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Old May 13, 2010, 07:53 PM
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Default Need some guidance

So I am thinking about picking myself up a wireless router. I am looking for the best Wireless N router for my home, the router will be on the main floor and I have a computer in the basement and two on the second floor. One computer on the second floor has a dual band linksys N adapter, and the other one has a D- link wireless G adapter. The computer in the basement has the dual band linksys N adapter. The basement computer will be doing online gaming as well as the usual tasks.

What exactly does dual band do? I am looking for the best possible performance going through the floors of my building. Does dual band aid this? Also, when it comes to actually picking up the signal, would someting like this be better then the USB adapter?

D-Link Xtreme N PCI Express Desktop Adapter

I notice that Dlink has a wireless N router with three antennae on it, and a dual band one with two antennae on it. Which is better for going through floors and walls?

I know I have been asking about Dlink but if Belkin or Linksys have what I am looking for I am open to that as well.
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Old May 14, 2010, 09:24 AM
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Dual band means that the router is capable of connecting to N and G wireless connections simultaneously. Most N routers will downclock to G speeds as soon as a G connection is made (like from your Xbox or PS3). Dual band routers don't downclock, and talk to each wireless adapter at it's max speed.

That being said, unless you are doing a lot of copying between computers or streaming video, you won't notice the difference in speed. Your G connection is faster than your ADSL/cable connection to your ISP.
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Old May 14, 2010, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BootlegUsher View Post
What exactly does dual band do? I am looking for the best possible performance going through the floors of my building. Does dual band aid this? Also, when it comes to actually picking up the signal, would someting like this be better then the USB adapter?
Vendors may use the term differently, "dual band" can mean that an AP is capable of transmitting in both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. Those that are marketed as "simultaneous dual band" can use both bands at the some time, others that are marketed as plain "dual band" may not and you have to choose between the 2 manually. For example the Linksys WRT610N is simultaneous whereas the WAP610N is not.

With antennae, units can have internal ones in additional to what's visible, the feature that's said to extend range is MIMO (multiple-input and multiple-output). Also remember reception is both ways, a good router/AP is not going to perform well if the wireless card on the system has poor range.

As to what will work for you, unfortunately there's no way to tell for sure because there are simply too many variables -- layout of the house, how it was constructed, interference from other sources, etc. The thing you'll need is inSSIDer, it will allow you to map out signal strength:

inSSIDer Wi-Fi Scanner | MetaGeek

If you have neighbours that have WLAN then you can fire it up and see what signal you get, the problem area usually is the basement.

I would then buy the router/AP from somewhere with a good return policy and try it out. There maybe things that you can do to get better performance but first you need to get the router/AP running and have some ideas of what signals you're getting from it.
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Old May 14, 2010, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by SugarJ View Post
Dual band means that the router is capable of connecting to N and G wireless connections simultaneously. Most N routers will downclock to G speeds as soon as a G connection is made (like from your Xbox or PS3). Dual band routers don't downclock, and talk to each wireless adapter at it's max speed.

That being said, unless you are doing a lot of copying between computers or streaming video, you won't notice the difference in speed. Your G connection is faster than your ADSL/cable connection to your ISP.
So what is the purpose of having a dual band adapter? It seems like it only matters to have a dual band router so that the signal does not get downgraded.

Would it be a good plan to get the D-link extreme N PCI-E card, and use my existing linksys adapter to replace the G adapter upstairs, therefore making everything in my house N?
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Old May 18, 2010, 05:20 PM
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So what is the purpose of having a dual band adapter? It seems like it only matters to have a dual band router so that the signal does not get downgraded.
Although 802.11n hardware have been available for a long time, the official standard was only finalised and published about 6 months ago, majority 802.11n hardware out there were "draft n" and quality can vary from vendor to vendor and model to model.

I've done some bandwidth testing (@2.4GHz) with my Linksys WAP 610n using IPERF with both G and N clients running, and the N client did NOT slow down beyond what you'd expect when more than one system is active. Basically the N system was benching 52 Mbit/s when it was alone and dropped to 40 Mbit/s when both it and a G system were running the tests simultaneously. However there are routers/APs out there where 802.11n will slow down significantly in mixed mode.

If you want I can find and attach the raw number for you.

I'd love to give you a recommendation that I know for sure will work for you but with WiFi there're occasions where advertised features won't work, and together with environmental variables and possible mixing of "draft n" hardware from different vendors, the only way to find out if a router/AP will work for you is to try it out.
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