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Wireless Technologies that made the grade

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Rob Kuhn
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1. Wireless USB: It works and will probably stay Pretty much everytihng has a USB port and USB 2.0 speeds are still more than sufficient. Our Samsung Blu-Ray DVD player connects to our home wireless network via a USB NIC that supports A/B/G. We are able to view HD quality movies. The newer generation supports N but G is more than sufficient, IMHO.

In the office I have a few desktops that use a USB NIC because they are currently in an area where I don't have a physical data drop (yet).

2. Ultra-Wideband (UWB): I don't know if this really caught on? I think it's one negative was the short range in which is broadcasts? Less than 300 feet? I think because it was a "radar" might have also worked against it :)

Aside from that it had a lot of other positives but probably not enough to justify the expense? Many years ago we looked at it because of some structural challenges we had in parts of the building. Later we found it was just easier to setup a network of WAPs using a central WAP controller. I'm not sure if this is "dead" as it is perhaps not as widely used in the public sector.

5. WiMax. I used this in the home when it was first offered in my area by a third-party ISP vendor trying to compete with Cox Communications, Road Runner Cable, and AT&T DSL. As part of the test/evaluation they plopped in a portable "station" (a sort of WAP or MiFi) and WiMax cards. The range was not any better than the Wireless-G we had in the house. Bandwidth was slower but the vendor (the name escapes me right now...) had done some infrastructure upgrades to where the throughput was decent.

There wasn't really anything on the Internet at the time that I could use to push it (i.e. streaming HD movies).

I think the 4G MiFi devices replaces the WiMax if it hasn't already.