Saturday, February 16, 2008

Wireless is a bad choice of connectivity

I've said this before, but new information validates my opinion.

Wireless runs a form of half-duplex. What this means is that it can send or receive data, but not both at the same time. In the case of wireless however, both can be done at the same time, if your peak bandwidth is reduced.

Example: Using 802.11b, you can get 11Mbps. To get "full duplex" you'd have to send at 5.5Mbps and receive at 5.5Mps.

Other problems involve varying connection speeds (not a problem for wired), and shared connections that hurt performance more than wired. This means that the more users connect to your wireless network the more it hurts performance. Some tweaks can be done to your wireless router to help these issues, but the duplex problem will still be present.

Remember that your connection via wired can be up to 100Mbps on the 360 and 1000Mbps on the PS3 (if your router supports this speed). Both are in Full Duplex. The best you can get with wireless is currently 54Mpbs with the possibility of pseudo-full-duplex. Don't forget wireless is more likely to be susceptible to interference problems. Not to mention it is less secure since home users don't know how to set it up. Turn on your laptop and see how many networks you can connect to in your neighborhood. It's disturbing.

Your connection to your ISP will still matter, but don't forget that the hardware in your home is part of your connection. Imagine if you were to get host in an online game, and you're using wireless.

So do yourself and others a favor; keep your wireless gaming to handhelds.

Source: "802.11 Wireless Networking Resource Guide"


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