Originally Posted by zmatt
Network protocols are network protocols. brand doesn't matter. Linksys may have some nifty auto setup utility, but aside from that it doesn't matter. They all have to be interoperable.
I don't think anyone is disputing that zmatt. And no one said anything about auto setup functionality. We were briefly discussing the fact that a hardware device, regardless of brand, will try to interpret which adapter it's getting data from and then, if possible, take advantage of whatever "Speed boosting" or "Range Plus" technology that it has that is manufacturer proprietary. All that being aside from the actual protocol that it has to adhere to.
All hardware acts differently, aside from the actual concrete rules that a hardware device MUST adhere to according to whatever rules are set into play with the protocol. I've seen 95% of the residential gateway/router devices that John Q purchase do OTHER things with data rather than just pass information over. Of course they all have to operate according to a standard protocol. But hardware acting differently and performing other operations than your typical operations that are stapled from the network protocol, can sometimes enhance or adversely affect the interoperability of the hardware. This would include signal strength, signal integrity, and overall speed and performance. This is exactly why 2 adapters using similar chipsets but by different manufacturers may have different receiving results.