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Cutting Wireless Network Confusion

Boot Camp feature for Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Cutting wireless network confusion. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. With three different wireless network standards on the market, which one should you buy? The new, simple answer is all three. Equipment makers Linksys and D-Link have announced devices that will work with all three standards... 802.11a,B and G. 802.11b is the oldest and most popular wireless networking technology. Both A and G are about five times faster. At Linksys, CEO Victor Tsao tells us his company will has PC Cards available now for 99 dollars with PCI cards, routers and access points due shortly...

"You don't have to worry about... am I on A, am I on B, am I on G?

For most consumers, 802.11G products are probably the smartest buy. They provide higher speeds but are backwards compatible with B. But keep in mind what you find in stores today meets the draft specifications for 802.11g. The reason to add A into the mix, is if that's the standard used in the office where you work. In the home, the faster wireless networks will become useful for streaming video from room to room...

"You get tremendous uplift on the throughput. You're pretty much buying tomorrow's technology. You know this one here won't be obsolete for a while."

Even with Microsoft's entry into the wirelessly networking business last year, the NPD research firm says Linksys has captured a market share of about 50 percent. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.