Manifesto Multilinko
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Sunday, June 25, 2006
extreme wireless

I have been using a LinkSys BEFW11S4 (version 3) 802.11b WAP.

(I have a separate hardware firewall router in front of it that connects to my cable modem.)

I have Rogers Extreme, which is now supposed to be 6000 down / 800 up. (When I bought it, I'm pretty sure it was advertised as 5000 down.)

Unfortunately, the LinkSys wireless hardware would periodically collapse, taking me to 30 up, i.e. dialup or worse. I then would have to cycle the power on the LinkSys. Also the signal was fairly weak, and noisy. It doesn't help that I'm surrounded by other units with WAPs in them as well.

I was at Staples yesterday to buy a new Ethernet cable to see if that would address the problem, and they had a D-Link DI-524 802.11g router on sale for $40, so I bought a new Ethernet cable AND a new router.

Seems fine so far. No advantage to having 11g over 11b that I can tell, for my purposes.

With my PowerBook on 11g, using Rogers Speed Test I'm getting

Your download speed : 4740 kbps
Your upload speed : 759 kbps

which is pretty much what I got when the LinkSys 11b was working properly.

Anyway, it looks like the D-Link will give me a stronger signal, and no speed-collapse-rebooting-needed.

However, there was one annoyance: apparently there are FIVE different versions of the DI-524, from version A to E. I was trying to upgrade my firmware and it took me a while to figure out I needed to get the version E firmware. (The problem I needed to fix was that it wouldn't accept MAC addresses for access filtering.) I'm running firmware version 5.10 now.

Incidentally, the wireless on my Vaio seems to be much more sensitive, or the scanning tool is better - anyway, sitting in the middle of my place it picks up about a dozen other networks. The PowerBook only sees two or three.

I have to wonder if the WAPs were designed to operate with this density of competing, overlapping networks. I deliberately moved mine to channel 0 to try to avoid interference.