by Derek Kerton

Filed Under:
wifi, wi-fi

2Wire Offers Long-Range WiFi DSL Gateway

A few weeks ago, I mocked an SMC WiFi card that claimed that by boosting the transmit power, they could triple the cards range to 1KM using standard access points. My argument was that by yelling, I don't increase the range of a voice conversation unless the person I'm speaking with (the AP) also yells. Well, now along comes an access point that does yell. A new DSL modem and WiFi AP combo from 2wire boasts 400mW of transmit power which is seven times the average power. Assuming the output is legal in your jurisdiction, 2wire claims a 15-20% boost in range. It's interesting that 2Wire boosts power 7x and claims a 115% range, while SMC boosted power 3X and claimed a 300% range. The 2Wire claim seems more credible. What's more, 2Wire has addressed the asymmetrical transmit power problem by adding a third antenna to the AP. I really like the 2Wire product for two reasons: 1) they're being honest/modest about range gains, and 2) they correctly assert that while others are focused on boosting speeds to 108Mbps, most customers are more concerned with deadspots in their homes than whether their speed is 108Mbps or 11Mbps up to their DSL (which is 1.5Mbps anyway!) Now, here's an interesting idea: combine the SMC card AND the 2wire AP and you really should see some increased range. Unfortunately for those of you interested in trying, the 2wire AP is only available through carrier partners SBC, BellSouth, and BT.

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