Several companies also marketed wireless bridges and routers based on the WaveLAN ISA and PC cards, like the C-Spec OverLAN, KarlNet KarlBridge, Persoft Intersect Remote Bridge, and Solectek AIRLAN/Bridge Plus. Lucent's WavePoint II access point could accommodate both the classic WaveLAN PC cards as well as the WaveLAN IEEE cards. Also, there was a number of compatible third-party products available to address niche markets such as: Digital Ocean's Grouper, Manta, and Starfish offerings for the Apple Newton and Macintosh; Solectek's 915 MHz WaveLAN parallel port adapter; Microplex's M204 WaveLAN-compatible wireless print server; NEC's Japanese-market only C&C-Net 2.4GHz adapter for the NEC-bus; Toshiba's Japanese-market only WaveCOM 2.4GHz adapter for the Toshiba-Bus; and Teklogix's WaveLAN-compatible Pen-based and Notebook terminals.
During this time frame, people also realized that since Netware 3.x and 4.x supported the WaveLAN cards and came with a Multi Protocol Router module that supported the IP/IPX RIP and OSPF routing protocols, one could construct a wireless routed network using Netware servers and WaveLAN cards for a fraction of the cost of building a wireless bridged network using WaveLAN access points. Many Netware classes and textbooks of the time included a Netware OS CD with a 2-person license, so potentially the only cost incurred came from hardware.
When the 802.11 procotol was ratified, Lucent began producing chipsets to support this new standard under the name of WaveLAN IEEE, which it later renamed to ORiNOCO. At the same time, Lucent spun off the division that produced these chipsets as Agere, which was later acquired by Proxim. Proxim later renamed its entire 802.11 wireless networking lineup to ORiNOCO, including products based on Atheros chipsets.
For security, WaveLAN used a 16-bit NWID (NetWork ID), which yielded 65,536 potential combinations; the radio portion of the device could receive radio traffic tagged with another NWID, but the controller would discard the traffic. DES encryption (56-bit) was an option in some of the ISA and MCA cards and all of the WavePoint access points. The full-length ISA and MCA cards had a socket for an encryption chip, the half-length 915 MHz ISA cards had solder pads for a socket which was never added, and the 2.4 GHz half-length ISA cards had the chip soldered directly to the board. There was a large hole in the NWID security strategy, though: all WaveLAN devices utilized the same spreading code in their DSSS scheme, so a WaveLAN card in promiscuous mode and set to ignore the NWID parameter could sniff and decode any WaveLAN radio traffic it encountered.
The ISA and MCA cards were based on the Intel 82586 Ethernet PHY controller, which was a commonly used controller in its time and was found in many ISA and MCA Ethernet cards, such as the Intel EtherExpress 16 and the 3COM 3C523. The PCMCIA cards used the Intel 82593 PHY controller. The radio modem section was hidden from the OS, thus making the WaveLAN card appear to be a typical Ethernet card, with the radio-specific features taken care of behind the scenes.
While the 900 MHz models and the early 2.4 GHz models had a fixed frequency, the later 2.4 GHz cards as well as some 2.4 GHz WavePoint access points had the hardware capacity to operate over ten channels, ranging from 2.412 GHz to 2.484 GHz, with the channels available being determined by the region-specific firmware.
|Realm||Type||Number of frequencies||Frequency||Modulation technique||Output power||Maximum data rate||Media Access Control||Security|
|Worldwide||900 MHz||1||915 MHz||DSSS/DQPSK||250 mW||2 Mbit/s||CSMA/CA||16-bit network ID and optional DES encryption|
|US and Canada||2.4 GHz||6||2.412 GHz, 2.422 GHz, 2.432 GHz, 2.442 GHz, 2.452 GHz, 2.462 GHz||DSSS/DQPSK||32 mW||2 Mbit/s||CSMA/CA||16-bit network ID and optional DES encryption|
|Europe (except France)||2.4 GHz||8||2.422 GHz, 2.425 GHz, 2.4305 GHz, 2.432 GHz, 2.442 GHz, 2.452 GHz, 2.460 GHz, 2.462 GHz||DSSS/DQPSK||32 mW||2 Mbit/s||CSMA/CA||16-bit network ID and optional DES encryption|
|France||2.4 GHz||2||2.460 GHz and 2.462 GHz||DSSS/DQPSK||32 mW||2 Mbit/s||CSMA/CA||16-bit network ID and optional DES encryption|
|Australia||2.4 GHz||4||2.422 GHz, 2.425 GHz, 2.432 GHz, 2.442 GHz||DSSS/DQPSK||32 mW||2 Mbit/s||CSMA/CA||16-bit network ID and optional DES encryption|
|Japan||2.4 GHz||1||2.484 GHz||DSSS/DQPSK||32 mW||2 Mbit/s||CSMA/CA||16-bit network ID and optional DES encryption|
Several open-source projects, such as NdisWrapper and Project Evil, currently exist that allow the use of NDIS drivers via a "wrapper". This allows non-Windows OS' to utilize the near-universal nature of drivers written for the Windows platform to the benefit of other operating systems, such as Linux, FreeBSD, and ZETA.
Classic WaveLAN technology was available for different interfaces: