July 12, 2006 10:58 AM PDT

Study: Wi-Fi beats out home phone, iPod

Despite the ubiquity of the iPod and its ongoing status as the gadget du jour, a new study hints that American adults are more attached to wireless access at home than they are to iPods and landlines.

Eighty percent of respondents to a survey conducted by Kelton Research for the Wi-Fi Alliance said they would part with their iPods over their wireless networks, if they had to.

About the same amount of respondents would choose their wireless networks over their home telephone lines, perhaps attesting to the growing use of voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, as an often-cheaper alternative to traditional landlines.

The survey focused on adults 18 to 64 who have experience with wireless networks.

The study also found that home Wi-Fi networks are shaping the way Americans go about their jobs. Fifty-five percent of survey respondents said they work from home two to three days a week, but wireless connectivity now means that they don't need a designated "home office." Wi-Fi users, particularly those between the ages of 40 and 64, were likely to work in a living room, kitchen or even a local Starbucks.

Part of Wi-Fi's appeal is in its convenience, according to the study. The results found that setting up a home wireless network takes an average of an hour and 8 minutes.

But could the results of the survey be skewed, based on the fact that all 551 participants attested to having experience with Wi-Fi in either a household or home office environment? Yes and no, said Craig Mathias, principal analyst at research firm Farpoint Group, which specializes in wireless communications.

"The results are clearly skewed by the demographic," he said, adding that it doesn't indicate a real inaccuracy. "It's not unfair in any way. I've never met anybody who has installed Wi-Fi and was unhappy with it in the long run."

"I have seen problems from time to time," Mathias noted, "but the industry is working very hard to solve all those problems, and it's hard to imagine that Wi-Fi won't become ubiquitous."

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10 comments

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No Way - Too slow
WiFi was cool for about 10 minutes. The first time I tried copying a good size file over it or wanted to view some large photos from my server... my trusty cat5 cable came right back out. It's just too darn slow, I don't care what it's rated. The only time I use WiFi now is when we have company coming over and my wife doesn't want to see the ethernet cables strung around.
Posted by ss_Whiplash (143 comments )
Reply Link Flag
VOIP Popularity
Give me a break - the 20% of people who would choose wifi over their phone lines has nothing to do with the popularity (or lack thereof - seriously) with VOIP. It has everything to do with cell phones. Come on!
Posted by cameronjpu (178 comments )
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I'd have to agree with you (eom)
eom
Posted by Bob Brinkman (556 comments )
Link Flag
He needs to meet me
"I've never met anybody who has installed Wi-Fi and was unhappy
with it in the long run."

I have installed WiFi at numerous business locations and have had
no end of trouble with it. At some of these places I am getting
50%-75% packet loss; it seems to vary depending on what time of
the day it is.

Yuck.
Posted by sbwinn (216 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Maybe
you should try Apple's Airport
Posted by ronjay (109 comments )
Link Flag
No doubt
Yeah, I tried to set up Wi-Fi to connect my wife's Win2K machine (in the dining room) to a Linksys WAP-11 (in the living room, about 30 feet away). It would work great for about 24 hours, then would drop the Wi-Fi connection until I rebooted her machine. Solution? I ditched Wi-Fi, and ran Cat-5 in my crawlspace. Her network connection has been totally reliable since.

Fast forward about three years, and I'm trying to help my sister-in-law with her Wi-Fi connection between a WinXP laptop and another, later model, Linksys access point. Guess what? Same thing happens--the connection is good for a few hours, then drops. I created an icon on her desktop that would do "ipconfig /release" and "ipconfig /renew", which *usually* fixes the problem. Her Mac Powerbook, on the other hand *never* loses the Wi-Fi connection.

So, yeah, I'm not too impressed with Wi-Fi in the long run, at least not with Windows.
Posted by T38 (30 comments )
Link Flag
Maybe
you should try Apple's Airport (NM)
Posted by ronjay (109 comments )
Link Flag
 

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