Etc.


— 11:26 AM on January 22, 2010

Man, writing that GF100 article took a lot out of me. Pleased with how it turned out, but getting it finished was inordinately painful.

The crazy thing is that I'm still carrying around information from CES that I'd like to write up, along with a number of items I've been holding on to even longer. Our agenda has just been incredibly full, though. I realized this past Sunday that between Clarkdale, CES, the podcast, and GF100, I hadn't had a single day off of work since December 27. I'm not complaining—'twas my own choice—but it just kind of happened. Eventually, that gets to you.

If you haven't yet, I would encourage you to have a listen to our CES podcast, even if that's not usually your thing. This episode is a little long, so you may want to take it in chunks, but it's jammed full of information on a whole host of interesting stuff from the show. Also, I'm very much looking forward to the next episode, in which Jordan plans to tell the story of CES through sounds from the trip interspersed with narrations, like the Beijing and 10th anniversary episodes he did. We're lucky to have someone of his talents to do these things for us, and we should enjoy it while we can, folks.

Amid all of this work, I've missed the chance to comment on some everyday things going on in Damage Labs. One change of note, recently, has been the addition of an 802.11n router to replace my long-trustworthy Linksys WRT54G, which I had hacked and cranked up to approximately blowtorch power levels. I wanted the additional speed of wireless N, and I was willing to pay a little extra for something good, since we have an awful lot of connected devices these days, many of them used for business. After reading this thread, I wound up going with a Netgear RangeMax WNDR3700.

So far, I've not been disappointed. I'd estimate that, in terms of real transfer speeds, 802.11n is about 2.5 times the speed of 802.11g in everyday use, and that's only with a single-band 2.4GHz connection. Even relatively slow things like Windows file copies are pushing past 60 Mbps at a good distance from the router. (That's in the slower "neighbor-friendly mode," too. Man, I need to turn that off!) The 3700 also broadcasts on the 5GHz band, but that has less range, and most of my laptops with 802.11n adapters don't do 5GHz, anyhow. I expect I'll buy a dual-band Netgear Wi-Fi adapter for at least one of our systems eventually, though, because we could use the additional speed sometimes, especially when my wife is browsing through our trove of eight-megapixel family pictures over the network.

I've appreciated a few of the 3700's other features, including the ability to set up guest networks with separate SSIDs that can only access the Internet, built-in bandwidth use reporting, and some decent pre-baked QoS policies (with the option to add more). All in all, a pretty solid feature set out of the box—and a nice upgrade for the money, overall. If you're holding out on 802.11n, it might be time to reevaluate.

   
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