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Hinting at Apple's next-generation AirPort products

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
Special Report: The next-generation Wi-Fi specification expected to begin making its way into Apple Computer's AirPort wireless products next year could offer raw data rates that are more than five times faster than today's wireless products.

The emerging 802.11n specification -- the successor to 802.11g -- will differ from its predecessors in that it will provide for a variety of "optional modes" and configurations that dictate different maximum raw data rates, according to a white paper released this week by Apple wireless chip supplier Broadcom.

These optional modes will enable the emerging standard to provide baseline performance parameters for all 802.11n devices, while allowing hardware manufacturers to enhance or tune capabilities to accommodate different applications and price points.

With every possible option enabled, 802.11n could offer raw data rates up to 600 Mbps, the company said. However, most WLAN hardware will not need to support every option, and therefore most 802.11n hardware is expected to advocate support for raw data rates of up to 300 Mbps.

Demand for Wi-Fi technologies has experienced phenomenal growth during the past several years, evolving quickly from novelty into necessity. As a measure of this expansion, WLAN chipset shipments in 2005 surpassed the 100-million-unit mark, a more than tenfold increase from 2001 shipments of less than 10 million units.

So far, demand for the technology has been driven primarily by users connecting notebook computers to networks at work and to the Internet at home as well as at coffee shops, airports, hotels, and other mobile gathering places. As a result, Wi-Fi technology is most commonly found in notebook computers and Internet access devices such as routers and DSL or cable modems. In fact, more than 90 percent of all notebook computers now ship with built-in WLAN, according to Broadcom.

The growing pervasiveness of Wi-Fi is helping to extend the technology beyond the PC and into consumer electronics applications like Internet telephony, music streaming, gaming, and even photo viewing and in-home video transmission. Personal video recorders and other A/V storage appliances that collect content in one spot for enjoyment around the home are accelerating this trend.

With all its new users, as well as a growing number of conventional users, Wi-Fi networks are often becoming saturated. The emerging 802.11n specification promises to alleviate most of this strain once when it is finalized early next year, offering not only higher data rates but increased reliability.



Apple waiting on ratification

Although hardware that conforms to an 802.11n draft specification is already hitting the market in small doses, Apple is reported to be waiting until the specification is ratified by the IEEE standards-setting body before including it in shipping products.

The first requirement of the 802.11n draft specification, which is currently under review, is to support an OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) implementation that improves upon the one employed by the 802.11a/g Wi-Fi products, using a higher maximum code rate and slightly wider bandwidth. Broadcom says this change will improve the highest attainable raw data rate to 65 Mbps from 54 Mbps in the existing standards.

MIMO to improve performance

One of the most widely known components of the 802.11n draft specification is called Multiple Input Multiple Output, or MIMO. This technology exploits a radio-wave phenomenon called multipath, where transmitted information bounces off walls, doors, and other objects, reaching the receiving antenna multiple times via different routes and at slightly different times.

An uncontrolled, multipath would distort the original wireless signal, making it more difficult to decipher and degrading Wi-Fi performance. The goal of MIMO is to harnesses multipath with a technique known as space-division multiplexing. Using this technique, the transmitting WLAN device actually splits a data stream into multiple parts, called "spatial streams," and transmits each spatial stream through separate antennas to corresponding antennas on the receiving end.

The current 802.11n draft provides for up to four spatial streams, even though compliant hardware is not required to support that many. Previous Wi-Fi specifications, including 802.11a/b/g, each allowed for only a single spatial stream. Doubling or quadrupling the number of spatial streams will have the effect of doubling or quadrupling the raw data rate.

Some of the trade-offs to this technique include increase power consumption and slightly higher costs. Therefore, the 802.11 draft specification calls for a MIMO power-save mode, which mitigates power consumption by using multiple paths only when communication would benefit from the additional performance.

The two features in the draft specification that focus on improving MIMO performance are called beam-forming and diversity. Beam-forming is a technique that focuses radio signals directly on the target antenna, thereby improving range and performance by limiting interference. Meanwhile, Diversity exploits multiple antennas by combining the outputs of, or selecting the best subset of, a larger number of antennas.

Although the draft specification supports up to four antennas, a notebook computer with two antennas may still connect to an access point with three antennas. In this case, only two spatial streams will be used. If the notebook were to include four antennas, and the access point also had that many, four spatial streams would be utilized to increase performance, according to the specification.

Improved throughput and higher data rates

Another optional mode of the 802.11n draft specification will reportedly double data rates by doubling the width of a WLAN communications channel from 20 MHz to 40 MHz. The primary trade-off to this technique is fewer channels available for other devices.

In the case of the 2.4-GHz RF band (802.11n calls for support of both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands), there is only enough room for three non-overlapping 20-MHz channels, so a 40-MHz channel would not leave much room for other devices to join the network or transmit in the same airspace.

Therefore, the draft specification employs intelligent, dynamic management to ensure that the 40-MHz channel option improves overall WLAN performance by balancing the high-bandwidth demands of some clients with the needs of other clients to remain connected to the network.

Other possible enhancements

Other optional features of draft specification include high-throughput duplicate mode, which helps extend the network's range, and short guard interval, which improves efficiency by further limiting overhead.

With all the optional modes and back-off alternatives of the 802.11n draft specification, the array of possible combinations of features and corresponding data rates amounts to a whopping 576 possible data rate configurations. By comparison, 802.11g standard used in today's Apple AirPort products provides for 12 possible data rates, while 802.11a and 802.11b specify eight and four, respectively.

Coexisting with todays Wi-Fi networks

Owners of 802.11a/b or g hardware need not fret -- the draft 802.11n specification has been crafted with the previous standards in mind to ensure compatibility with more than 200 million Wi-Fi devices currently in use. It calls for 802.11n Wi-Fi products to communicate with 802.11a devices on the 5-GHz band as well as 802.11b and 802.11g hardware on the 2.4-GHz frequencies. In addition to basic interoperability between devices, 802.11n will provide for greater network efficiency in mixed mode over what 802.11g offers.

Because wireless environments are much more challenging to orchestrate than wired networks, there is generally more overhead to ensure that data sent is actually received, and that other clients leave the channel open during transmission. Broadcom says the presence of 802.11b nodes will make communications difficult on the 2.4-GHz band because the older standard does not recognize OFDM, which is employed by 802.11g and the draft specification for 802.11n.

This means that if OFDM clients want to communicate in the presence of 802.11b clients, they need to use the older standards communication protocol at least to protect their higher-rate OFDM transmissions. This drops network efficiency considerably because data packets take far less time to transmit with 802.11g and 802.11n than they do under the old 802.11b standard, according to Broadcom. Some WLAN chipset suppliers, including Broadcom, devised innovative schemes to improve the efficiency of mixed 802.11b/g networks. However, this issue is addressed directly in the draft 802.11n specification.

Broadcom believes one of the most important features in the draft-n specification aimed at improving mixed-mode performance is aggregation. Rather than sending a single data frame, the transmitting client bundles several frames together. Thus, aggregation improves efficiency by restoring the percentage of time that data is being transmitted over the network (see figure below).



It will be much easier for 802.11n devices to coexist with 802.11g and 802.11a hardware because they all use OFDM. Even so, Broadcom says there are features in the specification that increase efficiency in OFDM-only networks.

One such feature is Reduced Inter- Frame Spacing, or RIFS, which shortens the delay between transmissions. For the best possible performance, the the 802.11n draft specification provides for what is called "greenfield" mode, in which the network can be set to ignore all earlier standards.

It is not clear at this stage whether greenfield mode will be a mandatory or an optional feature in the final 802.11n draft, but it is likely to be an option, Broadcom said.

The company also believes that, realistically, battery-powered WLAN hardware will continue to be built around 802.11g and even 802.11b for some time. Despite the improved efficiency built into the draft 802.11n specification, it is difficult to eliminate all of the obstacles of 802.11b. This means that consumers looking for the best possible network performance may want to consider replacing 802.11b WLAN hardware on their networks.

What's driving demand for 802.11n?

According to Broadcom, some of the current and emerging applications that are driving the need for 802.11n are Voice over IP (VoIP), streaming video and music, gaming, and network attached storage.

The company says VoIP phones and online gaming can benefit from the increased range and reliability of an 802.11n access point. Similarly, it says hardware based on the emerging standard "may be better suited to streaming music" than older-generation WLAN hardware.

Another emerging application that demands all that 802.11n has to offer is Network-Attached Storage, or NAS. This technology has become popular in the enterprise as an inexpensive, easy-to-install alternative for data backup.

802.11n to aid Apple's digital media hub

In its white paper on 802.11n, Broadcom acknowledges NAS is taking hold in small offices and even some homes, with users wanting to safeguard their growing digital photo albums and other important data from hard-drive failure. And new, more exciting applications for NAS are emerging, such as video storage centers that demand reliable, high-bandwidth connections to stream prerecorded TV shows, music videos and full-length feature films to televisions and computers throughout the house.



With existing WLAN technologies, transferring large files such as prerecorded TV shows from a personal video recorder onto a notebook computer or portable media player takes planning and patience. The 802.11n standard promises to make these tasks simple and snappy.

At the best data transfer rate, copying a 30-minute video file on a 802.11b wireless network would take 42 minutes, while copying the same file using a dual antenna 802.11n network would take about 44 seconds.
post #2 of 47
I'm led to believe that these technologies will fnd thier way into iTunes to stream content to/from a Mac to other devices. We may also see the introduction of an Apple handheld wireless device.

It will be interesting what comes of this.
post #3 of 47
This would be the first time I would be interested in WiFi. The truth is, once you install a 1Gb/s wired network, you find wireless to be much too slow. It's like going from dial-up to a fast broadband, and back again. Impossible.
post #4 of 47
This was a very impressive article, but it hyped up the backwards compatibility with b/g networks a bit too much. The truth is the ratification is being held off until they can come up with a better solution. At the moment n networks are killing b/g troughput. Obviously they can't have this as there is a very very large installed base of b/g devices out there. Linksys / Netgear are releasing their draft spec devices, but they are going to at least require a firmware update to meet the draft spec and quite possible they could become obsolete.
post #5 of 47
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
This would be the first time I would be interested in WiFi. The truth is, once you install a 1Gb/s wired network, you find wireless to be much too slow. It's like going from dial-up to a fast broadband, and back again. Impossible.

Such is the price to pay for not having to deal with wires.
post #6 of 47
Quote:
Originally posted by york2600
This was a very impressive article, but it hyped up the backwards compatibility with b/g networks a bit too much. The truth is the ratification is being held off until they can come up with a better solution. At the moment n networks are killing b/g troughput. Obviously they can't have this as there is a very very large installed base of b/g devices out there. Linksys / Netgear are releasing their draft spec devices, but they are going to at least require a firmware update to meet the draft spec and quite possible they could become obsolete.

All your throughput are belong to n.
post #7 of 47
Quote:
Originally posted by kim kap sol
Such is the price to pay for not having to deal with wires.

Yup, quite true. Installing those wires was not a funfest!

Part of the time was spent hanging almost upside down in part of my attic, after pushing aside the blown-in insulation, drilling a hole with a 6 foot 3/8" bit through the recess in the attic to one of the closets near the master bedroom next to the computer room.
post #8 of 47
Wow there's almost zero new news in that article.
post #9 of 47
york2600 is right

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1952659,00.asp


802.11b/g networks beware. They need to fix this pronto before moving onto final hardware/firmware.
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post #10 of 47
Why not just release routers with an a/b/g chipset and an n chipset? I'm sure people who know what's what read that question and laugh their heads off, but I'd like to know if it's possible to kill two birds with one stone that way, even if it's more expensive.

We need faster/simpler/more secure wireless.
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post #11 of 47
Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
Why not just release routers with an a/b/g chipset and an n chipset? I'm sure people who know what's what read that question and laugh their heads off, but I'd like to know if it's possible to kill two birds with one stone that way, even if it's more expensive.

We need faster/simpler/more secure wireless.

I'm not sure that's practical. Too much extra circuitry would be required. The software would get pretty complex as well.

It's better just to wait. It will get here soon enough. It's fairly simple on the Mac, to set this up, I don't know how much simpler it can get. Once you have to set up authentication, you do have to do some work.

The only thing I can think of, is for it to use your admin password direct from your computer, and set up the other protocols automatically. But people might object to doing it that way.
post #12 of 47
Quote:
Originally posted by kim kap sol
All your throughput are belong to n.

sweet
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post #13 of 47
Just bring on APE video and an API for OSX, andenough specs to hack compatibility into a mythtv box and give me a week off, a hi-speed Myth box and a tablet PC and...BREWWWWWHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA
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post #14 of 47
"Hinting at Apple's next-generation AirPort products"


Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider
Special Report: The next-generation Wi-Fi specification expected to begin making its way into Apple Computer's AirPort wireless products next year could offer raw data rates that are more than five times faster than today's wireless products.

The emerging 802.11n specification -- the successor to 802.11g -- will differ from its predecessors in that it will provide for a variety of "optional modes" and configurations that dictate different maximum raw data rates, according to a white paper released this week by Apple wireless chip supplier Broadcom.

These optional modes will enable the emerging standard to provide baseline performance parameters for all 802.11n devices, while allowing hardware manufacturers to enhance or tune capabilities to accommodate different applications and price points.

With every possible option enabled, 802.11n could offer raw data rates up to 600 Mbps, the company said. However, most WLAN hardware will not need to support every option, and therefore most 802.11n hardware is expected to advocate support for raw data rates of up to 300 Mbps.

Demand for Wi-Fi technologies has experienced phenomenal growth during the past several years, evolving quickly from novelty into necessity. As a measure of this expansion, WLAN chipset shipments in 2005 surpassed the 100-million-unit mark, a more than tenfold increase from 2001 shipments of less than 10 million units.

So far, demand for the technology has been driven primarily by users connecting notebook computers to networks at work and to the Internet at home as well as at coffee shops, airports, hotels, and other mobile gathering places. As a result, Wi-Fi technology is most commonly found in notebook computers and Internet access devices such as routers and DSL or cable modems. In fact, more than 90 percent of all notebook computers now ship with built-in WLAN, according to Broadcom.

The growing pervasiveness of Wi-Fi is helping to extend the technology beyond the PC and into consumer electronics applications like Internet telephony, music streaming, gaming, and even photo viewing and in-home video transmission. Personal video recorders and other A/V storage appliances that collect content in one spot for enjoyment around the home are accelerating this trend.

With all its new users, as well as a growing number of conventional users, Wi-Fi networks are often becoming saturated. The emerging 802.11n specification promises to alleviate most of this strain once when it is finalized early next year, offering not only higher data rates but increased reliability.



Apple waiting on ratification

Although hardware that conforms to an 802.11n draft specification is already hitting the market in small doses, Apple is reported to be waiting until the specification is ratified by the IEEE standards-setting body before including it in shipping products.

The first requirement of the 802.11n draft specification, which is currently under review, is to support an OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) implementation that improves upon the one employed by the 802.11a/g Wi-Fi products, using a higher maximum code rate and slightly wider bandwidth. Broadcom says this change will improve the highest attainable raw data rate to 65 Mbps from 54 Mbps in the existing standards.

MIMO to improve performance

One of the most widely known components of the 802.11n draft specification is called Multiple Input Multiple Output, or MIMO. This technology exploits a radio-wave phenomenon called multipath, where transmitted information bounces off walls, doors, and other objects, reaching the receiving antenna multiple times via different routes and at slightly different times.

An uncontrolled, multipath would distort the original wireless signal, making it more difficult to decipher and degrading Wi-Fi performance. The goal of MIMO is to harnesses multipath with a technique known as space-division multiplexing. Using this technique, the transmitting WLAN device actually splits a data stream into multiple parts, called "spatial streams," and transmits each spatial stream through separate antennas to corresponding antennas on the receiving end.

The current 802.11n draft provides for up to four spatial streams, even though compliant hardware is not required to support that many. Previous Wi-Fi specifications, including 802.11a/b/g, each allowed for only a single spatial stream. Doubling or quadrupling the number of spatial streams will have the effect of doubling or quadrupling the raw data rate.

Some of the trade-offs to this technique include increase power consumption and slightly higher costs. Therefore, the 802.11 draft specification calls for a MIMO power-save mode, which mitigates power consumption by using multiple paths only when communication would benefit from the additional performance.

The two features in the draft specification that focus on improving MIMO performance are called beam-forming and diversity. Beam-forming is a technique that focuses radio signals directly on the target antenna, thereby improving range and performance by limiting interference. Meanwhile, Diversity exploits multiple antennas by combining the outputs of, or selecting the best subset of, a larger number of antennas.

Although the draft specification supports up to four antennas, a notebook computer with two antennas may still connect to an access point with three antennas. In this case, only two spatial streams will be used. If the notebook were to include four antennas, and the access point also had that many, four spatial streams would be utilized to increase performance, according to the specification.

Improved throughput and higher data rates

Another optional mode of the 802.11n draft specification will reportedly double data rates by doubling the width of a WLAN communications channel from 20 MHz to 40 MHz. The primary trade-off to this technique is fewer channels available for other devices.

In the case of the 2.4-GHz RF band (802.11n calls for support of both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands), there is only enough room for three non-overlapping 20-MHz channels, so a 40-MHz channel would not leave much room for other devices to join the network or transmit in the same airspace.

Therefore, the draft specification employs intelligent, dynamic management to ensure that the 40-MHz channel option improves overall WLAN performance by balancing the high-bandwidth demands of some clients with the needs of other clients to remain connected to the network.

Other possible enhancements

Other optional features of draft specification include high-throughput duplicate mode, which helps extend the network's range, and short guard interval, which improves efficiency by further limiting overhead.

With all the optional modes and back-off alternatives of the 802.11n draft specification, the array of possible combinations of features and corresponding data rates amounts to a whopping 576 possible data rate configurations. By comparison, 802.11g standard used in today's Apple AirPort products provides for 12 possible data rates, while 802.11a and 802.11b specify eight and four, respectively.

Coexisting with todays Wi-Fi networks

Owners of 802.11a/b or g hardware need not fret -- the draft 802.11n specification has been crafted with the previous standards in mind to ensure compatibility with more than 200 million Wi-Fi devices currently in use. It calls for 802.11n Wi-Fi products to communicate with 802.11a devices on the 5-GHz band as well as 802.11b and 802.11g hardware on the 2.4-GHz frequencies. In addition to basic interoperability between devices, 802.11n will provide for greater network efficiency in mixed mode over what 802.11g offers.

Because wireless environments are much more challenging to orchestrate than wired networks, there is generally more overhead to ensure that data sent is actually received, and that other clients leave the channel open during transmission. Broadcom says the presence of 802.11b nodes will make communications difficult on the 2.4-GHz band because the older standard does not recognize OFDM, which is employed by 802.11g and the draft specification for 802.11n.

This means that if OFDM clients want to communicate in the presence of 802.11b clients, they need to use the older standards communication protocol at least to protect their higher-rate OFDM transmissions. This drops network efficiency considerably because data packets take far less time to transmit with 802.11g and 802.11n than they do under the old 802.11b standard, according to Broadcom. Some WLAN chipset suppliers, including Broadcom, devised innovative schemes to improve the efficiency of mixed 802.11b/g networks. However, this issue is addressed directly in the draft 802.11n specification.

Broadcom believes one of the most important features in the draft-n specification aimed at improving mixed-mode performance is aggregation. Rather than sending a single data frame, the transmitting client bundles several frames together. Thus, aggregation improves efficiency by restoring the percentage of time that data is being transmitted over the network (see figure below).



It will be much easier for 802.11n devices to coexist with 802.11g and 802.11a hardware because they all use OFDM. Even so, Broadcom says there are features in the specification that increase efficiency in OFDM-only networks.

One such feature is Reduced Inter- Frame Spacing, or RIFS, which shortens the delay between transmissions. For the best possible performance, the the 802.11n draft specification provides for what is called "greenfield" mode, in which the network can be set to ignore all earlier standards.

It is not clear at this stage whether greenfield mode will be a mandatory or an optional feature in the final 802.11n draft, but it is likely to be an option, Broadcom said.

The company also believes that, realistically, battery-powered WLAN hardware will continue to be built around 802.11g and even 802.11b for some time. Despite the improved efficiency built into the draft 802.11n specification, it is difficult to eliminate all of the obstacles of 802.11b. This means that consumers looking for the best possible network performance may want to consider replacing 802.11b WLAN hardware on their networks.

What's driving demand for 802.11n?

According to Broadcom, some of the current and emerging applications that are driving the need for 802.11n are Voice over IP (VoIP), streaming video and music, gaming, and network attached storage.

The company says VoIP phones and online gaming can benefit from the increased range and reliability of an 802.11n access point. Similarly, it says hardware based on the emerging standard "may be better suited to streaming music" than older-generation WLAN hardware.

Another emerging application that demands all that 802.11n has to offer is Network-Attached Storage, or NAS. This technology has become popular in the enterprise as an inexpensive, easy-to-install alternative for data backup.

802.11n to aid Apple's digital media hub

In its white paper on 802.11n, Broadcom acknowledges NAS is taking hold in small offices and even some homes, with users wanting to safeguard their growing digital photo albums and other important data from hard-drive failure. And new, more exciting applications for NAS are emerging, such as video storage centers that demand reliable, high-bandwidth connections to stream prerecorded TV shows, music videos and full-length feature films to televisions and computers throughout the house.



With existing WLAN technologies, transferring large files such as prerecorded TV shows from a personal video recorder onto a notebook computer or portable media player takes planning and patience. The 802.11n standard promises to make these tasks simple and snappy.

At the best data transfer rate, copying a 30-minute video file on a 802.11b wireless network would take 42 minutes, while copying the same file using a dual antenna 802.11n network would take about 44 seconds.


That's a big hint!


But seriously I can't wait
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post #15 of 47
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
This would be the first time I would be interested in WiFi. The truth is, once you install a 1Gb/s wired network, you find wireless to be much too slow. It's like going from dial-up to a fast broadband, and back again. Impossible.

802.11g is much faster than any cable modem or ADSL line - you would have to be transferring large files between computers in order to notice the slowdown I think.
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post #16 of 47
I don't see the holdup. I don't remember if it was .11a or .11g, but Apple released Airport hardware several weeks before the spec was "official." A simple firmware update later brought everything into spec.

Wouldn't a simple firmware update to a future Apple "n" product bring it all in line too? Or are there fundamental hardware designs in the spec that haven't been finalized?
post #17 of 47
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
Yup, quite true. Installing those wires was not a funfest!

Part of the time was spent hanging almost upside down in part of my attic, after pushing aside the blown-in insulation, drilling a hole with a 6 foot 3/8" bit through the recess in the attic to one of the closets near the master bedroom next to the computer room.

Right there with you. Finished the house in February. 5 rooms, 26 ports (phone, coax and network). I finally gave up in some rooms and cut into the walls to drill up through the wall stud. Ridiculous amount of work.

Anyway this "rumor" is long on press release and short on rumor.
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post #18 of 47
This is one of the most informative articles on AI in a long time. I knew n was coming and of course Apple's likely to use it, but a roundup of what that means is very useful, and mostly new info to me.

Now, a 30-minute video file in 40 seconds sounds like it could hit a hard disk bottleneck!
post #19 of 47
Ah this is why Apple continues to use Airport the Intel products as opposed to Intel WiFi chips.

That should mean all Airport Extreme capable Macs are upgradable.
post #20 of 47
Quote:
Originally posted by TenoBell
Ah this is why Apple continues to use Airport the Intel products as opposed to Intel WiFi chips.

What say?
post #21 of 47
Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978
802.11g is much faster than any cable modem or ADSL line - you would have to be transferring large files between computers in order to notice the slowdown I think.

Or do remote administration. I sometimes back up over the network. Printing over a wired network might be quicker. I keep my desktops wired, but my notebooks wireless unless transferring large files, then easily it's worth jacking in, even "just" to a 100 network, I get a 5x or so speed increase doing that.
post #22 of 47
AirPort debuted with the iBook, so perhaps AirPort Ultra (or whatever it'll be called) will do the same.

Anyone remember the first unit to ship with AirPort Extreme? I don't think it was an iBook though, so that sorta blows a hole in my theory.
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post #23 of 47
Perhaps after this product comes out the full-featured Apple VideOla!(TM) home entertainment center will roll out in force. Tremble and weep, consumers. You'll be buying so many movie downloads your fingers will bleed.

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GOA

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GOA

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post #24 of 47
Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978
802.11g is much faster than any cable modem or ADSL line - you would have to be transferring large files between computers in order to notice the slowdown I think.

Exactly!
post #25 of 47
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
Or do remote administration. I sometimes back up over the network. Printing over a wired network might be quicker. I keep my desktops wired, but my notebooks wireless unless transferring large files, then easily it's worth jacking in, even "just" to a 100 network, I get a 5x or so speed increase doing that.

Sometimes I also run one program from another machine. with 1Gb/s it can seem as though you are at the original machine. quite amazing really.
post #26 of 47
Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
Why not just release routers with an a/b/g chipset and an n chipset?

The n chipsets also support a/b/g, so everything is nicely backwards compatible.
post #27 of 47
i will be purchasing a macbook soon and i also want to invest in a wireless network for my house. apple has the easiest and apparently best network for what i would like to do, which is just cover one or two rooms with wi-fi. should i purchase the base station now, or wait until the the new standard is released. oh, i do have a budget too. any advice would help. thanks.
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post #28 of 47
Quote:
Originally posted by maimezvous
i will be purchasing a macbook soon and i also want to invest in a wireless network for my house. apple has the easiest and apparently best network for what i would like to do, which is just cover one or two rooms with wi-fi. should i purchase the base station now, or wait until the the new standard is released. oh, i do have a budget too. any advice would help. thanks.

Your MacBook will never support 802.11n, so there's no point in waiting for an 802.11n base station. AirPort Express is cheap; buy it.
post #29 of 47
Quote:
Originally posted by wmf
Your MacBook will never support 802.11n, so there's no point in waiting for an 802.11n base station. AirPort Express is cheap; buy it.

Why will it never support it?
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post #30 of 47
Quote:
Originally posted by wmf
Your MacBook will never support 802.11n, so there's no point in waiting for an 802.11n base station. AirPort Express is cheap; buy it.

Doesn't the MBP support it? I'm not sure what they have, but they do, at least, support 108Mb/s.

That was an unannounced feature, but several reports surfaced on http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/ stating it worked.

Perhaps the MB does as well.
post #31 of 47
Quote:
Originally posted by alexluft
Why will it never support it?

Because to use 802.11n, it would require a different wireless chipset. The one it has now only supports a/b/g.

Melgross: There are no wireless connections that I'm aware of that support more than around 50-60 Mbs at this time. And no, the MBP doens't support it because it hasn't been released. The only new addition to its wireless connection was 802.11a.
post #32 of 47
Quote:
Originally posted by Lust
Because to use 802.11n, it would require a different wireless chipset. The one it has now only supports a/b/g.

Melgross: There are no wireless connections that I'm aware of that support more than around 50-60 Mbs at this time. And no, the MBP doens't support it because it hasn't been released. The only new addition to its wireless connection was 802.11a.

He can always get a USB N adapter
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post #33 of 47
Quote:
Originally posted by alexluft
He can always get a USB N adapter

I was speaking in terms of the hardware that he already has.
post #34 of 47
If Apple is using mini-pci for their wireless cards then they could indeed offer an upgrade. The thing is would they?
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He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
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post #35 of 47
thanks for the advice.
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"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!" ~ Vroomfondel
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post #36 of 47
Quote:
Originally posted by Lust
Because to use 802.11n, it would require a different wireless chipset. The one it has now only supports a/b/g.

Melgross: There are no wireless connections that I'm aware of that support more than around 50-60 Mbs at this time. And no, the MBP doens't support it because it hasn't been released. The only new addition to its wireless connection was 802.11a.

That's not true. 108 is a pretty well used speed. What the routers do it to use two channels and agglomerate them for higher bandwidth. Up to now, at least, Apple has been the only one who has NOT done this. Look at Best buy, Circuit City, Comp Usa, and you will find many of these routers for sale for around $60 to $100.

Check out the reports on this page, though you will have to scroll down about a third of the way to get to them.

http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/systems/m....html#storytop

It's been reported elsewhere as well.
post #37 of 47
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
That's not true. 108 is a pretty well used speed. What the routers do it to use two channels and agglomerate them for higher bandwidth. Up to now, at least, Apple has been the only one who has NOT done this. Look at Best buy, Circuit City, Comp Usa, and you will find many of these routers for sale for around $60 to $100.

Check out the reports on this page, though you will have to scroll down about a third of the way to get to them.

http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/systems/m....html#storytop

It's been reported elsewhere as well.

Isn't this pig-headedness to use two channels like that? For b/g, there are only three effective non-overlapping channels and for one network to simply use two thirds of the available band is tactless. "n" supposedly allows interleaving so several networks can share the same band, but the older standards don't.
post #38 of 47
Quote:
Originally posted by hmurchison
If Apple is using mini-pci for their wireless cards then they could indeed offer an upgrade. The thing is would they?

Come on, this is Apple we're talking about. Also, I think you need three antennas to really take advantage of 802.11n.
post #39 of 47
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
Isn't this pig-headedness to use two channels like that? For b/g, there are only three effective non-overlapping channels and for one network to simply use two thirds of the available band is tactless. "n" supposedly allows interleaving so several networks can share the same band, but the older standards don't.

No, it's not. It makes perfect sense. The same thing is done for ethernet.

The fact is that you don't get 54Mbs, you get closer to 20 to 30. That just isn't fast these days. It can't even come close to 100Mbs ethernet, much less 1Gbs.

Using 108 makes the speed more acceptable.
post #40 of 47
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
No, it's not. It makes perfect sense. The same thing is done for ethernet.

The fact is that you don't get 54Mbs, you get closer to 20 to 30. That just isn't fast these days. It can't even come close to 100Mbs ethernet, much less 1Gbs.

Using 108 makes the speed more acceptable.

Wired ethernet doesn't usurp the available public RF bandwidth. I am well aware that you don't get more than 20MBps out of a single g link, but that's not an excuse to use two thirds of the local available spectrum, if this is what is really happening. It just ends up being the fat guy that sits in two of three available public seats.
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