Category : Wireless

Google Fiber seeks to test Super Fast Wireless

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In 12 major cities, Google is planning to rely on wireless technology rather than fiber-optic cables, and requesting permission to test wireless in 24 U.S. cities. Google parent company, Alphabet, has also suspended Google Fiber gigabit speed projects in San Jose, California and Portland.

As of right now, Google Fiber has reached six metro areas, the first of which being Kansas City in 2012. This process has cost hundreds of millions of dollars, largely due to the digging up and putting back together of streets and private residences. Google Fiber has not released how many customers they have in Kansas City or any of the other six metro areas. The Google Fiber blog however continues to promote the service, with three new business internet plans, including the $250 a month for 1 Gbps upload and download speeds with no data caps. Those eligible for the three plans include small businesses in Charlotte, North Carolina, Provo Utah, Austin Texas, and Nashville Tennessee.

The prediction that Google Fiber will move to a wireless reliance rather than the fiber-optic cable, is no surprise to analysts comparing industry ISPs. ISPs have plans in place already to deploy smaller cellular equipment for shorter distances to connect homes and small business to the closest high-speed fiber-optic cable. The wireless link could be a short distance away however, perhaps less than 100 feet away from the building or street in question. Also on the market already are small outdoor devices that are “small cell” and called “picocells”, as small as a shoebox, and easily hung from a light post or pole.

AT&T Gigapower is reportedly superseding  Google Fiber in citywide fast internet fiber rollouts. Google reliance on wireless however, could significantly influence this report, matching At&T. The speed of deployment with wireless will certainly allow Google to move more easily into more cities, keeping Google Fiber competitive.

Gartner analyst, Bill Menezes, thinks that wireless with have a boatload of advantages for Google, including the speed at which it can be installed, because of the elimination of having to drop a cable line on premise. This most certainly makes sense, as the service provider can ship to the customer directly, the premise receiver and self installation software, cutting the need for on-site installation. Menezes relays that it will be crucial that Google test the effectiveness and speed of wireless technology. Reliance on wireless technology at a higher frequency will transit over a short distance and have poor in-building penetration, possibly leading to more outdoor antennas such as the shoe box sized picocells.

This past April Google began testing wireless connections in their first Google Fiber location, Kansas City, testing the 3.5 GHz spectrum. This test is believed to last 18 months.

Always keeping things interesting.

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To find the original post, and educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit : www.networkworld.com 

Ubiquiti’s Amplifi – What a mesh!

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The Amplifi system is best for those large homes struggling to get strong Wi-Fi connection throughout. Not only is the Amplifi a competent router with a firewall integrated, but it can also be used as a pure Wi-Fi access point and mesh network.

The web interface is basic, with all management needs being completed via the iOS or Android application. The Amplifi kit supports sshaccess out of the box via LAN or WLAN, not the WAN side. Amplifi does not support several features for power users, such as WPA2 Enterprise for 802.1X.

The base station comes with two mesh points, an AC adapter with a Micro-USB plug, a 1.5-meter Cat5 Ethernet patch cable, and a small instruction booklet. The setup includes involves first downloading the Amplifi application (this is where you will find the step-by-step setup instructions) and applying power to the base station by plugging it into my cable modem.

The device itself looks pretty cool, the design is modern with an LED light glowing from the bottom of the device. The mesh points and their articulated antenna heads are meant to plug directly into electrical outlets around your home. Each can be manipulated around to aid with reception. The antenna is not permanently affixed to the bottom of the plug component, and for good reason. The antenna is held in place by a very strong magnetic ball-and-socket. This way if the antenna is bumped or nudged it simply falls off without breaking the entire component and can be reattached without hesitation, great for kids, pets, and the clumsy alike.

The Amplifi data sheet advertises a max speed of “5.25Gbps” for the Amplifi HD. In a real world test performed by Lee Hutchinson, Senior Technology Editor for Ars, the 802.11ac test system was able to negotiate a transfer rate of 867Mbps in a relatively calm RF environment at a distance of about two meters from the base station. Though the Amplifi units don’t yet support 802.11k or 802.11r managed roaming, his phone and laptop had no issues jumping between the mesh points as he wandered around the house with file transfers in progress. The observed transfer rates varied between 100-500Mbps, though there was no bench-marking in place and the tests weren’t controlled.

Amplifi systems are offered with three models ranging in price from $199 to $349. Aggressive pricing considering the Eero is priced at $499 for a three-device starter pack, and the Apple Airport Extreme is priced at $199 and $99 for a mesh extension. Depending on your needs, the standard option would be more than enough for the average user.

 

 

 

 


 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit : www.arstechnica.com

Wi-Fi Capabilities Dramatically Increase with Beamforming

New things are coming in the world of Wi-Fi technology, in the form of beamforming and MU-MIMO. Beamforming makes it possible for routers to adjust their phase and power for better signal by allowing Wi-Fi routers and clients to exchange information about their locations. Beamforming, in either the explicit or implicit form, provides significantly better radio signals, faster forwarding, at greater distances. Devices manufactured in the last two years will support explicit beamforming, that allows client and Wi-Fi to communicate about their locations, and providing better steering of signals between the two. Implicit beamforming works in a similar way, steering signals based on the routers internal measurements rather than the respective locations of the router and the client. Prior to beamforming, Wi-Fi routers sent signals out in all directions. The signals need only go where Wi-Fi devices are, beamforming makes Wi-Fi capabilities more efficient by solving this problem and employing signals in the direction of devices. MU-MIMO, short for multi-user, multiple input, and multiple output, makes more bandwidth available to wireless users. Moving networking away from the one-at-a-time model to a more complex system, multiple devices can converse simultaneously.

David Newman with Network World, reviewed the MU-MIMO and beamforming capabilities within the Linksys EA-7500 and his results were noteworthy. After a quick power-up, online configuration, and downloaded firmware update, the router was up and running. Comparing transfer rates between the old 802.11n access point and the new Linksys EA-7500 router, Newman found a significant increase in results. The old 802.11n downloaded data at 25Mbps while the new Linskys EA-7500 downloaded data much faster at 58Mbps.

His conclusion is as follows:

So, can beamforming and MU-MIMO help you? The answer is “yes, for sure” if you’re in one of three categories:

  • if you’ve got devices 2 years old or newer, beamforming can help
  • if you’ve got distance issues, beamforming and MU-MIMO can help
  • if you’ve got multiple devices, MU-MIMO can help

In all these cases, we saw significant improvements using MU-MIMO and beamforming technology in the Linksys EA7500 Wi-Fi router.

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If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: Review: Wave 2 Wi-Fi delivers dramatic performance boost for home networks

Wires can’t keep up with faster Wi-Fi

Gigabit Wi-Fi, or 802.11ac, has been slowly appearing in homes, buildings and public hotspots, but according to researchers at OpenSignal, gigabit is not delivering to smartphones and wiring is the culprit. In part with how wireless technology works, and the performance of the wired networks Wi-Fi needs to work, the smartphone reach is strained. Researchers found that the 802.11ac which is the latest and greatest in Wi-Fi capabilites, gives users an average of 32.4Mbps, more than double the speed of anything else on the market. In anticipation of even newer technology, this is actually a great deal slower than the 400Mbps that should be made available with newer versions not on the market, yet.

Researchers wanted to know what accounted for the hold up, as 32.4 and 400 have a great range between them. What has been noticed is that the built-in limitations of wireless are partly to blame, but rather that the speed of wire that is plugged into the access point is the real cause of slower speeds. As technology moves forward, Wi-Fi has surpassed wired networks in many places. However, the wired networks still remain, and if the data ultimately carries over 25Mbps cable broadband, that is basically as much as any user is going to get.

Ethernet is attempting to keep up as 802.11ac gets faster, with new LAN interfaces that can run 5Gbps. At the moment the pickings are slim, and getting 802.11ac with a smartphone is not the norm. In order to do so, a smartphone and wired network are necessary. Most of the time when a smartphone is using Wi-Fi it is on the older, slower, 802.11n. Currently, users in the United States were only on 802.11ac 7.9 percent of the time. wifi_80211ac


If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: Newer Wi-Fi’s faster, but it needs a fast wire behind it

 

iOS9 Skyrockets Cellular Usage. Wi-fi Assist Feature May Be Responsible

ios9Noticing a significant increase in data usage since installing iOS9? Wi-fi assist may be the cause.  The feature switches your iPhone to cellular usage when it detects you’re in a spot where wi-fi coverage is lacking. For those with unlimited data this wouldn’t be an issue; however, for those who are under a metered data plan this could result with an alarming bill next month.  With this setting you could potentially be consuming your data allowance even when you’re just at home or in the office.

It’s a useful feature, but may not be appropriate for all circumstances. The default for this feature is on, but you can switch it off under Settings>Cellular and scroll down to the bottom.  Also, you can check out your data usage by using the Reset Statistics feature found below the Wi-Fi- Assist if you want to keep a watchful eye.

The New Wifi – 1GB Throughput

Over the last few years bva has had to support many different types of wifi with many several different users expectations of speeds.  Obviously the two most popular over the last 10 years have been G and N.  There are many types of wireless routers and access points out there that have finally become stable and reliable.  About two months ago bva got visibility into a new type of wifi called 802.11ac where we were able to test and see with our own eyes what it could do.  This new wireless on the 5 GHz band and see’s LAN throughput of at least 1 gigabit per second with a maximum single link throughput of at least 500 megabits per second (500 Mbit/s).

This is a great product for users that want to replicate data or obviously have high speed bandwidth.  Having a GB connection via wireless to the internal servers is something that I would thought we would not see this quickly so we here at bva are quite impressed.

 

Dual-band Linksys EA6500

 

 

 

 

 

Back View

 

 

 

 

 

Side View

 

 

Delta and Amazon team up to give you Free in-Flight Wifi

Delta airlines and Amazon have teamed up to bring you free in-flight wifi while you’re flying at 30,000 feet. The only stipulation is that you only be able to access the Amazon websites to shop while you are in the air.

There are also a couple other freebies which include free access to the Wall Street Journal, and People magazine. It is also noted that there are going to be other exclusive deals for you to partake in but are not announced at this moment. Stay tuned for some more exciting updates in regards to this free service.

The Best Wireless Routers

bva deploys a lot of of wireless units in our business operations and sifting through all of the vendor products and choosing which router is best suited for your purposes is a tough task sometimes. Do you need a lesser expensive single-band router or a more expensive dual-band? Do you need to upgrade or purchase an 802.11n router? What benefits do 802.11n give? Does a higher-end router mean better Internet connectivity? These questions as well as factors like security, parental controls and extra features such as the ability to connect USB printers and external storage drives to a router for sharing in your personal network, are all considerations to weigh when deciding to purchase or upgrade a router.  A lot of other wireless routers in your proximity, and you are facing lots of potential signal interference, especially on the more crowded 2.4 GHz band, a frequency that wireless routers use to transmit and receive data. Certain building materials, multi-level homes, glass partitions and household devices that operate on the 2.4 GHz frequency like microwaves, baby monitors, and cordless phones can all degrade wireless performance.  Here is a list of Dual Banded routers that I feel would meet many environments expectations.

  1. Merika 802.11n Wireless LAN, Branch Routers and Firewalls; $390 MSRP
  2. Cisco Linksys E4200 v2 Maximum Performance Dual-Band N900; $200 MSRP
    Has excellent throughput with a setup process and software that can’t be beat. This is a future-proof router with support for IPv6 and is an excellent choice for the home with lots of data demand and lots of wireless gadgets whose users don’t want any hassle with setup and maintenance.
  3. Netgear N900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router WNDR4500; $180 MSRP
    Netgear’s big beefy dual-band router delivers the fastest throughput we’ve seen on the 2.4 GHz band, which many of your consumer electronics devices probably use.
  4. D-Link Amplifi HD Media Router 2000 (DIR-827); $170.00 MSRP
    The DIR-827 is without question a speedy router, especially for its hardware specs. Some issues include retaining that throughput at range and some software flakiness.
  5. Netgear N600 Wireless Dual Band Router ADSL2+ Modem Router (DGND3700); $151-$175 MSRP
    Netgear’s DGND3700’s best feature is it can work as a DSL modem and a router. It’s also got good performance, if not the best we’ve seen from a Netgear router. But users looking for a DSL modem/router combo will be satisfied.
  6. Netgear N750 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router (WNDR4000); $130 MSRP
    Netgear’s N750 is a throughput thoroughbred in the 5 GHz band. Performance at the 2.4 GHz band is slightly above average with other top 2.4 GHz routers on the market. Advanced features and easy setup makes the N750 a router to easily recommend, despite anemic NAS capabilities.
  7. Cisco Linksys E3200 High Performance Dual-Band N Router; $160 MSRP

RIM/Blackberry Down – Switch Fails – Data Traffic Stifled

RIM has really created a monster today.  RIM global outage caused by core switch failure and the fix under way.  Also the backup system also didn’t work, RIM explains in detail in many press releases.  BlackBerry service delays experienced by users around the world on Tuesday were caused by a core switch failure within the infrastructure of Research in Motion (RIM), the company said late Tuesday.  A RIM spokesman said service was beginning to be restored to normal around 2 p.m. ET, although there would be further delays as backlogs in data are cleared. It was the second outage or “delay,” as RIM put it, in two days affecting users in numerous countries.  RIM’s system is designed to failover to a back-up switch, but the failover system “did not function as previously tested,” according to a statement issued by RIM at 5 p.m. ET.  When the failover did not function, a backlog of data was generated. The company is working to clear that backlog but have not given a date or time when all items will be resolved.  There should be automatic ways in which the system recovers from this type of event. Any vendor who runs this type of mission critical service must constantly be reviewing disaster recovery solutions.

The latest problems occurred in two phases, with a 12-hour outage Monday morning affecting some BlackBerry users in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, according to RIM. That problem was fixed, the company said, without explaining the cause.  Then at about 10 a.m. ET Tuesday, wireless carriers in the U.K. and Egypt reported outages that continued for hours.  RIM said an hour later that the delays affected some customers in South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India, but didn’t immediately offer an update about the underlying problem.
Tweets and other reports blamed a server outage in Slough, U.K., where RIM operates a data center, but the company would not comment on those reports. The Slough data center would serve much of Europe and the Middle East, analysts said. RIM also run a data center near its headquarters in Waterloo, Ontario.  But a data center outage in the U.K. or Canada probably wouldn’t explain service problems in South American countries, such as Brazil, Chile and Argentina, analysts noted.  RIM doesn’t usually explain the cause of its outages and disruptions. In the past, those outages have lasted one or two days and only in a certain region of a country or a portion of a continent, not over several continents as happened Monday and Tuesday.  In March 2010, there was an outage in both North America and the U.K. on Wi-Fi-ready BlackBerry devices that were not connected to Wi-Fi. A more severe December 2009 outage in North America was related to a BlackBerry Messenger update.