SMC Networks Offers Long Range 802.11b Card At Retail

For a while, SMC Networks has had a special WiFi card with jacked up transmission power. SMC says the card has 4x the normal RF power, and 2x the next most powerful competitor. However, until now, the card has only been available to business customers through system integrators, but now SMC now plans to offer the long range WiFi card to consumers through retail channels. However, I advise against purchasing such a card, since…guess what…communication is a two way street. Tricking out the RF output of the card does nothing for the RF output of the Access Point, so although the access point may still ‘hear’ you from 2,700 ft away (as SMC claims), you will most certainly not ‘hear’ the access point. SMC breezes over this subtlety with the footnote that the card has “excellent receive sensitivity” – at 1Km away, I freakin’ hope so! Mike had poor results with a similar Netgate card early this year. If you want to extend your range, try an external antenna, or a directional one. Also, consider a WAN connection like 1xRTT.

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