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 3Com Airconnect 11Mbps Wireless LAN Access Point

Page 3 

 Author: Tim Higgins
 Review Date: 8/29/2000


Bring in the clients, please...

The standard form-factor for 802.11b LAN client adapters is PCMCIA or PC Card.  The AirConnect card uses the Intersil Prism II chip set (the other 802.11b chipset manufacturer is Lucent) and has a detachable antenna.  The antenna module also contains two LEDs which both indicate wireless LAN activity. Drivers for virtually all flavors of Windows (except for ME) are included on the CD, along with Netware 4.x and 5.x drivers.  Linux and MacOs users will have to go elsewhere for the LAN card needs, however (see the Chart).

Driver installation went smoothly on my Win98SE Compaq 1650 laptop, with the only hitch again being poor documentation.  The driver installation doesn't include the "Launcher" application which is a System Tray app that provides a number of handy features for monitoring the adapter's performance and changing its properties.  You need to run the separate Mobile Connection Manger installer (located under the CD's "Install WLAN Applications" menu).

After installation, the Launcher will appear in the System Tray each time you start up.  The screen shots below give you some idea of the goodies that the Launcher gives you.


Launcher Window

The Launcher window opened from the System Tray

Signal Quality window

Launcher Signal Quality window
Launcher Signal Performance Window

Link Performance window

LAN Adapter settings are done via the Adapter properties in the Network Control Panel.  You can set the Adapter's power mode, its LAN Service Area, and enable "Mobile IP". This last option lets you move between Access Points in larger networks. I assume that the Encryption driver upgrade also lets you set the Encryption mode and keys, too.

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