NComputing: Can the L-series be used wirelessly?

While a physical connection to the network is almost always preferable for performance reasons, L-series access devices can function in a wireless network. There are, however, some realities to be considered with regards to wireless environments. These realities hold especially true when you’re attempting to run a device that is actively streaming HD video, audio, and USB traffic while simultaneously responding to user input to provide a fully interactive desktop experience in real time.

The most important reality to keep in mind is Latency. Your NComputing access device is designed to deliver a clean, responsive user experience and as such is best deployed into environments with as little latency as possible. Since the amount of latency introduced by wireless connections can vary dramatically depending on the hardware being used and the overall efficiency of the network environment itself, it is important to thoroughly test your environment before committing to a particular configuration.

Wireless Configurations

There are generally two kinds of solutions for connecting L-series access devices to a wireless network. Wireless access per room, and wireless access per device.

Wireless Access per Room

This solution is intended for scenarios wherein multiple devices are being deployed into a common room that simply doesn’t have a physical network connection available, but there isn’t necessarily a requirement for each L-series to have its own wireless bridge. In this case, you can set up a wireless router (and switches, if need be).

You can then physically connect your L-series devices to the router, and then join the router to your wireless network by creating a wireless bridge. We generally recommend using gaming routers when possible, as these routers are specifically designed to keep latency to an absolute minimum.

Wireless Access per Device

If your deployment requires that each L300 be individually joined to a wireless network, you can accomplish this with the use of a USB powered wireless bridge. For the purpose of this article NComputing tested the following two products with NComputing L300 access devices:

TP-LINK TL-WR702N
http://www.tp-link.com/us/products/details/?model=TL-WR702N

TRENDNET TEW-654TR
http://www.trendnet.com/products/proddetail.asp?prod=175_TEW-654TR&cat=77

Both devices functioned “out of the box” with no special configuration required on the L300 itself. In both cases, we were able to successfully connect to a desktop session and use that session to perform common office tasks through the use of productivity software and web browsing.

Its important to note however that the added latency of a wireless connection had a visible effect on video playback. In the case of the TP-LINK device, video playback was possible in windowed mode only. In the TRENDNET’s case, video playback was not sustainable. At present this limitation is to be expected and we simply do not recommend wireless connections for scenarios where video streaming is essential. 

Summary:

While a physically wired connection is preferable, a wireless connection is entirely possible and generally sufficient for any deployment that focuses primarily on delivering access to a desktop session for the purpose of using common productivity applications and moderate web browsing. We do NOT recommend this type of connection for deployments that involve extensive video playback or the use of multimedia intensive applications or web browsing.

As always, your mileage will vary by the number of users and type of hardware you plan to deploy, as well as the exact nature of daily usage you anticipate providing for. Be sure to test your deployment thoroughly before committing to any given configuration.

For more information on buying the NComputing L300 solution, please contact our Sales Team at sales@benjenonline.com.

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