Boosters make a stronger case for Wi-Fi

A new range of Wireless boosters promises to break down some traditional networking barriers, without having to invest in new enhanced MIMO routers.

Four new Wi-Fi booster units (two indoor and two outdoor) from NetComm can extend the range of 802.11 standard wireless networks, overcoming many physical barriers, such as walls and floors, that have traditionally limited the range of standard Wi-Fi routers.

"We're excited about the Wireless Booster, because there's nothing like this in the market," said NetComm marketing manager, Michael Fitzgibbon, adding that the new boosters would let small businesses and consumers use their existing wireless equipment.

"It's an alternative to the MIMO technology which isn't even an industry standard compatible device," he said.

Fitzgibbon said the "matchbox-sized" devices worked like a stereo amplifier, increasing power output and therefore extending signal range.

"Anecdotal tests by our engineers have indicated that the range can be boosted as far as 700 metres," he said.

He noted, however, that the extended range would differ depending on location and that some physical barriers and environmental factors may still limit performance.

The Wireless Boosters can be connected directly to any 802.11b or 802.11g standard network device that has a detachable antenna. Devices without detachable antennas can be connected with the use of a NetComm adapter.

NetComm's Wireless Booster range includes two indoor (200mW and 500mW) and two outdoor (500mW and 1000mW) boosters. The are available now, ranging from $181 to $635.

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Mitchell Bingemann

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