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Is it Time to Upgrade Your Wireless Network?

Boot Camp feature for Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Is it time to upgrade your wireless network? Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. The Linksys division of Cisco Systems is out with a new router and notebook adaptor that use the Wireless N standard. That adds another letter to the alphabet soup that already included A, B and G. The company's VP for home networking Malachy Moynihan says Wireless N is based on a draft standard that is close to being finalized. Why get excited about it?

"As the wireless standards have evolved, we've continued almost amazingly to be able to drive more bandwidth over the air. It started with wireless 11B where we could do 11 megabits per second, moving to 11G and A where we have 54 megabits per second. And now we have at least 217 megabits per second of raw throughput. And that means for average consumers, this wireless is actually going to be delivering better performance than a wired 10/100 connection. In other words, your normal Cat 5 piece of wire."

If you are using an Internet phone service, streaming video around the house…or have more than a couple of PCs ….the new standard being offered by Linksys and others….may be a worthwhile investment. If you have one or two notebooks on a wireless network being used for surfing the Web and email…the added bandwidth won't do much for you. Linksys is pricing the Wireless N Router at about 150 dollars…and a wireless card at about 120. The equipment is backward compatible with existing 802.11 B and G standards. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.