updated 02:15 am EDT, Thu May 22, 2008
Bridge links WiFi for 5mi
HD Communications Corp has introduced a wireless network extender system that allows users to bridge a WiFi up to five miles. The $318 HD26200 system, which requires direct line of sight, is a complete outdoor wireless network bridge in the 802.11 b/g 2.4GHz band that uses two high performance Ubiquiti network radios with integrated 17dbi dual polarity antennas. The HD26200 bridge is powered over ethernet, allowing a single outdoor CAT5 cable to bring both data and power to the radios.
"Since the introduction of WiFi radios people have tried to push the range of consumer level products by adding external antennas, RF cables, and WiFi amplifiers. The cost of those devices often totaled well over $500 and that was after they had already bought two D-Link or Linksys radios for $75 each," said Don Davis, President and CEO of HD Communications Corp. "Now they can have an FCC certified wireless bridge that will work better, look better, is easier to configure, and easier to install for less than $320."
On its website, the company claims that WiFi links can be established over distances of 50km (30 miles) based on clear, unobstructed line of sight in ideal RF conditions, but that typical links were between five and eight miles, short of its 5 mile claim in the press release. In addition, it said the system can provide significantly increased throughput (up to 50+Mbps TCP/IP).
The HD26200 does require a direct line of sight between the two locations; however, HD Communications says it has additional products for non-line of sight situations and promised to introduce additional wireless bridge solutions later this summer.