HomeRF (for home radio frequency) is a home networking standard developed by Proxim Inc. that combines the 802.11b and Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunication (DECT) portable phone standards into a single system. HomeRF uses a frequency-hopping technique to deliver speeds of up to 1.6 Mbps over distances of up to 150 ft - too short a range for most business applications, but suitable for the home market that it was specifically developed for.
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HomeRF is one of two standards currently vying for the wireless home network market share. The other main contender, Wi-Fi uses a direct sequence spread spectrum (DSSS) transmission method to deliver speeds of up to 11 Mbps. HomeRF is said to have better mechanisms in place to deal with interference (from microwave ovens, for example) and to handle voice, video, and audio data better than Wi-Fi. Nevertheless, Wi-Fi is significantly faster than HomeRF - albeit more expensive as well. Wi-Fi products have already become fairly well established in corporate wide area networks (WANs), which tend to support the older standard for home networks, since consumers tend to prefer to use the same technologies in both home and work settings. Although industry support is split between the two technologies, a number of companies (such as IBM and Proxim itself) have begun to back both standards.