One in four Wi-Fi products fail the certification test

Tests carried out by the Wi-Fi Alliance reveal that roughly one in four Wi-Fi products fail the certification test.

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By  Anna Karhammar Published  January 14, 2004

Tests carried out by the Wi-Fi Alliance reveal that roughly one in four Wi-Fi products fail the certification test, indicating that there are still many products on the market that do not work as well as users would expect given the fact that they have an ‘802.11b compatible’ seal. Whilst the Wi-Fi Alliance announced that more than 1,000 products from 120 leading manufacturers have received certification since examinations began in March 2000, it also says its test data shows that wireless LAN interoperability and performance problems are still affecting products without Wi-Fi certification. “The overwhelming majority of WLAN products in the world are Wi-Fi CERTIFIED and for good reason. In fact, it is becoming increasingly difficult to compete globally without Wi-Fi certification,” says Wi-Fi Alliance Managing Director, Frank Hanzlik. “Based on testing of more than 1,000 products over several IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) 802.11 standards, products that are prepared for Wi-Fi certification testing fail 25-30% of the time or more depending on the technology being tested. Products that do not go through the rigorous testing preparation process have an even higher failure rate. Without Wi-Fi certification, these product failures would have been experienced by the technology consumer,” Hanzlik continues. Wi-Fi’s radio technology is considered to be fairly sophisticated, and as enhancement to the products continue with new features and more chipsets being added, Wi-Fi certification becomes increasingly important for consumers and enterprise IT managers who rely on the fact that wireless LAN products work and interoperate as well they should. The Wi-Fi Alliance currently performs four independent interoperability certifications including IEEE 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g and Wi-Fi Protected Access in addition to a combination of all of these technologies. A searchable database of Wi-Fi Alliance certification can be found at: www.wi-fi.org/OpenSection/certified_products.asp?TID=2

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