SOHO is an acronymfor Small Office Home Office, a term used to distinguish small businesses frommid-sized and large businesses. Technically, SOHO businesses havezero to ten employees, although many of them are one-person shops. (Ward, 2016)SOHO users looking to implement a wirelessnetworking device face a variety of choices with many devices at different pricepoints available from the 802.11a, 802.
11b/g/n, and 802.11ac wireless standards inuse today.The 802.11 standard was established in1997; it used the 2.4 GHz band and had a maximum data rate of 2 Mbps.
The 802.11standard was too slow for practical purposes and is no longer used, newerstandards were developed and we will focus on these standards that have everydayuse in today’s SOHO environment.Established in 1999,the 802.11b standard uses a 2.
4 GHz frequency and is able to reach a maximumspeed of 11 Mbps, which was very comparable to traditional Ethernet speeds atthat time. In a SOHO environment an 802.11b access point can communicatewith devices up to 300 feet away. Speeds will decrease the further you are fromthe device. By utilizing an unregulated frequency, 802.11b devices can expectinterference from microwave ovens or cordless phones. (http://etutorials.
org)The Pros of802.11b are the low cost and a good signalrange that is not easily obstructed, the Cons of 802.11b are the Slower speeds and the interferencefrom home appliances on the unregulated frequency band.Also established in1999, the 802.
11a standard is a high-speed and higher cost alternative to802.11b, transmitting at 5 GHz and speeds of up to 54 Mbps. The move tothe 5-GHz band provides two important benefits over 802.11b. First, itincreases the maximum speed per channel from 11 Mbps to 54 Mbps.
This increasedspeed is especially useful for multimedia files, transferring data, and fasterInternet access. Second, the bandwidth available in the 5-GHz range is largerthan available at 2.4 GHz, allowing for more simultaneous users. However, the802.11a’s higher frequency as compared to 802.11b shortens the range of 802.11anetworks. The higher frequency also means 802.
11a signals have more difficultypenetrating walls and other obstructions. (http://etutorials.org)Because 802.11a and 802.11b utilizedifferent frequencies, the two technologies are incompatible with each other.Established in 2003,the 802.11g standard brings high-speed wireless to the 2.
4-GHz band, whilemaintaining backward compatibility with 802.11b. 802.11g supportsbandwidth up to 54 Mbps, while using the 2.
4 GHz frequency for greater range. An 802.11g network card will workwith an 802.11b access point, and 802.
11b cards will work with an 802.11gaccess point. In both of these cases, the 802.11b component is the limitingfactor, so the maximum speed is 11 Mbps. To obtain the 54-Mbps speeds, both thenetwork cards and access point have to be 802.
11g compliant. Pros of 802.11g standard are the fastmaximum speed and increased signal range. The cons of 802.11g areincreased cost and interfere on the unregulated signal frequency.Established in 2007, 802.11n uses multiple input / multiple output(MIMO)technology improving distance, reliability and speed.
802.11n increasestransmission speeds to 450 Mbps and works in both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHzfrequency bands 802.11n also offers somewhat betterrange over earlier Wi-Fi standards due to its increased signal intensity, andit is backward-compatibility with 802.11b/g devices. ([email protected], 2017)Pros of 802.11n – Fastest maximum speed and best signalrange; more resistant to signal interference from outside sources.
Cons of 802.11n – Costs more than 802.11g; the use of multiple signals may greatly interfere withnearby 802.11b/g networks. The newest generation of Wi-Fi, 802.11ac utilizes dual-band wireless technology,supporting simultaneous connections on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.
802.11ac offers backward compatibility to 802.11b/g/n and bandwidth rated up to1300 Mbps on the 5 GHz band plus up to 450 Mbps on 2.
4 GHz. ([email protected], 2017)The pros of 802.11ac are the higherspeeds and the less congested 5GHz band. 802.11ac is backwards compatible with 802.11b/g/n.The cons of 802.
11ac are the 5GHzsignals don’t travel as far and don’t penetrate walls as efficiently as2.4GHz signals. Before implementing a new Wi-Fi deviceit is important to consider the surroundingenvironment for possible interference. Microwaves, cordless phones and somehousehold appliances cause interference for devices using the unregulated 2.
4GHz frequency. Neighboringwirelessnetworks generally use the same form of radio signaling. For buildings thatshare walls with each other, interference between different Wi-Fi networks isnot uncommon.Building construction isanother factor that effects Wi-Fi signals, concrete, with and without metalreinforcement, is one of the worst building materials for wireless signals topass through, masonry block and bricks can also be serious barriers for Wi-Fi. Plywoodand drywall come close to zero signal loss in tests.ForWi-Fi access point location it is typically in the ceiling that benefits the usersthe most.
There are fewer obstructions to deal with when the signal is comingfrom above and it provides the best direct path to the end user devices.