A tutorial discussing 802.11 Wi-Fi client adapters and notebook computer performance issues in the WLAN environment.

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Understanding 802.11 Client Wi-Fi Adapters

Connect802 can help with the selection and system design for many manufacturer's 802.11b/g, 802.11a, and 802.11n client Wi-Fi adapters.

If you have questions, please don't hesitate to call us today! We'll be happy to provide you with any technical explanation that you need to help you assure a successful wireless networking deployment.

  The PCMCIA Wi-Fi Client Adapter Card
Many PCMCIA Wi-Fi adapter cards have a flat antenna coil encapsulated in an epoxy "nub" that sticks out on the end.
When a transmitting and receiving antenna are cross-polarized the reception capability can be reduced significantly.
A PCMCIA Wi-Fi adapter with "flip up" antennas to help minimize cross-polarization signal loss.
While it's true that most new notebook computers can be purchased with built-in Wi-Fi, legacy systems and desktop computers still need additional hardware for Wi-Fi connectivity. Connect802 has that hardware available for quick delivery. A 200 mW (23 dBm) 802.11 Access Point may be able to transmit over 1000 feet but that doesn't help a 30 mW Client Wi-Fi adapter talk back to the Access Point. Wireless LAN Access Points with high-power don't help a WLAN unless the Client WiFi adapters are at least equal in power input. Wi-Fi signal boosters (RF amplifiers) can help offset cable loss when a long antenna cable needs to be run, but a high-power Access Point can not help an under-powered Wi-Fi client adapter. A High Power Access Point may be specified with a 200 mW signal level. Unfortunately this won't help improve the effective WLAN coverage unless the clients are equally equipped. Some examples of products that fall into the high-power category are the Enterasys RoamAbout Access Point 30000, The Lucent ap500, and the Engenius 2511. Using these types of high-power 200 mW or 23 dBm units the person doing the RF design must carefully consider what's going to be done with that "extra" RF power.. compensate for a long antenna cable or send the signal to places where Clients can't talk back. Consider which Wi-Fi client adapter cards you'll need if you're using a 200 mW wireless access point and mesh router note/repeater. You're not going to find a high-power 200 mW PCMCIA Wi-Fi 802.11 adapter card. You're not going to find a 200 mW high-power USB Wi-Fi 802.11 radio. Most WiFi client cards operate closer to 30 mW or 50 mW, much less than you would expect when some of them are even specified to operate as 100 mW (20 dBm) Wi-Fi 802.11 client adapters.