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Quick question for you wireless gurus. If you ping a machine over a wireless network every .2 seconds, how many failed pings would be acceptable and "reliable" within a minute?

This is an XP machine wireless networked to a server 2003 machine with a Linksys/Cisco E2000 wireless router between them.

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So you're pinging 5 times a second? – joeqwerty Mar 13 '11 at 5:05
Completely depends on your requirements. On a good wireless network with no interference 0% is what you get. – Zoredache Mar 13 '11 at 6:29
If you're pinging that fast I assume you have an extremely low timeout value set, which could well be the cause of what you're seeing. – John Gardeniers Mar 13 '11 at 8:06
up vote 0 down vote accepted

your question is too broad to effectively answer. If you are just doing light browsing or if the XP machine is only seeing the 2003 box for authentication I would say 1-2% would be workable. Anything more than that and you probably have a hardware or an environment issue (frequency interference) that should be investigated for reliabilities sake. Something to take into account is that pings are not the most reliable way to see if something is responding. Those packets can be dropped/ignored if the queried device is handling alot of traffic. What would be more important, your data moving or a reply to the ping's "hello"?

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What's your definition of "acceptable" and "reliable"?

If you're just providing service to patrons in a coffee shop, 1% packet loss probably isn't a big deal. It's a different story, though if you're running VoIP over WiFi (yes, many companies do this, however stupid it sounds).

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