Part 1 of this series showed that makers of draft 802.11n wireless gear have a long way to go to deliver on the technology's promise of higher speed over longer distances. In this installment, I'll be taking a detailed look at the embarrassingly low level of interoperability these products have. I'll also be examining their behavior as "good neighbors", i.e. whether they address the interference issue that I found with in-range legacy 802.11b/g wireless LANs.
Figure 1: Most of these things do not like the other
My interoperability tests included the products from Part 1, plus another draft 11n contender using Broadcom's Intensi-fi chipset: the Netgear RangeMax NEXT WNR834B. I wasn't able to include the Linksys WRT-300N in the interoperability round, since I had only borrowed it for the previous tests and no longer had access to it. But two products based on Intensi-fi is probably plenty (the Buffalo products were the other). I should also note that the WNR834B and WN511B Cardbus card samples were provided by Netgear.
Finally, I included two sets of 802.11g products in the tests. Broadcom's 54g chipset was represented by the Linksys WRT54G V5 router and WPC54G (V1) Notebook card, while Atheros' Super-G was used in the D-Link DGL-4300 router and DWL-AG660 card (actually a dual-band card).