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Compex WavePort 11Mbps Wireless LAN Series (WP11 AP & WL11-U PCMCIA Card)

For years the only viable and relatively safe way to create a LAN has been through the use of cabling (usually UTP). Depending on the size of one's network this can be a very tedious, and sometimes very difficult system to implement. The only alternative to wired networking is wireless, and the IEEE 802.11b wireless standard fits the bill.

Unlike the slow and expensive wireless kits of yesteryear, the 802.11b standard permits data transfers of up to 11Mbps (1.375MBps) and has a much wider range than previous wireless solutions. To top it all off, 802.11b is set to be much more wallet friendly than most of the previous wireless solutions making it perfect for an easy home LAN implementation. It would be even better for users of a laptop as they would now be able to roam around as they please without the restraint of cables. Compex has sent us their newest wireless LAN access point and PCMCIA LAN card respectively dubbed the WP11 and WL11.

The hardware

The main function of a wireless access point such as the Compex unit we are reviewing today is to connect wireless units together in a given area by bridging them to an existing wired network. If there is no wired LAN in place this unit can be connected to a router or modem for direct access to the internet. Before I move on to detailing the capabilities of this access point it's necessary to list the specifications of the unit:

Technical specifications

Industry Standards :
IEEE 802.11 & 802.11b DSSS;
IEEE 802.3 10Base-T, IEEE 802.3u 100Base-TX;
FCC Part 15 Class B, ETSI 300.328, CE EMC-EEC

LED Indicators :
Power Status, RF Activity, Ethernet Link

Interface :
1 x RJ45 10/100Mbps LAN port

Radio Technology :
Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS)

Frequency Utilization :
2.4 ~ 2.4835 GHz (USA, Canada)
2.4 ~ 2.497 GHz (Europe, Asia)

Operating Channels :
14 channels - Japan
13 channels - Europe
11 channels - US & Canada
4 channels - France
Transmission Rate :
11Mbps, 5.5Mbps, 2Mbps & 1Mbps

Media Access Method :
Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance (CSMA/CA)

Data Privacy :
64-bit WEP Encryption

Supported Architecture

Modulation :
CCK - 11Mbps & 5.5Mbps
DQPSK - 2Mbps
DBPSK - 1Mbps

Antenna :
Dual Diversity Antenna (2dB gain)

Roaming :
Unrestricted client roaming across multiple access points

Effective Throughput :

Operating Range :
Outdoor : 100-250 meters
Indoor : 25-100 meters

Environmental Requirement :
Operation : 0ºC to 50ºC
Storage : -20º to 70ºC
Operation : 10%RH to 80%RH
Storage : 5%RH to 90%RH

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