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Performance - more

Since the 111 can be used as an access point by itself, I checked it with draft 11n and 11a clients. I chose a Linksys WPC600N Notebook adapter (using the Broadcom Intensi-fi chipset) for the draft 11n client and the Intel 2915abg internal mini-PCI adapter in my notebook for 11a.

Throughput as an AP
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Figure 11: Throughput as an AP

Figure 11 shows that the 111 handled the Linksys client, with performance equivalent to running with another 111. But the Intel 11a client didn't fare nearly as well. I should have seen performance in the low to mid 20 Mbps, i.e. the same as with an 11g client. But the 15 Mbps I measured seems to indicate that there hasn't been much effort expended on tuning performance with 11a clients.

Closing Thoughts

I think the primary use for this crop of draft 11n AP/Bridges will be as wireless to Ethernet adapters vs. add-on APs. There isn't really any substitute (other than the existing crop of 11b/g "gaming" adapters) if you need to get an Ethernet-only gizmo wirelessly-linked up.

But on the other end of things, consumers have shown that they prefer wireless routers to access points, especially given the way that vendors price both products (and the fact that vendors stopped making consumer models!). The only thing going for these products it that they are the only way to get 5 GHz draft 11n capability for around $100. Any dual-band draft 11n routers—even single radio models—currently run $150 and up.

Updated 5 March 2008 As I mentioned at the top of this review, the WNHDE111 had a nice price position vs. D-Link's DAP-1555 until Linksys' WGA600N came on the scene. And while I haven't checked out the Linksys product, it seems to do almost everything that the 111 does, including Ubicom-based auto-QoS, but in both the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. The Linksys, however, can't act as a true AP, but supports a "LAN Party Gaming" mode that can join multiple adapters in Ad Hoc mode, i.e. connecting without an AP.

That said, the WNHDE111 does what it's designed to do and does it well, providing an easy to set up way to get a secure, HD-capable wireless link up and running in a jiffy. If you don't care about dual-band operation and you're not trying to link to a difficult-to-reach location, the WNHDE111 (or WNHDEB111 pair) are worth a try.

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