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MSI Mania - 3 of MSI's latest goodies

By: Cameron Johnson | Editorials in Motherboards | Posted: Feb 27, 2004 5:00 am

Wireless 11g


With the big push on wireless technologies over the last year and a half, just about everyone who is anyone has started to put their own Wireless networking products on the market, be it be a Router, Access Point or simply a Client access device. Wireless has taken a big bite in the networking sector, and why wouldn't it? After all, no wire connection, up to 100m line of sight transmission range, and with speeds of 54mbps, it's starting to take the place of 100mbps wired LAN.


The 802.11x standard has taken on three forms at the present moment in time - 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g. 80211.b was the first protocol that was taken in and adopted as an industry standard. The 802.11b specifies a 2.4Ghz carrier signal and a maximum speed of 11mbps, this gave it a 1mbps advantage over half duplex 10mbps wired Ethernet - great for ADSL and cable modem connections.


The 802.11a standard didn't really get off the ground due to some problems with speeds and transmission range. The 802.11a uses a 5 Hz carrier band and runs at 22mbps, double that of the 802.11b standard. However, the 5GHz operating frequency was easy to interfere with, reducing its transmission rage to around 50m. Due to the signals being different, 802.11a can't access 802.11b or g networks.


802.11g is the latest standard to come out. Like the "a" standard, it is not an industry adopted standard yet and is still undergoing some final bug fixing. This though hasn't stopped quite a few 802.11g products hitting the market. 802.11g uses the same 2.4GHz carrier as the "b" standard, but runs its transfer speeds up to 54mbps. Since the 802.11g uses the 2.4GHz band, if you have other "b" devices in your infrastructure, you will be able to access them with the "g" series and vice versa which has helped make 802.11g popular in a short amount of time.



First we take a look at Wireless G PCI card for desktop systems. It comes packed in a new design box for the Wireless G products MSI is now unleashing. The unit is packed with a driver disk for installation as no OS supports the Wireless G series of cards, a simple installation manual and a unidirectional antenna for picking up the signal.



The card itself is very simple. All the electronic components are located under an EMI shield; this prevents the PC's peripherals from interfering with the signal and the Wireless signal interfering with PC operations. Only one external port is located on the back of the card. This is to connect the unidirectional antenna to. This simply screws onto the port and bingo; place the antenna on top of your ATX case for best reception.


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