I went in today (Saturday) to do some more wireless investigations. I turned off all the access points and then did some comparisons. We currently have a mixture of 3Com 8000 and 8250 access points. These have worked ok, but not great. Also the 8250's are not manageable or configurable. Before the 3Com wireless debacle began in the summer of 2001 we had Cabletron access points based on a Lucent form factor and chipset. We still use some of those access points and find them to work well. The wireless division of Lucent was spun off to Agere and then was bought by Proxim. The current product line is still called Orinoco. We bought one the newest AP's on the market, one made by Proxim, the AP-700.
After I turned off the two access points I did some testing with the Ekahau software I mentioned previously. I first used the 3Com by itself and did a survey to see what it was doing, then I did the same with the new Proxim AP. I found that the signal strength of the Proxim was better and more importantly so was its Signal to Noise Ratio. The SNR in the room with the AP improved slightly and greatly in the room next door. I then turned on the next closet access points and repeated the tests. Lastly, I turned all the access points back on and tested one last time. It appears the Proxim is indeed better. The true test is Monday when everyone is back to see what happens.
If the Proxim truly is better hopefully we can upgrade some more. The Proxim is by far more configurable and manageable. It is like night and day between it and a 8250.