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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Networking > Airport 802.11n - Who's getting it?

Airport 802.11n - Who's getting it?
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Eug
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Jan 9, 2007, 09:20 PM
 
I'd consider it, cuz I need a new router anyway, but I don't want to be the first. I need a strong signal, as my Xbox 360 tends to get dropped from my TrendNET router once in a while.

Also, I'm wondering if I'm jumping the gun a bit by going for a draft-n router. Please post your results if you've gotten your new 802.11n Airport.

P.S. Do the new iMacs/laptops work with 802.11n with it?
     
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Jan 9, 2007, 09:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
I'd consider it, cuz I need a new router anyway, but I don't want to be the first. I need a strong signal, as my Xbox 360 tends to get dropped from my TrendNET router once in a while.

Also, I'm wondering if I'm jumping the gun a bit by going for a draft-n router. Please post your results if you've gotten your new 802.11n Airport.

P.S. Do the new iMacs/laptops work with 802.11n with it?
It'll be awhile; they don't ship til next month.
     
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Jan 9, 2007, 10:28 PM
 
From what I have read the new laptops & iMacs have N capable cards in them and the airport will ship with a driver for OSX to enable it. It should work in Windows mode already.
     
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Jan 9, 2007, 10:43 PM
 
Unless you need the printer/drive sharing, I'd save the $80 and go with one of the other brands.
     
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Jan 11, 2007, 03:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by pilotdude View Post
From what I have read the new laptops & iMacs have N capable cards in them and the airport will ship with a driver for OSX to enable it. It should work in Windows mode already.
What about older macs? Surely we can just upgrade the Airport Extreme Card to one that supports 802.11n ... the question is Apple doesn't seem to be selling these.

Is Apple going to make us upgrade our whole computer in order to get 802.11n?
     
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Jan 11, 2007, 06:39 PM
 
Apple right now says that they can only give you the upgrade to your Mac if you buy their router. I'll probably buy it anyway, but it would be nice to have a choice.
     
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Jan 11, 2007, 08:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by Xtraz View Post
What about older macs? Surely we can just upgrade the Airport Extreme Card to one that supports 802.11n ... the question is Apple doesn't seem to be selling these.

Is Apple going to make us upgrade our whole computer in order to get 802.11n?
No, you can't. With the exception of the Mac Pro (which uses its own unique wifi card), the wifi radios are part of the logic board rather than on a separate airport card.

Depending on what Mac you have, you could buy a USB or PC Card or ExpressCard or PCI card to add 802.11n to your current Mac.
     
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Jan 11, 2007, 08:51 PM
 
I was under the impression that the 802.11n standard hadn't even been made official yet. There is still the chance that the standard could change, isn't there??
     
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Jan 11, 2007, 09:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by Madison View Post
I was under the impression that the 802.11n standard hadn't even been made official yet. There is still the chance that the standard could change, isn't there??
The 802.11n standard has not been finalized. That's why all the currently available hardware is called draft n. The final standard won't be approved until at least April 2008.
The standard can change; current hardware may work with a firmware upgrade, but it may not.
     
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Jan 11, 2007, 11:37 PM
 
I have no experience with the 802.11n network.

On a 802.11g router, if I set it to mixed mode (B+G), the performance will drop. What's about 802.11N? It runs on the 2.4 or 5.8Ghz frequency.
     
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Jan 12, 2007, 05:56 AM
 
Well Apples marketingpage atleast states the performance will be degraded if a .g client joins the network, don't know if a g+n configuration will allready degrade it.

I'd get this, but not without gigabit lan ports. I allready have a Linksys that works fine which has 10/100 lan ports. It annoys me that I can't get good (enough) performance to my network storage. Now by getting the new base station I could get (alot) faster wireless, but all my wired compuers would still have a slow connection to the fileserver (and to the [fast] wireless clients).
     
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Jan 12, 2007, 03:49 PM
 
Those are my two biggest problems. Since I"m getting Apple TV the n fascinates me but yet I'm not sure if it's necessary but yet my C2D supports this draft n and I know to get the n speeds I'd need to get Apple's draft version of it. I'm just concerned this won't upgrade to the final n spec.
My other two concerns is that they didn't put gigabit lan in it so with the n speeds the 100mbps is a bottleneck. As well, I understand a g product would run at g speeds on n networking but I saw Apple's wording as well. I have many g products on my network such as a xbox 360 and PS3. DOes this mean this would slow down even the n products on my network?
     
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Jan 12, 2007, 07:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by kamina View Post
I'd get this, but not without gigabit lan ports. I allready have a Linksys that works fine which has 10/100 lan ports. It annoys me that I can't get good (enough) performance to my network storage. Now by getting the new base station I could get (alot) faster wireless, but all my wired compuers would still have a slow connection to the fileserver (and to the [fast] wireless clients).
I hadn't even though of this. Usually servers are put on wired connections for speed and reliability. With the Airport Extreme, the wireless clients will have a faster connection than a wired server.
     
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Jan 13, 2007, 05:58 PM
 
And, as other have said, with only the 10/100 on the lan, if your music/movie server is a PMAC for instance, and you connect it straight to the basestation via wire, then does that defeat the purpose of getting the new base station? Shoould I just stick with the regular old airport extreme base station for using apple tv?

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Jan 14, 2007, 10:07 AM
 
How much degradation in speeds will there be when 11g devices are connected? My iMac C2D is 11n compatible supposedly, but I have that connected by Ethernet anyway. My MacBook CD is not, but I will eventually replace it. My Xbox 360 also is only 11g (and 11a) compatible. So in truth right now 11n doesn't really matter for me, but it will if/when I get a new MacBook.

Actually #1 reason for getting the new router is the Xbox 360. My old Netgear would crash every 3 days. The TrendNET NEVER crashes and thus I like it a lot, but it has a comparatively weak signal. It will briefly drop my 360 every once in a while, which is very annoying when playing music. The Netgear would never do that, but the hard crash every 3 days was also very annoying.

I wonder how stable the Airport one will be, and how strong the signal is.

I was thinking I should wait until it's no longer draft-n too, but the target finalization date is April 2008, and that's assuming there are no further delays.
     
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Jan 14, 2007, 12:42 PM
 
>> but all my wired compuers would still have a slow connection to the fileserver (and to the [fast] wireless clients).[/QUOTE]


With one USB you can connect your storage or printer - not both. Apple is too cheap for *our* own good at times.
     
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Jan 14, 2007, 01:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by pcryan5 View Post
>> but all my wired compuers would still have a slow connection to the fileserver (and to the [fast] wireless clients).
With one USB you can connect your storage or printer - not both. Apple is too cheap for *our* own good at times.
What if you’d like to exchange files over your wireless network and still have access to a network printer? Easy. Just connect a USB hub to AirPort Extreme and attach your devices to the hub. Share both a printer and a hard drive, multiple printers, or multiple hard drives. (link)
     
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Jan 14, 2007, 07:47 PM
 
I am very disappointed this does not have gigabit lan since that would be a bottleneck for me. What I like is that it does have the usb port which is useful since I have a usb printer I'd like to use on there. Currently my main desktop in my network is a windows pc and I use printer sharing. When i switch to a Mac Pro this year, does OS X have printer sharing that will allow me to share the printer over the network or is this the only option?
As well, I had the idea that draft n was specific to Apple (each draft n being different) meaning a draft n macbook pro would not work with a draft n linksys for example. Now what I'm reading is it true these would cooperate? I do have the feeling if I go with apple the advantage is if the final n spec is not compatible with apple's current hardware if I go with all apple likely the airport would work will all the apple hardware.
If I choose another router though what are some suggestions? Is Linksys good? I want something that has at least 3 gigabit lan ports, a connector for a modem, and as well n networking.
     
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Jan 15, 2007, 02:07 AM
 
Draft n is based on a draft of an open standard. I have not seen a mention of what draft version it is based on, but needless to say there have been several drafts (and the final standard is still over a year away). So there is a chance people are basing their devices on the same version of the draft with no modifications. I would find it more likely that companies modify them so they are proprietary, and then they get to sell both the base station on the client hardware.


So yes, your mileage might vary, but incompatibility should not be taken for granted. We'll probably be a lot smarter when this starts shipping, probably people will actually test it then (Apple surely won't guarantee .n compatibility with anyone else's devices).
     
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Jan 15, 2007, 08:44 AM
 
Eug, the "target" date for N finalization has been slipped a few times already. I'm not sure what the current target is, but it's probably less firm than a new Microsoft OS release date-much less, since there's no business pressure for IEEE to finalize anything, and often quite a bit of both corporate and international politics involved in their activities.

I would NOT get a pre-N or "draft-N" device with the expectation to use it with the final standard; there were a few hijinks with the G standard that left some customers out in the cold (fortunately only for a while, due to firmware updates) when that was finalized. While there is a good chance that Apple's choice of chipset will work with the final N standard, I do not think it will be automatic nor without a glitch.

<personal opinions>I think it would be Very Good for Apple to come up with a way for people with hardware that came out before they started shipping these new products to become compatible, but I'm not holding my breath. Steve and his guys tend to be a little heartless when it comes to customers who bought just before the (very secret) release of new products.</personal opinions>

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Jan 15, 2007, 02:11 PM
 
So say I have an older eMac, after I buy the router what other device can I get to have the eMac talk to the new N router so I get the speed and range benefit ???
     
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Jan 15, 2007, 03:59 PM
 
What I would love to know is if the new router supports Quality of service. If not, no dice.

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Jan 15, 2007, 04:44 PM
 
The other interesting feature on this unit is the USB port, which works with printers and external USB hard drives, etc.
     
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Jan 15, 2007, 05:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
The other interesting feature on this unit is the USB port, which works with printers and external USB hard drives, etc.
I agree-making the base station's USB port a REAL USB port is long overdue. It means that you can make this base station effectively a Network Attached Storage point with a USB hard drive, which simplifies life for a LOT of people, as well as allowing any other USB device to attach. I'm going to have to look up all the details, but this is certainly a promising advance.

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Jan 16, 2007, 12:16 AM
 
So where is the new printer compatibility list?

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Jan 16, 2007, 08:49 AM
 
I am considering it based on the USB drive share.

Airport Base + 500GB Drive + Backup + Computers (iMac + MacBook Pro) = Peace of mind
Airport Base + 500GB Drive + TimeMachine + Computers (iMac + MacBook Pro) = Peace of Mind

That and adding it to the iTV network. All sounds good to me.

I wonder if there is a Share Drive on the network, if iTV can pick it up?

BZ
     
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Jan 16, 2007, 11:35 AM
 
This kind of sucks.

Core 2 Duo-based Mac owners who want to unlock next-generation 802.11n wireless technologies hidden inside their computers will first have to fork a $5 ‘unlocking fee’ over to Apple. The reason: the Core 2 Duo Macs weren’t advertised as 802.11n-ready, and a little law called the Sarbanes-Oxley Act supposedly prohibits Apple from giving away an unadvertised new feature for one of its products.

Oh, about that 802.11n card in your C2D Mac | iLounge
     
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Jan 16, 2007, 11:56 AM
 
$4.99 is not that bad. Price of a designer coffee at $bucks.

BZ
     
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Jan 16, 2007, 12:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by BZ View Post
$4.99 is not that bad. Price of a designer coffee at $bucks.

BZ
Not to mention it is just a ROM update which will probably be passed around in no time.

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Jan 16, 2007, 01:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by Dark Helmet View Post
Not to mention it is just a ROM update which will probably be passed around in no time.
Will Apple put their standard boilerplate software license on the update? In that case, it would be against the license to "pass it around", even though the intent of the update is clearly to charge only a nominal amount for what would otherwise be a free update, to get around this accounting requirement.

My very first Apple Rant here at teh 'NN was about the very first OS X update, which Apple gave away for free at CompUSA, but put its normal Software License Agreement in the package. I was upset because my wife's computer was from her employer, and even though their IT department was too incompetent to take care of Macs and let her administer the machine herself they did insist on going through a process to buy all licensed software on the machine, for license auditing purposes. Yet, here was a critical update that was free, but not available for download and was licensed just like any other piece of ocmmercial software. Since there was no official place to "buy" the update, the lemmings in the IT department were very confused. Ultimately, I just convinced the guy at CompUSA to give me two update packages, and slipped one into the binder with her OS X CD's.

That was a Pismo, too. Perhaps the simgle best-looking Apple laptop ever. But I digress....
     
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Jan 16, 2007, 02:40 PM
 
I just read yesterday the only reason they are charging is because they LEGALLY have to charge because of some new law that you can't sell undisclosed hardware later to activate it.

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Jan 16, 2007, 05:23 PM
 
"Speed and range will be less if an 802.11a/b/g product joins the network"

What does that mean? Does it mean THOSE products will be less or if one of those products is connected it slows it down for even the n's.

Kinda like when you put a USB1 device in a USB2 hub.

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Jan 16, 2007, 05:31 PM
 
It means that you get EITHER standard, single channel speeds OR "MIMO" speeds-it can't do both at once. This is consistent with all the other MIMO products I've seen or read about, by the way.

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Jan 16, 2007, 09:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by Sourbook View Post
...a little law called the Sarbanes-Oxley Act supposedly prohibits Apple from giving away an unadvertised new feature for one of its products.[/url]
It's not really giving away an unadvertised new feature. The feature was already there - Apple just crippled it. It would be like finding out iPods really CAN play DRMed WMA files (PlaysForSure), and could all along, but Apple was crippling that ability.

They're charging for something that already existed...why did they NOT advertise that the feature was there before? Was it only because they were waiting to roll out a new Aiport Extreme base station?

Originally Posted by BZ
...and a little law called the Sarbanes-Oxley Act supposedly prohibits Apple from giving away an unadvertised new feature for one of its products.
I noticed a few days ago that Dell has released a BIOS update to "add support for newer processors" to the motherboard/BIOS of the D620 laptop.

By Apple's so-called logic and SOx-backed excuse for this charge, Dell should be charging anyone who downloads that update a "nominal" fee of $5 or so, since the D620 did not previously advertise support for those newer processors.

Additionally, I don't see how significant software updates would have different rules than hardware-related software updates. Microsoft released Service Pack 2, and it included a major new, previously nonexistent feature - the Windows Firewall. How was Microsoft able to release that for free?
( Last edited by shifuimam; Jan 16, 2007 at 10:11 PM. )
     
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Jan 17, 2007, 12:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
It means that you get EITHER standard, single channel speeds OR "MIMO" speeds-it can't do both at once. This is consistent with all the other MIMO products I've seen or read about, by the way.
ok so if there is a N laptop in the room using the net and a B the router swtiches to B for both?

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Jan 17, 2007, 12:52 AM
 
What happens if you use the new Airport Extreme (MIMO) and used older Airport Express (G) as WDS/extenders? Does this negate the MIMO feature of the new Airport Extreme?
     
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Jan 17, 2007, 08:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by Dark Helmet View Post
ok so if there is a N laptop in the room using the net and a B the router swtiches to B for both?
Probably more like it switches to "B/G" and the B laptop gets B speeds while the N laptop gets G speeds. The same radio system can handle both B and G, but an N radio can't do both N and G (or B) at the same time.

This sort of issue cropped up when G came out, and eventually the manufacturers upgraded their hardware to handle both B and G seamlessly. I expect that the same sort of thing will eventually happen with N hardware.

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Jan 17, 2007, 12:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Probably more like it switches to "B/G" and the B laptop gets B speeds while the N laptop gets G speeds. The same radio system can handle both B and G, but an N radio can't do both N and G (or B) at the same time.

OK if I am understanding that correctly it really sucks.

I have a Nintendo Wii that has an "always on" internet connection even when off. It uses B or G. So does that mean since it goes online itself constantly that it will switch the router to lower speeds if an N is in the room it only gets G?

The only way I can think around this is since I have another router in the house to extend the range I have to tell all B and G's to connect to it and leave the N router open to only N products.

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Jan 17, 2007, 12:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by Dark Helmet View Post
OK if I am understanding that correctly it really sucks.

I have a Nintendo Wii that has an "always on" internet connection even when off. It uses B or G. So does that mean since it goes online itself constantly that it will switch the router to lower speeds if an N is in the room it only gets G?

The only way I can think around this is since I have another router in the house to extend the range I have to tell all B and G's to connect to it and leave the N router open to only N products.
That's pretty much what it means, and your work-around sounds like a good plan. Being an early adopter sucks sometimes.

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Jan 17, 2007, 12:49 PM
 
I will probably get airport once the N standard is finalized and in production by other companies but fornow I am happy with the trusty belkin G speed stuff!
     
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Jan 17, 2007, 02:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
That's pretty much what it means, and your work-around sounds like a good plan. Being an early adopter sucks sometimes.
Shitty because I have both routers set to have the same names so it will switch seamlessly between which ever has a better signal. Not i have to manually tell it which to connect to.

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Jan 17, 2007, 03:11 PM
 
I thought that would be a good idea for me.! They have it at school and its great when on your psp or laptop!

I never thought of it at home as of yet as I havnt found a cable long enough that would connect the 2 wireless routers if i were to get them.
     
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Jan 17, 2007, 05:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by Dark Helmet View Post
Shitty because I have both routers set to have the same names so it will switch seamlessly between which ever has a better signal. Not i have to manually tell it which to connect to.
I would simply ADD the N APBS to the network with a different name. That allows less capable machines to continue roaming, while providing (theoretically) greatly enhanced coverage from a single base station for the more capable machines. Say your current name is "wonderland" for both routers; name the N APBS "oz" and connect it to the same wired network (set to act as an access point, of course) and all the computers will connect to the same subnet, be able to share among each other, and you won't lose your roaming capability.

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Jan 24, 2007, 09:13 PM
 
Hmm... I hadn't realized that the new Airport Extreme also supports 802.11a. That's actually useful to me, as my Xbox 360 is 802.11a/b/g.

I'm thinking that 802.11a may work better than 802.11g around here, since I suspect few of my neighbours are on the 5 GHz band. Plus I won't have to contend with interference from the microwave oven. The only problem is that my router is located one floor up from the Xbox 360, and I'm not sure how strong the Airport will be. OTOH, the old 802.11b Airport I gave my GF is definitely stronger than the antenna-endowed Linksys I had a long time ago.

However, is it correct to think that I'll still suffer slowdowns since I'm using an 802.11g laptop? And what happens if I'm using 802.11n, 802.11a, and 802.11g all at the same time?
     
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Jan 25, 2007, 04:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
However, is it correct to think that I'll still suffer slowdowns since I'm using an 802.11g laptop? And what happens if I'm using 802.11n, 802.11a, and 802.11g all at the same time?
It has been talked about in this thread just a few posts up. Any old protocols hitting the router will slow it down for everyone.

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Jan 25, 2007, 06:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by Dark Helmet View Post
It has been talked about in this thread just a few posts up. Any old protocols hitting the router will slow it down for everyone.
I was talking about 802.11g slowing down 802.11a. Does that happen?

I'm not really concerned about 802.11n so much at the moment, since I have no wireless Macs or anything that are 802.11n compatible yet. My iMac is, but that's plugged in via Ethernet anyway.
     
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Jan 25, 2007, 09:13 PM
 
G/N and A are in different frequency bands. That could mean that they are independent and thus there is no slowdown, or it could mean that they are somehow sharing some radio hardware and thus there is a slowdown. Since I haven't seen the block diagram of the cards in question (I could look it up, but our faculty is piling the stuff on us early this semester), I can't say. "Er hem!" I suppose someone else could, using the FCC ID posted in the thread in the iMac forum, find out ALL the details and post them here. "Er hem!"

Interesting question.

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Jan 26, 2007, 01:17 PM
 
I love my current AE but I wish it had Quality of service. If this new ones does I am sold as I love the idea of QOS and network storage.

"She's gone from suck to blow!"
     
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Jan 26, 2007, 02:22 PM
 

"She's gone from suck to blow!"
     
   
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