D-Link claims to have found a way to boost the range of its wireless devices up to 800 per cent. Could MIMO now be finding us?
We all love wireless, it’s great, it’s ”wire-less”. It is one less thing requiring cables, drills and sockets in our already cable crowded, Swiss Cheese walled, socket laden homes. And yet, if there is one problem with it, then it has to be signal. This is where D-Link comes in with two new products sporting MIMO.
Unlike it sounds, MIMO is not a small white and orange Clownfish tortured by children worldwide after being flushed down toilets to be “set free”; it is in fact an acronym that stands for ”Multiple Input, Multiple Output” and it boosts the power of wireless devices – according to D-Link – a lot.
The figure D-Link quotes is up to eight times. Of course, as with everything wireless this speed is theoretical: for example, we do not get 54Mbit/sec from 54g and we did not get 11Mbit/sec from 11b while signal strengths can varying massively from product to product, so until we get it into the labs it will be hard to quantify.
That said, the concept behind it – called Smart Antenna Technologies (SAT we are guessing!) which includes beamforming: allowing a more concentrated signal to be aimed in a specific direction rather than a traditional weaker omni-directional approach – does sound promising.
Interestingly, given the “pointing” approach of MIMO signals it does not need specifically enabled MIMO products to benefit from it. Quite simply, if the signal to a wireless receiver is stronger it will pick it up better.
The first branded MIMO products to come out from D-Link will be the DI-624M (a combined DSL modem and wireless router) and the DWL-G650M (a wireless PC Card). For the security conscious (and if you are not, you should be) both products support WEP encryption and Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) as well as the government grade AES encryption, the integral component of the next generation 802.11i security standard.
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The DI-624M will come with an RRP of £112 excluding VAT while the DWL-G650M will be yours for £61 also excluding VAT and they are released tomorrow. Note, there is a tendency for web traders these days to sell wireless equipment in bundles, so expect value deals to start popping up everywhere in the next few weeks.