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Gigabyte GN-WMAG 802.11g PCMCIA WiFi Adaptor
Gigabyte GN-WMAG 802.11g PCMCIA WiFi Adaptor  - PCSTATS
802.11G networking products are without a doubt the new wireless standard.
 89% Rating:   
Filed under: Networking Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Gigabyte Feb 01 2004   M. Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Networking > Gigabyte GN-WMAG

Gigabyte GN-WMAG 802.11g PCMCIA WiFi Adaptor Review

802.11G networking products are without a doubt the new wireless standard. Though 802.11b has dominated the market for the last couple of years, it will soon be rendered obsolete as the price of the 'g' gear drops. The reason for this usurpation is that unlike the previous alternatives to 802.11b, (like 802.11a) 'g' has no disadvantages to offset its considerable benefits. It's faster than 802.11b, with data transfer rates of up to 54 megabits per second peak compared to 11mbps for 'b', can support higher levels of WEP encryption (152-bit) and is completely backwards compatible with the older 802.11b devices.

Since the 802.11g standard's official adoption, many companies have been racing to get their products to market. Today we look at Gigabyte's PCMCIA wireless network adaptor, the GN-WMAG. Gigabyte, a Taiwanese technology company best known for its motherboards, has released several 802.11g compatible products over the last few months and the company is looking to make a name for itself on the networking front.

The Gigabyte GN-WMAG is a type-II PC card wireless network adaptor supporting both the 802.11b and 802.11g wireless standards. It is capable of WEP encryption up to 152-bit, and supports other wireless security schemes such as WPA (Wireless Protected Access) and 802.1x security.

Gigabyte GN-WMAG

Manual, driver CD.

The GN-WMAG supports 'turbo-g,' a proprietary wireless transfer mode which is in theory capable of transmitting data at 108mbps. we tested the Gigabyte GN-WMAG with a brand new Gigabyte 802.11g compatible access point (which does support 802.11g 'turbo-g' mode), and found some performance improvements came from using 'turbo-g,' though nothing overwhelming.

The GN-WMAG comes in a typical small shiny cardboard box with an odd flappy sort of arrangement at one end which only manages to confuse,,, apparently it confused the box makers too, because it is only at one end of the box, the other side opens normally. Very strange. Inside are the card itself, the drivers, and an actual printed manual which is quite concise and useful (though the one available online seems to be slightly updated).

The card itself is typical PCMCIA appearance, with the exception of the six LEDs arranged on the top surface of the device. These lights, arranged in two groups of four and two respectively, indicate the GN-WMAG's current status at a glance, which is extremely useful.

The group of four lights mounted in a row indicates the strength of the current signal, which is handy for finding the best reception. The other two lights indicate when the card is searching for a network and when it is transmitting or receiving data.

A page from the card's manual illustrates this:

Install of the GN-WMAG is painless. Simply insert the CD and follow the prompts to install the drivers, then pop in the card and click 'ok' a few times to complete. In our test with Windows 2000 and XP, we were up and running in under five minutes.

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Contents of Article: Gigabyte GN-WMAG
 Pg 1.  — Gigabyte GN-WMAG 802.11g PCMCIA WiFi Adaptor
 Pg 2.  Wireless Benchmarks

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