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-   -   A few questions (advice/help please) (http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/networking/28779-few-questions-advice-help-please.html)

Mr. Toda February 10, 2010 05:03 PM

A few questions (advice/help please)
I have an unsecured (I know) Linksys wireless b router that I need to upgrade. My choice is to upgrade fully to wireless N or take a step back to G. I have Shaw High-Speed Internet they say up to 7.5Mbps download speed. I do game online on my PC with the wireless b card (CS:S, TF2, GW) never really had a problem with lag.

This is the first question I guess, Will a wireless N give me anything extra over a G? (I live in a bigger two story house I have three computers and a Wii/360. My PC upstairs signal strength is poor were as my downstairs computer has an excellent signal) 802.11N on the boxes say it has better range and speed, but I have been told I wont max a G routers speed to begin with (Not sure if this is true or not).

Second question: Would I get anything out of DD-WRT? (All I do is surf the Internet and Game online, No file transfer, Storage, or printing needed) Third question: If a buy X model router do I have to buy X model network adapter? or could I use Linksys Router with D-link card if I wanted to?

Thank you for any help/advice, sorry for the longish post and I hope I gave enough info.

I think unless I get advice I will just go to staples and buy a single band Linksys N router with Linksys N cards, Its just the new models don't have outer antennas that kind of scare me for range.

Again thank you, and I like the site very good info and reviews.

JD February 10, 2010 05:49 PM

Ideally you'd use the matching adapter with the router. It just makes life simple and you'll get the advertised speeds assuming you have a decent signal.

However it's not a requirement by any means, if you get a D-Link adapter with the same specs as the Linksys adapter, it should perform the same.

And unless you plan to buy N-adapters for your PC and maybe 360, I wouldn't bother really. Just go with G.

By the sounds of things, DD-WRT isn't for you. It's a bit more advanced and requires some networking knowledge to setup decently. I'm guessing you've just seen it talked about all over the place? Sure it's a more stable firmware, but it's not a necessity. If you aren't heavily loading your router (namely BitTorrent typically), then don't worry too much.

LarkStarr February 10, 2010 05:55 PM

1) from a purely best case scenario point-of-view, no you wouldn't max out the bandwidth available on a G router. However that's best case. If you have multiple wireless computers and degraded (long range, such as the case of the upstairs computer) wireless links, speeds and ranges decrease. But honestly if you can get N, get N. It is definitely advantageous over G, but don't feel bad if you find a good deal on a G router.

2) if you're not going to use any of the DD-WRT features, then probably not. The only interesting feature might be the wireless transmission power boost. But just for set-up and go and nothing fancy, then taking the time for DD-WRT might be pointless. something that promotes better efficiency/stability and simplicity (such as Tomato?) perhaps.

3) No. any wireless card will work and with any wireless router. The only reason you'd get similar branded cards is for vendor specific features like "SpeedBoost" or whatnot. Wireless is a standard (802.11a/b/g/n), so there is vendor interoperability.

I can't comment on the range of the newer internal antenna N routers, as I only installed one so far at a friends house. Perhaps someone else can shed some light for you.

Hope this helps!


Mr. Toda February 10, 2010 08:13 PM

Thank you both for your help.

I will be buying all new cards either G or N, so I will take price/power into consideration when I buy.

I'm guessing you've just seen it talked about all over the place?
Yeah, I have read a few topic here about the Asus RT-N16 + DD-WRT making it into a powerful router. In fact that was the main reason I asked about matching router & adapter together, because I couldn't find any matching cards for the Asus RT-N16.

Stability was the only main feature I noticed that would help me out in regards to DD-WRT. I Just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything major. I never use any type of BitTorrent, gaming is the heaviest load I will but on the router.

I can't comment on the range of the newer internal antenna N routers, as I only installed one so far at a friends house. Perhaps someone else can shed some light for you. I will wait for a bit and see if anyone else knows, if not I will just give it a try. I miss the old removable antennas in a way.

Thank you for everything, I know I could get DD-WRT up and working if I wanted to, but by the sounds of it I wont be missing anything major. I will be the first to tell you I don't know much about networking and even less about DD-WRT/Tomato (Less then 24 hours) Normally I like to research stuff a lot more before I buy, but I don't like having an unsecured router and can't seem to fix it. I will upgrade and fix the problem at the same time.

Thank you :thumb:

JD February 11, 2010 08:20 PM

Well I own the ASUS RT-N16 actually and run DD-WRT on it.

However N support is still kinda of beta in DD-WRT so your results my vary. In my mixed G and N network, the most I can get is 144Mbps, not 300Mbps. Not even in pure N mode will it do 300Mbps. But my prior D-Link DIR-655 (don't buy that), could do 300Mbps with mixed G and N.

Overtime DD-WRT will improve I hope, but like I said, it's not really for beginners. The stock firmware should suffice for your purposes, until you want to start experimenting more with networking.

bojangles February 11, 2010 09:54 PM

If you're going to update all the adapters for the computers, then N is the way to go. G is still great for internet surfing, however, not so much for file transfers between computers.

Considering the size of your house, either G or N will do as well.

Good luck on your upgrade!

LarkStarr February 11, 2010 10:08 PM

if you're just gaming, don't worry about upgrading your firmware.

you won't notice any difference.

ZZLEE February 11, 2010 10:52 PM

higher is better
Put your wirless router upstairs even f means running a cable or having your provider relocate the cable.

Little known fact radio waves travel line of site so higher they are the more they can see. If you put tin foil on a peace of cardbord you can focus the reception twards one area. Cup it ( and it will fucus the waves to the area it points to. If the new router is up stairs you should be able to surf in the back yard.:biggrin:

the price of N is worth it daul band or multy band is nice

sswilson February 12, 2010 02:15 AM

Keep in mind that most wireless N routers cannot do both N and G at the same time so they will default to G if there is a single non-N wireless device connecting to them. IIRC, what you need to be able to do that is a dual band router, and even if you find a dual band at a reasonable price, you have to double check that it can actually do both G and N at the same time. (rather than allowing two different "channels" of the same speed).

Arinoth February 12, 2010 05:21 AM

Actually depends on the routers these day sswilson. I have a gigabit one that'll broadcast in N/G/B (individually or all three). Also, what you want to take into consideration is the maximum or ideal transfer speed that each protocol uses (N or G) will be approximately equally divided between the number of machines you have. This means
Regular G = 54 Mbps / 4 = 13.4 Mbps (ideal with full bars for your 3 pcs + 360)
G + = 108 Mbps / 4 = 27 Mbps (ideal with full bars for your 3 pcs + 360)
Wireless N = 300 / 4 = 75 Mbps (ideal with full bars).

So as you add more devices onto the wireless network your overall split wireless speed goes down.

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