Jun 14, 2003, 4:46 PM
Post #4 of 14
I bet some of you are asking, "What the hell is WiFi"? And when I give you the textbook definition, you're going to get even more confused. But bare with me. Here is what one of my latest textbook says Wi Fi wireless fidelity. A local area computer network using high frequency radio waves as the medium of exchange. Devices with this label must conform to the IEEE 802.11b standard as certified by the Wi Fi alliance.
Re: [Tuatha_de_Danann] WiFi in Ajijic?
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In lay terms. computers can connect to each other. to printers, etc or to the internet via high frequency radio waves, just like you can talk to your wife via a cell phone over high frequency radio waves. The most popular standards right now in North America are called 802.11b.
Just yesterday at a Starbucks while sipping on an expresso I opened up my laptop and without the need to plug in an ethernet or telephone cable was able to check my email and surf the web. How did I do it? My laptop was comunicating with another tranceiver (access point) within a couple hundred feet of my location via radio waves. I checked my download and upload speeds. They were 1,400 Kb/sec and 950 Kb/sec respectively. That's more than 30 times as fast as my old fashioned telephone connection speed. You heard me. I was downloading files at more than 30 times the speed I could via an old fashioned telephone modem. Do you remember the last time you had to download a file when it took maybe 2 hours. Well, it would have taken me about 4 minutes.
Tuatha, asked if one can get Wi Fi in Ajijic. Yes. I know of 8 access points (802.11b transceivers) spread along the Lake Chapala Coast reaching from Jocotepec, 12 miles West of Ajijic to just west of Chapala perhaps 5 miles East of Ajijic.
Before you can communicate with an access point, your have to have your own tranceiver. The tranceiver in your computer could be a very small card that transmits at 2/10ths of a watt with a built in antenna. Although they say you could still connect at 1,600 feet from the other tranciever line-of-site if you were out doors with one of these cards, a more realistic range is 100 to 200 feet especially if you are inside a building.
If you want to extend your range, some of these small wireless cards have a place to connect an external antenna. There are small 5 to 8 dB antennas that you can attach to your laptop and larger directional antennas that are usually permanently fixed to say your roof that could lead to the back of your tower for a more permanent installation.
The 8 access points near Ajijic, are all controlled by the internet service provider www.lagunanet.net.mx and are placed on high towers for maximum coverage over the whole neighborhood. If the goal were to reach customers in the local coffee shops, the antennas, AKA access points, AKA transceivers would be closer to ground level near the coffee shop in question.
While the typical coffee shop Wi Fi customer is less than 100 feet from the access point, fixed Wi Fi customers, those with external antennas can be 5, 10 or even 20 miles from the ISP access points when using a 24 dB directional antenna. To minimize packet loss, lagunanet likes it's customers to be less than 5 miles from one of it's 8 towers. The maximum distance I have ever communicated with was 24 miles over the lake using a 24 dB antenna. The download rate was acceptable but was about 1/3 that of what I could have gotten were I to have been much closer.
So yes Wi Fi is available at the lake. But the access points or transceivers are positioned to maximize coverage to neighborhood customers who are pointing large directional antennas at them. They are not positioned to maximize coverage to customers with laptops at the coffee houses and restaurants. That said, with a small 8 dB omnidirectional (nondirectional) antenna attached to your laptop, should you be lucky enough to have a wireless card that has an external antenna connecter, there are several restaurants and coffee houses that are close enough to one of these 8 access points to give you connectivity while sipping on an expresso. If you have further questions drop by Lagunanet's office or phone them at 766-0297 between about 9:10 AM and 3 PM week days