Performance effects of 802.11b clients on 802.11g clients

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Jul 14th, 2010
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Can anyone tell me what effect in relation to speed, an 802.11b client would have on a 802.11g client. In particular on a network using AIR-LAP1242AG-E-K9 access points.

I have read elsewhere that when using older AP's the 11b client will degregate the performance for 11g clients. Is this still the case for the AIR-LAP1242AG-E-K9?

Does anyone have any stat's for this?

Dylan



Correct Answer by Rob Huffman about 6 years 11 months ago

Hey Dylan,



Yes, "B" clients will stil have a significant effect have a look at this clip;


When 802.11b clients are **associated to an 802.11g access point, the access point will turn on a protection mechanism called Request to Send/Clear to Send (RTS/CTS). Originally a mechanism for addressing the "hidden node problem" (a condition where two clients can maintain a link to an access point but, due to distance cannot hear each other), RTS/CTS adds a degree of determinism to the otherwise multiple access network. When RTS/CTS is invoked, clients must first request access to the medium from the access point with an RTS message. Until the access point replies to the client with a CTS message, the client will refrain from accessing the medium and transmitting its data packets. When received by clients other than the one that sent the original RTS, the CTS command is interpreted as a "do not send" command, causing them to refrain from accessing the medium. One can see that this mechanism will preclude 802.11b clients from transmitting simultaneously with an 802.11g client, thereby avoiding collisions that decrease throughput due to retries. One can see that this additional RTS/CTS process adds a significant amount of protocol overhead that also results in a decrease in network throughput.


In addition to RTS/CTS, the 802.11g standard adds one other significant requirement to allow for 802.11b compatibility. In the event that a collision occurs due to simultaneous transmissions (the likelihood of which is greatly reduced due to RTS/CTS), client devices "back off" the network for a random period of time before attempting to access the medium again.


Note that the throughput increase for 802.11g when in mixed-mode operation is relatively modest when compared to 802.11b, and is a fraction of the throughput provided by 802.11g when not supporting legacy clients."


It is nicely described in this great doc;


http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/wireless/ps430/products_white_paper09186a00801d61a3.shtml


Hope this helps a little!

Rob

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Correct Answer
Rob Huffman Wed, 07/14/2010 - 09:19
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Hey Dylan,



Yes, "B" clients will stil have a significant effect have a look at this clip;


When 802.11b clients are **associated to an 802.11g access point, the access point will turn on a protection mechanism called Request to Send/Clear to Send (RTS/CTS). Originally a mechanism for addressing the "hidden node problem" (a condition where two clients can maintain a link to an access point but, due to distance cannot hear each other), RTS/CTS adds a degree of determinism to the otherwise multiple access network. When RTS/CTS is invoked, clients must first request access to the medium from the access point with an RTS message. Until the access point replies to the client with a CTS message, the client will refrain from accessing the medium and transmitting its data packets. When received by clients other than the one that sent the original RTS, the CTS command is interpreted as a "do not send" command, causing them to refrain from accessing the medium. One can see that this mechanism will preclude 802.11b clients from transmitting simultaneously with an 802.11g client, thereby avoiding collisions that decrease throughput due to retries. One can see that this additional RTS/CTS process adds a significant amount of protocol overhead that also results in a decrease in network throughput.


In addition to RTS/CTS, the 802.11g standard adds one other significant requirement to allow for 802.11b compatibility. In the event that a collision occurs due to simultaneous transmissions (the likelihood of which is greatly reduced due to RTS/CTS), client devices "back off" the network for a random period of time before attempting to access the medium again.


Note that the throughput increase for 802.11g when in mixed-mode operation is relatively modest when compared to 802.11b, and is a fraction of the throughput provided by 802.11g when not supporting legacy clients."


It is nicely described in this great doc;


http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/wireless/ps430/products_white_paper09186a00801d61a3.shtml


Hope this helps a little!

Rob

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