I get asked this question rather too often, so I'm posting my short answer here. The answer is rather more complex than it ought to be, and depends on a huge number of factors.
The most important is the receive sensitivity of your equipment. Many manufacturers fail to publish this data, but those that do will generally rate their radios by dBm at various data rates. As an example, let us take the venerable ORiNOCO Gold 802.11b "Classic" card. Its receive sensitivity is:
-94 dBm at 1 Mbps
-91 dBm at 2 Mbps
-87 dBm at 5.5 Mbps
-82 dBm at 11 Mbps
In theory this means, in order to operate at 11 Mbps, this card must be consistently receiving a minimum signal level of -82 dBm. Any less and it is likely to drop to one of the lower rates]Q: [/B] What signal level should I consider usable for a good wireless link?
A: Depends on your equipment and your environment.
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