So, there I was in this motel, Econo Lodge, which was not too posh (if you know what I’m talking about). I mean, the logo and name look and sound cheap! Anyway, I assumed that there would be no Internet access included in this wonderful motel package. I looked in the Econo Lodge booklet and found no information. I was too embarrassed to call the operator and actually ask if there was a way to access the Internet. He or she would probably tell me, “What do you think this place is? A Hilton? No! This is ECONO LODGE!” I thought to myself, maybe there would a stray open wireless network floating about the airwaves. I doubted it. I mean, I was really in an out-of-city old-fashioned small town. It really wasn’t the type of place where cutting-edge technology harbored. Boy, was I wrong!
To my surprise, as scanned the airwaves, I came across two networks. The first one, which had an acceptable signal of 60%, was DAYS_INN. I thought, “Well, that makes sense! There is a Day’s Inn next door!” Unfortunately, I was unable to access the network. I guess they only let their customers access it, which is only natural. I scolded myself for not staying at the Day’s Inn.
The other network was called PRE-N. The signal was a next to nothing, a pitiful 0-1%! I wasn’t too enthusiastic about this network. Then, when I told my Wifi client to connect to the network, it seemed to work smoothly. Cautiously, I opened the DOS prompt (Start Menu, Run, “cmd” or “command” for those of who do not know) and entered “ping google.com.” It worked perfectly! I was so excited! Free Internet access!
Later, after checking my mail and doing some routine business, it dawned on me that I was getting a decent speed (400kbps) on a 1% signal. How could this happen? Then I remembered that the name of this network was PRE-N. The 802.11n protocol, as opposed to 802.11b and 802.11g, had not been completely standardized. That didn’t stop manufactures from selling networking components that had some features of the promised 802.11n. These products were of the Pre-N class. One of the promised features of 802.11n was long distance over low signal. I was impressed! I bet that the wireless router that was supplying Internet access to me was several buildings away!
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