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Wireless "N" questions...

RothgarrRothgarr Registered User regular
edited February 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
I need to replace my Linksys WRT54G at home and noticed that they now sell an "N" spec router. I was able to find most info myself googling around but I still have some questions I was hoping you could help out with.

- I know N is backwards compatible with G. I know my G devices can't benefit from the speed increases of N, but could they benefit from the range increase of N?

- The laptop I'll be getting soon will have N. If there are other devices on the network using G, will the whole network be downgraded to G speeds?

Thanks!

Rothgarr on

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    NerissaNerissa Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    We just installed an "N" router last weekend, upgrading from a "B".

    The "N" network cards are going back to the store, all but one unopened. We're using "B" cards right now, so I would assume you'd be fine (even better) with "G" cards.

    We tried to install one "N" card and found that (1) you HAVE to have the driver updates immediately, because the drivers as shipped will cause your computer to freeze up (!!), and (2) my computer would only stay connected for a few seconds at a time before it had to reconnect. This was unacceptable for a work computer which I need to have connected to the office for 8+ hours a day.

    With my "B" card, I'm getting a much better connection than I did to the old router (I had ended up having to run a cable to the old router because my connection was unusable, the new one is great wireless). The laptop had zero problems connecting, I don't know off hand if that's a "B" or a "G". The computers that are connected via cable are at 1GB (except those throttled by a hub).

    We did, however, have to downgrade the security to WEP 128 rather than the standard level that "N" defaults to so that the "B" devices could connect. I'm not sure off hand what security forms "G" can support, but I'd guess better than that.

    Basically, your security will drop to the level of your lowest device, but your speed should be unaffected by that of other devices.

    Nerissa on
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    RuckusRuckus Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Also be aware that the 802.11n standard is still an IEEE draft. It hasn't been finalized yet (the IEEE moves at a snail's pace sometimes) and so it can possibly change. There's no guarantee that the actual 802.11n equipment will work with the currently available 802.11n(d) equipment.

    Ruckus on
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    JWFokkerJWFokker Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    It should say in the manual whether the network will remain at N-spec or G-spec with multiple connections. The Belkin Pre-N router that I'm familiar with will drop the lowest connection speed on the network, but this may have changed since N was finalized, or Linksys may just have better hardware. If it doesn't indicate in the manual, you should just connect both the B and the G network adapters and run some bandwidth tests.

    JWFokker on
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    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Get G for now, since you need to buy it now. N is too new to be well supported, and G is very well established by now. You'll have fewer headaches and spend a lot less money.

    EggyToast on
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    NerissaNerissa Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    JWFokker wrote:
    It should say in the manual whether the network will remain at N-spec or G-spec with multiple connections. The Belkin Pre-N router that I'm familiar with will drop the lowest connection speed on the network, but this may have changed since N was finalized, or Linksys may just have better hardware. If it doesn't indicate in the manual, you should just connect both the B and the G network adapters and run some bandwidth tests.
    Well, I can say for sure that the non-wireless devices are not limited by the "B" wireless ones. Whether that extends to all wireless, I can't guarantee. If our laptop is a "G" I should be able to test it over the weekend, otherwise all I have is "B" cards.

    Nerissa on
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    BarrakkethBarrakketh Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    JWFokker wrote:
    but this may have changed since N was finalized
    802.11n isn't finalized. The working group won't have approved the standard until July 2008 (assuming everything goes as scheduled).

    Also, 802.11n equipment isn't guaranteed to work with another manufacturer's products.

    Barrakketh on
    Rollers are red, chargers are blue....omae wa mou shindeiru
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    NerissaNerissa Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Barrakketh wrote:
    JWFokker wrote:
    but this may have changed since N was finalized
    802.11n isn't finalized. The working group won't have approved the standard until July 2008 (assuming everything goes as scheduled).

    Also, 802.11n equipment isn't guaranteed to work with another manufacturer's products.
    Granted, but do you honestly not think that whatever Linksys / Cisco is doing already won't be a HUGE part of the standard?

    Nerissa on
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    RuckusRuckus Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Nerissa wrote:
    Barrakketh wrote:
    JWFokker wrote:
    but this may have changed since N was finalized
    802.11n isn't finalized. The working group won't have approved the standard until July 2008 (assuming everything goes as scheduled).

    Also, 802.11n equipment isn't guaranteed to work with another manufacturer's products.
    Granted, but do you honestly not think that whatever Linksys / Cisco is doing already won't be a HUGE part of the standard?

    Probably, but there's always the chance that the IEEE will decide dink-dink-doink is a better handshake signal than doink-doink-dink.

    lol. Dink.

    Ruckus on
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    BarrakkethBarrakketh Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Nerissa wrote:
    Barrakketh wrote:
    JWFokker wrote:
    but this may have changed since N was finalized
    802.11n isn't finalized. The working group won't have approved the standard until July 2008 (assuming everything goes as scheduled).

    Also, 802.11n equipment isn't guaranteed to work with another manufacturer's products.
    Granted, but do you honestly not think that whatever Linksys / Cisco is doing already won't be a HUGE part of the standard?
    That's exactly what I think. The IEEE isn't likely to intentionally "damage" a standard to cover for a company's fuckups.

    Barrakketh on
    Rollers are red, chargers are blue....omae wa mou shindeiru
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    JWFokkerJWFokker Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Barrakketh wrote: »
    802.11n isn't finalized. The working group won't have approved the standard until July 2008 (assuming everything goes as scheduled).

    Also, 802.11n equipment isn't guaranteed to work with another manufacturer's products.

    I should have said "unified" rather than finalized. They're all on the same page now, so interoperability is greatly improved. Everyone has been using the same draft standard for several months now so most 802.11n hardware should work together without issue.

    But back on topic, I think the dude still needs to know whether the router will drop all wireless connections to 802.11g or 802.11b when an older spec adapter connects to the network, which many early 802.11n based routers do.

    JWFokker on
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