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Wireless Features

The APs

Even though wireless routers are more popular with most consumers, I decided to focus on 802.11g access points - at least for my first pass at wireless load testing. Part of this was a bit of laziness on my part, since APs are easier to deal with because they don't create a separate subnet. But the other reason was that I figured AP code would be simpler and more robust, therefore giving the products the best chance of surviving the tortures that I planned.

As far as my choice of 802.11g vs. 11b APs, I figured that even though 11b APs are more widely deployed, the future is most certainly in 11g (or dual-band) APs. And once again, in a nod toward giving the APs the best chance of success, I figured the designs and processors in 11g APs would better stand up to heavy traffic loads.

Table 1 shows the APs that I put to the test. I intended to have more "enterprise grade" APs on the list and asked Cisco for an Aironet 1100 and NETGEAR for a WG302. Cisco asked me to fill out a review request form, then never responded and NETGEAR originally agreed to supply a WG302, but never delivered it. I also asked D-Link if they wanted to participate in the review, but never received a reply.

Manf. 3Com Asus Buffalo Technology Gigabyte Linksys SMC
Model 3CRWE725075A WL300g WLA-G54C GN-A17GU WAP54G V2 SMC2552W-G
Price $338 $76 $69 $108 $60 $314
FCCID HED
WL463EXT
MSQ
WL-300g
QDS-
BRCM1005
JCK-
GN-WIAG
Q87-
WAP54Gv2
HED
SMC2552WG
Firmware 2.04.51
1.6.5.3
2.04 2.03,
Thu, 15 Jan 2004 06
v2.07
Apr 08 2004
v2.0.22
Processor Motorola PowerPC
8241
Broadcom BCM4702 Broadcom BCM4702 Renesas SH4,7751R Broadcom BCM4712 Motorola
PowerPC
8241
Wireless Atheros
AR5212 +
AR2112
Broadcom
AirForce
Broadcom
AirForce
(4306KFB)
Atheros
AR5213 +
AR2112
Broadcom
AirForce
Atheros
AR5212 +
AR2112
RAM
(16 bit
word)
8Mword 8Mword 32Mword 8Mword 4Mword 8Mword
Flash
(16 bit
word)
2Mword 2Mword 4Mword 1Mword 1Mword 2Mword
Maximum
STAs
1000 253 No spec.
35 typical
64 32 64
Table 1: The Contenders
3Com 3CRWE725075A
3Com 3CRWE725075A
ASUS WL300g
ASUS WL300g
Buffalo Technology WLA-G54C
Buffalo Technology
WLA-G54C
igabyte GN-A17GU
Gigabyte GN-A17GU
Linksys WAP54G
Linksys WAP54G
SMC 2552W-G
SMC 2552W-G

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