell research and the fine work of Doctors Krinsky and Altschuler, he should regain full reproductive function again.
Trashy Guy: [in the background] Get your hands off my junk!

Yuppie Wife: Unfortunately, Trevor passed away from a heart attack while masturbating to produce sperm for artificial insemination. But I had some eggs frozen, so just as soon as the right guy comes along...

President Camacho: Shit. I know shit's bad right now, with all that starving bullshit, and the dust storms, and we are running out of french fries and burrito coverings. But I got a solution.
South Carolina Representative # 1: That's what you said last time, dipshit!
South Carolina Representative # 2: Yeah, I got a solution, you're a dick! South Carolina, what's up!

Pvt. Joe Bowers: [addressing Congress] There was a time when reading wasn't just for fags. And neither was writing. People wrote books and movies. Movies with stories, that made you care about whose ass it was and why it was farting. And I believe that time can come again!

Ow! My Balls! Guy: Comin' up next on The Violence Channel: An all-new "Ow, My Balls!"

Frito: Yah I know this place pretty good, I went to law school here.
Pvt. Joe Bowers: In Costco?
Frito: Yah I couldn't believe it myself, luckily my dad was an alumnus and pulled some strings.

Narrator: The years passed, mankind became stupider at a frightening rate. Some had high hopes the genetic engineering would correct this trend in evolution, but sadly the greatest minds and resources where focused on conquering hair loss and prolonging erections.

Doctor: Why come you got no tattoo?

Narrator: Joe decided that in order to get out of jail, he would have to use his superior diplomacy skills.
Pvt. Joe Bowers: [talking to the prison guard] Hey, uh... I'm actually supposed to be getting out of jail, not going back in...
Prison Guard #2: [hits Joe on the back of the head] You're supposed to be in that line, dumbass!
[he points to the door]
Prison Guard #2: Hey, guys, let this dumbass out!

Narrator: [Time Masheen starts] We're gonna take you back, to the year 1939 when Charlie Chaplin and his nazi regime enslaved Europe and tried to take over the world...
Narrator: ...But then an even greater force emerged, the U.N.
[pronounced "un"]
Narrator: and the U.N. un-nazied the world - forever.

Pvt. Joe Bowers: Why me? Every time Metsler says, "Lead, follow, or get out of the way," I get out of the way.
Sgt. Keller: Yeah, when he says that, you're not supposed to choose "get out of the way." It's supposed to embarrass you into leading - or at least following.
Pvt. Joe Bowers: That doesn't embarrass me.

President Camacho: Now I understand everyone's shit's emotional right now. But I've got a 3 point plan that's going to fix EVERYTHING.
Congressman #1: Break it down, Camacho!
President Camacho: Number 1: We've got this guy Not Sure. Number 2: He's got a higher IQ than ANY MAN ALIVE. and Number 3: He's going to fix EVERYTHING.

Secret Service Thug: Okay. Hey, a couple of us guys were wonderin', uh if we'd go family-style on her.

Prison Guard #3: [looks at computer after Not Sure tells him he's not supposed to be there] uh, well... I don't see you in here... so, you're, uh, gonna have to stay in prison.

Officer Collins: [addressing military brass about Rita's background] We did, however have to come to an arrangement with her pimp. A gentleman who goes by the name Upgrayedd. Which he spells thusly, with two D's, as he says, "for a double dose of this pimping".

IPPA Computer: Welcome to the Identity Processsing Program of Uhmerica! Please insert your forearm into the forearm receptacle!
[Joe inserts his arm]
IPPA Computer: Thank you! Please speak your name as it appears on your current federal identity card, document G24L8!
Pvt. Joe Bowers: I'm not sure if...
IPPA Computer: You have entered the name "Not Sure." Is this correct, Not Sure?
Pvt. Joe Bowers: No, it's not correct...
IPPA Computer: Thank you! "Not" is correct. Is "Sure" correct?
Pvt. Joe Bowers: No, it's not, my name is Joe...
IPPA Computer: You have already confirmed your first name is "Not." Please confirm your last name, "Sure."
Pvt. Joe Bowers: My last name is not "Sure!"
IPPA Computer: Thank you, Not Sure!
Pvt. Joe Bowers: No, what I mean is my name is Joe...
IPPA Computer: Confirmation is complete. Please wait while I tattoo your new identity on your arm!

[cabinet has been debating putting water on the plants instead of Brawndo]
Pvt. Joe Bowers: What *are* these electrolytes? Do you even know?
Secretary of State: They're... what they use to make Brawndo!
Pvt. Joe Bowers: But *why* do they use them to make Brawndo?
Secretary of Defense: [raises hand after a pause] Because Brawndo's got electrolytes.

[first lines]
Narrator: As the 21st century began, human evolution was at a turning point. Natural selection, the process by which the strongest, the smartest, the fastest, reproduced in greater numbers than the rest, a process which had once favored the noblest traits of man, now began to favor different traits. Most science fiction of the day predicted a future that was more civilized and more intelligent. But as time went on, things seemed to be heading in the opposite direction. A dumbing down. How did this happen? Evolution does not necessarily reward intelligence. With no natural predators to thin the herd, it began to simply reward those who reproduced the most, and left the intelligent to become an endangered species.

[last lines]
Narrator: Joe and Rita had three children, the three smartest kids in the world. Vice President Frito took 8 wives and had a total of 32 kids. Thirty-two of the dumbest kids ever to walk the Earth. OK, so maybe Joe didn't save mankind, but he got the ball rolling, and that's pretty good for an average guy.

Narrator: Unaware of what year it was, Joe wandered the streets desperate for help. But the English language had deteriorated into a hybrid of hillbilly, valleygirl, inner-city slang and various grunts. Joe was able to understand them, but when he spoke in an ordinary voice he sounded pompous and faggy to them.

Narrator: The #1 movie in America was called "Ass." And that's all it was for 90 minutes. It won eight Oscars that year, including best screenplay.

Rita: You think Einstein walked around thinkin' everyone was a bunch of dumb shits?
Pvt. Joe Bowers: Yeah. Hadn't thought of that.
Rita: Now you know why he built that bomb.

Carl's Jr. Computer: Enjoy your EXTRA BIG ASS FRIES!
Woman at Carl's Jr.: You didn't give me no fries, I got an empty box.
Carl's Jr. Computer: Would you like another EXTRA BIG ASS FRIES?
Woman at Carl's Jr.: I said I didn't get any!
Carl's Jr. Computer: Thank you! Your account has been charged. Your balance is zero. Please come back when you can afford to make a purchase.
Woman at Carl's Jr.: What? Oh no, NO!
[She hits the machine. An alarm goes off, and a sign appears on the computer saying "WARNING! Carl's Jr. Frowns Upon Vandalism"]
Carl's Jr. Computer: I'm sorry you're having trouble. I'm sorry you're having trouble.
Woman at Carl's Jr.: Come on! My kids are starvin'!
Carl's Jr. Computer: [the woman kicks the computer, and it sprays a fast-acting tranquilizer in her face] This should help you calm down. Please come back when you can afford to make a purchase. Your kids are starving. Carl's Jr. believes no child should go hungry. You are an unfit mother. Your children will be placed in the custody of Carl's Jr. Carl's Jr... "Fuck You, I'm Eating."
[Joe approaches the computer]
Carl's Jr. Computer: Welcome to Carl's Jr. Would you like to try our EXTRA BIG ASS TACO? Now with more MOLECULES!

Phone Computer: Welcome to AOL Time Warner Taco Bell US Government Long Distance. Please say the name of the person you wish to call.
Rita: Upgrayedd.
Phone Computer: There are 9,726 listings for "Upgrayedd". Please deposit $2,000 to begin connection.

IPPA Computer: If you have one bucket that contains 2 gallons and another bucket that contains 7 gallons, how many buckets do you have?

Attorney General: Water? Like out of the toilet?

Frito: I'm going to mistrial my foot up your ass if you don't shut up!

Hoping for indoor range improvements (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42431641)

I live in an old motel, which has no wired connections in the rooms, and a NetGear N600 dual-band wifi router on the first floor. I'm on the second floor, and a short distance to the side. My NetGear WNCE2001 wifi-to-ethernet adapter is getting a good connection (up to 2 megabytes / sec, saturating the top speed of the cable-modem). The 5GHz signal doesn't get anywhere near my room, so I'm using 2.4GHz. There are almost never more than half-dozen simultaneous users. The problem is that the signal gets much weaker for rooms that are further away, so their residents have to take their laptops to the motel lobby to get a decent connection.

Which new or upcoming wifi standards would improve this situation?

--libman

Re:Hoping for indoor range improvements (2)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year and a half ago | (#42431821)

Is it possible to simply deploy more APs?

Re:Hoping for indoor range improvements (1)

phayes (202222) | about a year and a half ago | (#42433637)

Already doing that. My Freebox in in one corner of the apartment & I have an old WRT with the same SID/password in the opposite corner where multiple walls & neighboring wifi APs render the freebox wifi unusable. I can thus pass off from the freebox & the WRT transparently but that doesn't change the high noise floor & interference from all the other nets.

Re:Hoping for indoor range improvements (2)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year and a half ago | (#42431831)

None. Most of them are about reducing congestion problems, typically through reducing range (like 2.4GHz to 5GHz shift) or various antennae and beamforming solutions.

Your problem is the exact opposite, and typically handled by installing additional WiFi routers or amplifiers. Your problem has been long solved, but it would appear that your motel is simply not interested in investing in solutions.

Re:Hoping for indoor range improvements (0)

phayes (202222) | about a year and a half ago | (#42433537)

I already use 2 APs & own the apartment I live in. Don't assume that because you live in a motel that everyone else does.

Re:Hoping for indoor range improvements (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | about a year and a half ago | (#42431851)

Get some extra wlan routers, put them at intermediate points and bridge to different channels to extend the range (repeaters make inefficient use of channel bandwidth). Not entirely trivial to setup but perfectly doable even with cheap routers.

Re:Hoping for indoor range improvements (1)

phayes (202222) | about a year and a half ago | (#42433559)

I already use a WRT that has the same SID/password as the 11N AP to cover some parts of my apartment. That doesn't change the high noise floor/interference from all the neighbouring APs.

Realism... (2)

solidraven (1633185) | about a year and a half ago | (#42431643)

256-QAM modulation for wireless data transfer, sure...
What's the intended range in realistic situations, 5cm?

Re:Realism... (4, Informative)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year and a half ago | (#42431837)

Shorter range is a significant advantage today because it reduces interference.

Interference is probably the main reason for lack of speed and reliability in modern city apartment WiFi.

Re:Realism... (3, Interesting)

brunes69 (86786) | about a year and a half ago | (#42431859)

And when you live in a house, like oh say 50%+ of the population, you will now have to purchase 3 wireless routers to ensure coverage, whereas previously only one decent one was enough.

Re:Realism... (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about a year and a half ago | (#42432025)

Or you purchase repeaters (cheaper) or you purchase higher-gain antennas (even cheaper, but will probably only improve coverage on one floor), or you illegally plug your AP into a linear amplifier and hope the FCC never comes for you (and it is unlikely they will). I know someone who uses a repeater in his house; it is not all that uncommon nor is it difficult.

Re:Realism... (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | about a year and a half ago | (#42433503)

Amateur radio licencees can use much higher power on some 802.11b/g frequencies (1500 watts, versus 1 watt), and so can use amplifiers that are illegal for the general public. However, it doesn't solve the problem at all - you need bidirectional communications for things to work. Boosting the AP transmit power doesn't make it receive any better. Adding a receiver preamplifier helps some, but since they boost the noise as well as the signal, they aren't as useful as you'd think.

If you need to boost a signal in one direction only (for instance, a single-floor dwelling with the AP at one end), antennas are a good solution. Otherwise, more than one AP is the best answer.

Re:Realism... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42432975)

So... do something radical. Use what you've already got instead of buying something new that doesn't fit your requirements. Its crazy, I know. But be realistic. If you needed more bandwidth for local transfers, current solutions didn't fit anyway and you did something expensive like wire the house. If you're just using the wireless as a connection to the internet, then 802.11n is already more than adequate for your uplink.

Re:Realism... (1)

solidraven (1633185) | about a year and a half ago | (#42432753)

Yes, but 256-QAM is very noise sensitive. Works fine on a coax cable, works fine on short copper lines. But wireless is a different story. Especially considering how crowded the 2.4 GHz band is these days. I'm not saying it's impossible, I just wonder how cost efficient these devices will be considering the SNR you'll have to achieve to keep the error rate down. At some point it might not be worth it.

Re:Realism... (1)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#42431891)

It'll be better than that, but not much. The killer problem is the average house would probably work pretty well WRT multipath distortion, but they don't need the bandwidth, and the office which needs the bandwidth is all steel framing and steel cubicles and steel beams and aluminum window frames which is going to multipath distort the signal into unusability. The TLDR is where its needed it won't work, and where it'll work its not needed. Whoops. Well back to selling kitty litter over the internet...

Another curious question is I wonder what the power budget is for this beast. If it makes a tablet too hot to touch or kills the battery in 30 minutes then I'm not too interested. Maybe a modern complicated wifi chipset uses less power than an ancient legacy chipset... but a modern simple slow chipset would surely use less. My point being I've never felt limited by a handheld device's LAN speed... battery life, sure

Re:Realism... (1)

solidraven (1633185) | about a year and a half ago | (#42432763)

Well, that depends on how smart the MIMO algorithm is I'd say. I've seen a few very efficient implementations that do seem to be able to select fairly good paths. I'm more worried about the necessary SNR.

Re:Realism... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42432977)

check the constellation size for satcomms...

802.11ac routers are already on the market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42431711)

I just bought an Asus 802.11ac router a few months ago and it's features are impressive. I already get 450 Mbit/s transfer rates using wifi and 1.7 Gbit/s via lan. Fortunately my Lenovo W530 supports this wifi setting. :-)

Re:802.11ac routers are already on the market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42433967)

That's just the draft version.

crypto (2)

spikestabber (644578) | about a year and a half ago | (#42431805)

With all the recent Wi-Fi developments, why isn't encryption now standard? I should be able to setup an *open* access point with encryption these days so my users don't get their email passwords jacked. There is absolutely NO technical reason why this cannot be part of any modern specification. I will never ever use an open access point for this very reason...

Re:crypto (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42431895)

That's a US government issue. Look into the history of encryption and its restrictions for export. The regulations and laws have been ruled unconstitutional once already, but were simply transferred to another federal department. The result is that governments, especially including the US government, retain easy access to citizen data and have strong reasons to interfere with strong encryption by default.

Encryption by default has been proposed, repeatedly, for basic network interface devices and has never gotten past the subtle and unsubtle federal interference.

Re:crypto (1)

spikestabber (644578) | about a year and a half ago | (#42431983)

Good point, I thought of this, but I'm growing tired of US political crap on a global scale... most of us in the world do NOT live in the US last I checked....

Re:crypto (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42432091)

I should be able to setup an *open* access point with encryption these days so my users don't get their email passwords jacked.

So, wait, why aren't your users using SSL to connect to their email provider?

I mean, the access point shouldn't be able to see those email passwords either.

Re:crypto (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42432199)

I should be able to setup an *open* access point with encryption these days so my users don't get their email passwords jacked. There is absolutely NO technical reason why this cannot be part of any modern specification. I will never ever use an open access point for this very reason...

Security: you don't understand it, so you're doing it wrong. Your problem is that you're too trusting. You don't trust sniffers, sure, but you trust the router you're connecting to, which is beyond daft. You should never trust some random jerkoff's AP. They could well be subjecting all of your packets to DPI to look for passwords after they are decrypted by the AP. Or you could use https or ipsec and then the data remains encrypted until it arrives at the intended destination, which is how you actually protect your data.

Re:crypto (1)

kwerle (39371) | about a year and a half ago | (#42432675)

So you're entire argument is that one should trust unencrypted public airspace more than (or as much as) one should trust a single router?

Less exposure is less exposure, and that's good. It ain't perfect, but nothing is.

Re:crypto (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42433029)

So you're entire argument is that one should trust unencrypted public airspace more than (or as much as) one should trust a single router?

You're missing the point, which is that if you're actually worried then you shouldn't trust either one (and specifically you shouldn't let the fact that your traffic is encrypted over-the-air lull you into a false sense of security about what happens to it afterward).

Re:crypto (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42433185)

So you're entire argument is that one should trust unencrypted public airspace more than (or as much as) one should trust a single router?

Mine entire argument is that one should not trust the encryption betwixt wireless ethernet card and access point to protect anything at all. Do not trust it to keep people off of your wireless network, and do not trust it to protect your email password, and do not trust it to protect your browsing habits. You may reasonably trust a combination of firewall and IPSEC provided you keep up with advisories and updates, and even that is plenty debatable. How do you define "trust"? You trust the tool to do what it is capable of doing. Not only have wireless encryption schemes been defeated in the past, suggesting that the same might happen again, but a router outside of your control is the very definition of an "untrusted" device.

Less exposure is less exposure, and that's good.

OK, these days there's little reason not to use encryption, unless you have legacy devices which don't support meaningful encryption. But then, there's also no reason to believe that the encryption provided by the AP will protect your data. I assume that it is a minor inconvenience to an attacker at best, and I am never disappointed. If I care about security, then I use some kind of VPN technology, like IPSEC tunneling — probably the best scheme for the typical user, if they can manage the configuration, because of the broad compatibility. To wit, virtually everything works fine through IPSEC provided that there is no NAT involved, and many software packages which once did not work have been deliberately modified to permit IPSEC NAT traversal. And there is a fairly high level of compatibility between implementations, to the point that you can reasonably expect to get IPSEC working whether your nodes are running Linux or Windows or HP-SUX or what have you. Configuration, however, may be hairy and scary... Which is why stuff like openvpn even exists, AFAICT.

It ain't perfect, but nothing is.

I don't disagree, but if your goal is to protect your login credentials from unknown third parties, then wireless encryption on an open AP is essentially useless. I have no way whatsoever to know that the AP itself isn't some kind of trap, and I have an equal lack of opportunity to determine whether the AP has been compromised without compromising it myself, checking its software version, obtaining a dump of the software, and comparing it to a reference download. As such, trusting any public access point is something that I must not do. If your goal is to protect your data, then you must do (or indeed, not do) the same.

Re:crypto (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about a year and a half ago | (#42434735)

His argument is that you shouldn't trust an unknown router OR unencrypted wireless. Encrypted wireless just gives you a false sense of security.

The solution to the problems you mentioned is to phase out unencrypted passwords. In the meantime, use end to end encryption.

Speed... Meh (1)

markdavis (642305) | about a year and a half ago | (#42431923)

Always obsessed with speed. Year after year all most of us want is better range and less interference, not more speed. More channels and frequencies are needed. Do that and it might have a chance at being interesting.

The law (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about a year and a half ago | (#42432061)

Here's the problem: the law only allows relatively narrow bands for unlicensed use (courtesy of the ITU), and so getting "more channels" is not easy to do. You could mandate that the standard operate on more bands -- 900MHz, 24GHz, 60GHz, etc. -- but that will drive up the cost of the equipment.

Re:The law (2)

markdavis (642305) | about a year and a half ago | (#42432145)

I know it would require more bands... and that is precisely what is needed. What is taking so long? The FCC auctioned off billions of dollars worth of bands to companies for mobile phones/etc, and we citizens are still stuck with these few crappy little crumbs for one of our most important wireless technologies.

Re:Speed... Meh (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42432243)

obsessed with speed. Year after year all most of us want is better range and less interference, not more speed.

Well no. I live in the boonies, and all I want from my wifi is more speed. I don't have interference to worry about, with no microwave and a 5.8 GHz phone next to a 2.4 GHz AP.

Re:Speed... Meh (1)

markdavis (642305) | about a year and a half ago | (#42432497)

You are probably not "most of us", then :)

Consumer Fail / Backhaul Win (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42432229)

802.11ac will be a relative failure for the consumer market. While it will provide great speed benefits for very short ranges, the penetration og 5GHz through walls etc. will require lots of APs and won't be widely adopted.

However...

802.11ac for open space, line of sight, long range backhaul links sounds pretty promising.

ac is relatively useless (1)

Shaman (1148) | about a year and a half ago | (#42432565)

It's got more application in a server room than it does in the home. Range will be no better (and probably worse) than 5Ghz on your 802.11n routers and the amount of 5Ghz frequency it requires is simply put: ALL OF IT. So you won't be able to place multiple routers in an area, because they'll stomp on each other either at the AP or the endpoints.

This is a standard for (at best) a home audio/video system where all the components are nearby and for a server rack where you use wireless as a second network to communicate between servers. For home device use, most of us will be better off with 802.11n

And BTW, 802.11n is *still* not being fully utilized. You can get 600Mbps (air speed) per frequency out of a single 802.11n router if you take full advantage of its spatial abilities. The best I know of is 450Mbps per frequency. Ruckus probably makes the best APs out there right now.

Re:ac is relatively useless (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42433415)

I manage an installation of nearly 5,000 APs. We have about 800 in the larger buildings. Yes, we do get basic 802.11n speeds on 5GHz, but 2.4GHz is a crap shoot. Way too much interference both non-802.11 and co-channel from neighbor APs.

We still have trouble with 5GHz as we are seriously out of channels with 20MHz bands. We can't bond them to 40MHz. So, 802.11ac is functionally useless. I have told that to vendors marketing 802.11ac products to us. Without more channels, we can't bond.

At home, I can probably use it nicely. My nearest neighbor is just barely visible on 2.4 GHz. I can bond the whole freaking spectrum in 5GHz and bring up as many spacial streams the hardware will let me and not worry about it.

I can't imagine trying it being useful in a dense urban location like an apartment complex. There's an argument for shorter radio time at higher speeds, but how many people really upgrade their gear? I still have to support "new" 802.11b client hardware.

Re:ac is relatively useless (1)

Shaman (1148) | about a year and a half ago | (#42433861)

I have no idea why you were downvoted. What you've said is entirely accurate.

What's in it for me? (1)

fast turtle (1118037) | about a year and a half ago | (#42432657)

All my WiFi gear still uses the 802.11b range as I get better speeds from it then the .11g mode and don't even try N mode as I don't have any adapters that offer/use it. Simply aint worth the money due to to many routers on the same damn frequency. Hell I'm even looking to switch back to the old 900Mhz band for cordless phones due to everyone having moved to the 5Ghz models. Better range and no interference from others. All of this crap in the same band simply chokes 802.11n speeds to less then what I see on the 11b settings, which pushes damn close to the full 10M advertised wired speed for 10M ethernet. Not bad and for the house, it's good enough for all of us to use at the same time.

What about range? (1)

WarJolt (990309) | about a year and a half ago | (#42434355)

Who cares about speed. 802.11ac will give you better range. 4x4 will give you better range because of beamforming.

Re:What about range? (1)

Shaman (1148) | about a year and a half ago | (#42434535)

Uh.................. only if they support 4x4. And that range will be very limited. 5.x does not penetrate obstacles well.

Show me a single 802.11n router today that fully support beamforming. Even the Ruckus and Wavion gear are only using part of the 802.11n spatial multiplexing capabilities.

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  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
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