Intel Pro/Wireless 5000 LAN dual access point review: Intel Pro/Wireless 5000 LAN dual access point

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Dual band; 802.1x support; 11 nonoverlapping channels.

The Bad Expensive.

The Bottom Line With its simultaneous support of 802.11a and 802.11b, the Intel Pro/Wireless 5000 LAN dual access point is well suited to open office areas packed with wireless PCs.

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Both of the two most popular wireless standards on the market today, 802.11b and 802.11a, have strengths and weaknesses. For small or midsized businesses looking to invest in wireless technology, deciding between the two can be a challenge. However, with the Intel Pro/Wireless 5000 LAN dual access point, there's no need to take sides. This new addition to the Pro/Wireless 5000 family is designed to extend your Ethernet LAN into both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. The result is an access point that is versatile, robust, and well suited for high-capacity wireless LANs. Both of the two most popular wireless standards on the market today, 802.11b and 802.11a, have strengths and weaknesses. For small or midsized businesses looking to invest in wireless technology, deciding between the two can be a challenge. However, with the Intel Pro/Wireless 5000 LAN dual access point, there's no need to take sides. This new addition to the Pro/Wireless 5000 family is designed to extend your Ethernet LAN into both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. The result is an access point that is versatile, robust, and well suited for high-capacity wireless LANs.

A multilingual network
Although 802.11a and 802.11b operate at different frequencies (5GHz and 2.4GHz, respectively), this has its advantages, and Intel is among the first to demonstrate that these two technologies can be complementary. Adding 802.11a to an 802.11b infrastructure helps you sidestep future interference problems in the crowded 2.4GHz band. Also, a dual-band access point gives clients on both 802.11b and 802.11a LANs a greater share of the total available bandwidth. An 802.11a radio can deliver speeds of up to 54Mbps, which is as much as five times faster than 802.11b and enough to handle data-intensive applications, large files, and true multimedia streaming video. The Intel Pro/Wireless 5000 LAN dual access point also supports eight nonoverlapping channels in addition to three for 802.11b. By placing eight access points in a given coverage area, you can provide up to 465Mbps of bandwidth.

Simple yet powerful
The $649 Pro/Wireless 5000 LAN dual access point is not much bigger than a paperback novel. The entire package contains the access point, a mounting bracket, a power supply and cord, a CD bearing software and product documentation, and a quick-setup guide. Hardware installation amounts to selecting the right location, plugging in the power cord, and snapping in an Ethernet cable. If you need help, the CD-ROM contains the adapter manual, the access-point manual, and the LAN administrator's guide. All three are well organized, comprehensive, and fully searchable.

The Pro/Wireless 5000 series is clearly geared toward network professionals. The Web-based configuration pages let you tailor the device to your own office environment by making some fairly sophisticated adjustments. For example, you can fine-tune the transmission power, the data rate, the fragmentation threshold, the preamble length, and the beacon interval. The access point also supports 128-bit WEP encryption with 802.1x authentication and VPN compatibility.

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Where to Buy See all prices

Intel Pro/Wireless 5000 LAN dual access point

Part Number: WDAP5000AM
Low Price: $34.99 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Data Transfer Rate 54 Mbps
  • Data Link Protocol Fast Ethernet
  • Type none