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MIMO Wireless Access Points

Consumers are getting faster wireless speeds from a technology called Multiple Input/Multiple Output. MIMO refers to access points that use multiple antennas to detect wireless signals and aggregate multiple output or LAN connections. Vendors report that MIMO access points are up to eight times faster and reach three times farther than the current 802.11g standard.

I tested three MIMO access-point products: Linksys G Broadband Router with SRX, Belkin Wireless Pre-N Router, and Buffalo Technology AirStation MIMO Wireless Cable/DSL Router. I got similar results for both distance and speed with all three MIMO access points. All three products showed great improvements over my 802.11g access point, which was unable to maintain a connection at much farther than 100 feet. All three MIMO products completed file transfers at 250 feet. In addition, the MIMO access points were about three times faster than 802.11g at 15 feet and six times faster at 100 feet in my tests. All three access points also get better data-transfer rates with larger files at all distances.

If your Wi-Fi network isn't reliable, I recommend trying any of the products I reviewed rather than waiting for the standard to improve. To read my complete review, including my testing methodology, go to InstantDoc ID 48242. —Adam Carheden

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