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MIMO Face-Off
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Speaking of Ruckus, in addition to supplying the "BeamFlex" antenna technology for NETGEAR's RangeMax router, the company has decided to field its own products. The multimedia AP and client adapter also use Atheros chipsets, but don't appear to use Super G's Turbo (channel-bonding) mode. This means the products don't produce the high peak speeds found in both MIMO and non-MIMO products that use Super G Turbo, but they also don't drop down in throughput if normal 802.11b/g gear is in-range.

Ruckus' focus is on glitch-free wireless video and audio distribution, so the products include their patent-pending SmartCast QoS technology. I included Ruckus in this competition, however, to gauge differences between their implementation of BeamFlex and that in the NETGEAR RangeMax line. I also wanted to see the difference that a significantly better antenna on the client end of things would make.

Ruckus Wireless

MF2900 802.11b/g multimedia access point
$169
(direct from manufacturer)

MF2501 802.11b/g multimedia wireless adapter
$129
(direct from manufacturer)

 

TRENDnet (also previously known as TRENDware) recently seems to be making a push for increased share in the U.S. consumer networking product market with a focus on value-priced gear. Its MIMO entries have dual-antenna Atheros-based designs, similar to the D-Link and ZyXEL products.

TRENDnet

TEW-611BRP 108Mbps 802.11g MIMO Wireless Router
$73
Check latest price

TEW-601PC 108Mbps 802.11g MIMO Wireless PC Card
$45
Check latest price

ZyXEL's XtremeMIMO is yet-another dual-antenna Atheros-based MIMO design. Like the D-Link DI-634M, the X-550 router contains Ubicom's StreamEngine QoS technology. The QoS technology doesn't do anything for wireless performance, but helps make the most of the limited Internet upstream bandwidth that most of us have.

ZyXEL

X-550 XtremeMIMO Broadband Router
$115
Check latest price

M-102 XtremeMIMO Cardbus Adapter
$87
Check latest price
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