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Chapter 3. Wireless Considerations > Your Wireless Equipment's Range

Your Wireless Equipment's Range

Let's say that you have a wireless network adapter plugged into your laptop computer's PC Card port. As you walk around your home, increasing the distance between your wireless networking equipment, the speed that the network adapter can transfer data drops incrementally. This speed decrease is by design, allowing the wireless network adapter to maintain a reliable network connection, albeit slower than if the adapters were closer together (see Figure 3.2).

Figure 3.2. Your network's radio signal drops off as distance is increased. The indicator shows a transfer rate (labeled here as Tx rate) of just 2 megabits per second. Compare that to 11 megabits per second when the signal is at full strength.


The speed drops off at set rates, from a top speed of 11 megabits per second to 5.5, 2, and 1 megabit per second. If you move beyond 150 feet (or less depending on the number of obstructions in your home or office) the signal is too weak and the network connection is lost.

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