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 3Com Airconnect 11Mbps Wireless LAN Access Point

Page 4 

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


How fast is it?

The AirConnect was definitely faster than other wireless products that I've reviewed.  The fastest non-802.11b product previously reviewed was the WebGear Aviator 2.4 (now Aviator Pro), which clocked in at about 0.8Mbps at a 10 foot operating range.  The AirConnect came in at 3.2Mbps at the same 10 foot range.  See the table below for more speed test data.

Test Description

Transfer Rate (Mbps)

Ping 
(msec)

AP to Client - Condition 1

3.2

< 10

AP to Client - Condition 2

3.2

< 10

AP to Client - Condition 3

1.45

< 20 

AP to Client - Condition 4

0.59

< 10

(Details of the measurement method can be found here.) 

As I was wrapping up this review, I came across netIQ's (formerly Ganymede) free QCheck utilityIt looks like a great little tool and I may be using it for my future performance testing.  I ran a quick TCP Throughput test  with Condition 1 and got readings from 3.2 to 3.8Mbps.

Of course, your mileage may vary!    

Summary

The AirConnect is definitely not aimed at the home or non-professional market.  Its pricing, although in the league with other professional 802.11b products, is more than only the most got-to-have-it home networker will be willing to pay.  The documentation is good as a reference for an IT professional (although it could use a good index), but poor for a networking novice.  A "Quick Install" guide would definitely be helpful, with AP installation instructions that don't require that you start with the serial console connection, preferably!

If you go for it, be sure to download the free 128bit encryption software update, if it doesn't come with your unit.

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