Re: Do I need a new wireless router
- From: Jeff Liebermann <jeffl@xxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 21 Jun 2008 09:56:25 -0700
On Sat, 21 Jun 2008 11:53:09 -0400, "Les"
The company we have contracted with is EPIC Wireless, out of West PAlm
Beach, FL. Their home office is in New Jersey.
The first thing that caught my eye was their use of WEP encryption.
That means they're using Wi-Fi and possibly older hardware that only
supports WEP. WEP has been cracked in literally seconds, is generally
deemed insecure, and has been replaced by WPA and WPA2. Something is
fishy here. Hopefully, it's just an out of date web site.
I can only find a few numbers from which I can make a determination if
their promises are realistic. However, I can make a bad guess. If
they're using 5.7GHz (802.11a), then to get a thruput of 6Mbits/sec,
they will need to maintain at least a 12Mbit/sec connection. If there
are (for example) 10 active users in the same airspace, each
interfering with each other, you will need about
10 * 12Mbits/sec = 120Mbits/sec
connection speed, which is impossible with 802.11a hardware. If the
mesh network is going through more than one hop to get to a wired
node, the maximum thruput will suffer. Therefore, to get 6Mbits/sec
thruput through 3 hops, you need at least an 18Mbits/sec wireless
connection. That's possible with strong signals.
The system apparently uses a mesh network.
So there's no misunderstanding, I consider most single channel mesh
networks to be an abomination and an engineering nightmare. See:
Note that the packet loss was 50% or more and that average thruput was
about 0.5Mbits/sec. Admittedly, this is with older hardware and there
has been some progress, but 802.11 and its problems haven't changed.
Details on request.
They indicate a speed of 6
Mbps at our 15/mo cost and can also go to 12 Mbps at a higher cost.
They have other systems installed. Has anyone bothered to call any of
their existing customers to confirm these claims? I would be really
interested and impressed if they can do it. Most municipal mesh
networks promise perhaps 0.5Mbits/sec. The few I've played with
barely can do that.
They currently show "220 users downloaded 6.41 GB in the last day".
Doing the math, that's
6.4Gbytes * 8 bits/byte / 220 users = 232 Mbits per user per day
232 Mbits per user per day / 86400 seconds/day = 2.7Kbits/sec avg.
Seems kinda low for that number of users. It's unfortunately a
distorted calculation as there's really not enough numbers on the web
page to show performance.
You might want to ask if the graph is in kbits/sec or kBytes/sec.
seen the network in action at a nearby community and it is much faster than
the speed I currently get with Comcast cable.
Ok, there's hope. I would really like to be proven wrong about my
opinion of mesh networks. Did you actually see it demonstrated with a
paying user, or with a demo computer? It's easy enough to tweak the
system to give priority to a specific MAC address and thus produce
spectacular performance results.
If we are not satisfied, we
can just cancel and revert back to cable or DSL, so there seems to be no
risk. There is no moneys up front.
Sounds good to me. I had a customer try that with the local cable
operator (Comcast). Not only was he reconnected without penalty, but
they gave him some promotional rate for a month or two for coming
I have no idea on what technology they
will be using.
I can guess a few things from the web pile, but if it's a mesh system,
it's no better than any of the municipal networks proposed by various
politicians. However, if you have a working system nearby, with a
collection of satisfied customers, and no risk of losing your cable
connection, by all means, try it and see what happens.
Incidentally, reading the FAQ, it implies that you are expected to
connect directly to the system from your two laptops. That will be a
problem if you want to transfer files between laptops or talk to the
wireless printer. It can be handled with a wired router and wireless
client bridge adapter, but you'll probably need to discuss this with
Epic Wireless before purchasing anything new. The FAQ recommends a
"wireless router" which is kinda odd since most such devices do NOT
have a client mode. One thing for sure, your cable modem will be
useless because of lack of access to the connection between the modem
and router sections.
Good luck and let us know how it works for you.
Jeff Liebermann jeffl@xxxxxxxxxx
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann AE6KS 831-336-2558
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- From: Les
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