Very confused on Wireless G versus N

9 posts / 0 new
Last post
Clock24
Clock24's picture
Very confused on Wireless G versus N

Hello!  I appreciate your taking the time to read this!

I am looking for a wireless solution that will be reliable for 7 people to use at once, preferably that won't require people to buy an adaptor if they don't want to, will have an extended range, and will be high-speed.

At our house, we have up to 7 computers online at once and potentially a couple of phones.  We have a combination Charter-leased Netgear modem/router (CG814WG v2).  We do not get good wireless signal on the second floor.  There are some rooms with no signal, so I flashed a Linksys (WRT54G V8) with dd-wrt to repeat the signal upstairs.  The signal isn't great, kicks people off, fades out, etc.  

Our internet service provider is Charter (Connecticut) which currently gives up 8 mbps and is upgrading everyone in our area to 12 mbps by the end of the month.  They currently also offer: 16 mbps: $10.00 extra/month; 25 mbps: $25 extra/month; 60 mbps: $55 extra/month. 

I have been looking at the Netgear "Ultimate Networking Machine" (WNDR3700) because of its ability to expand the range to larger houses and avoid interference (mentions simultaneous dual-band).  It says it can get up to 300/600 mbps.  I have tried calling both Charter and Netgear and it sounds like I would have to increase my package to 60 mbps and expect to get, even with wireless-N, something less than 60 mbps.  I am trying to figure out if this is right (as the guy from Charter said 300 mbps was impossible).

My question is:

- For 7 people, extended range, and reliability issues, is Wireless-N the only or best solution?

- If you get a wireless-N router and plug it into a service of 8 or 12 mbps, will you only get 8 or 12 mbps on the wireless-N wireless? 

-Will I get more speed with the new Wireless-N router because the 12 mbps will not be as divided up?

- If above 60 mbps isn't available, is there a point to getting the Wireless-N router?  Will I be happier simply with the range and reliability at 12 mbps with a Wireless-N router? 

Again, I'm not worried about super high-speed streaming video and peer-sharing as much as I am worried about issues of reliability, compromised speed, and range.

Hopefully my questions help you understand what I am trying to say!  I really appreciate anyone who can help clear up this mess!

Clock24
Clock24's picture
By the way, there is

By the way, there is something I failed to mention: wireless is key, but we do have cable outlets in every room. I'm not sure if that expands my options at all as I do not really understand MoCA.

Brandon C
Brandon C's picture
I would first find out if

I would first find out if they offered, or you can get, a non wireless modem that you can connect to your router using 1GB speeds.

Then you can connect a WNDR3700 or other router to it and let your router do everything.

You can also place the modem and the connected router anywhere that is centrally located in the household to give you the best wireless connections.

gooffeyguy
gooffeyguy's picture
Don't confuse the cable

Don't confuse the cable internet speeds of 8 or 12 megabytes with wireless speeds of (G)54 and (N)300 megabits. There are 8 bits to a byte.

If you plug a wireless N router into an 8 or 12 MB service you will theoretically get wireless speeds of 64 or 96 Mbps.

I think I have that right....lol

 

Clock24
Clock24's picture
Hi Gooffeyguy - I think the

Hi Gooffeyguy - I think the conversion may be right, but unfortunately our service is 8 (and soon 12) megabits/second whereas the wireless-N router could get 300 megabits/second. Sad, I know!

Brandon - Unfortunately, the modem is already centrally located (tried several positions, this is overall best). You suggest getting a different router and modem, but not necessarily wireless-N - what do you think the advantages would be?

rbscairns
rbscairns's picture
I see range and connection

I see range and connection reliability as your main concerns.

A wireless-N router is the way to go. It will provide you with greater range (and hence connection reliability). The N routers have a theoretical top speed of 300 megabits/second, much faster than your available 8 to 12 megabits/second internet connection. Your internet speed will be the bottleneck, not the N router.

I would recommend the Netgear WNR3500L or their WNDR3700. The WNDR3700 is pretty much the same as the WNR3500L except that the 3700 is a true dual band router. In your situation, the dual band would only be an advantage if you have a lot of radio interference from other appliances.

I am not sure if the WNDR3700 allows for open source firmware like the WNR3500L does.

milrtime83
milrtime83's picture
If you are going with an N

If you are going with an N only network, you will want to make sure all devices have N support. With 7-10 devices connecting to this network, there is probably a good chance that at least some of them are a little older and do not support N.  You can buy USB wifi adapters that support N for under $20.  Any phones you want to connect would need to have N support as there would be no way to buy an adapter for them.  If you need both G and N support you would want to look at something like the WNDR3700 that has simultaneous dual band.  A lot of dual band routers are either/or, you need "simultaneous" to use both G and N at the same time.

"If you get a wireless-N router and plug it into a service of 8 or 12 mbps, will you only get 8 or 12 mbps on the wireless-N wireless?"
Yes, you will only get the 8 or 12 to the outside internet.  The benefit of having 300 on your internal network is that any kind of file transfers between computers in your home would be much faster compared to G.

"Will I get more speed with the new Wireless-N router because the 12 mbps will not be as divided up?"
The 12 will still be shared between everyone online for regular internet stuff.  You won't notice much of a difference, if any, between G and N for regular internet browsing/downloads.

"- If above 60 mbps isn't available, is there a point to getting the Wireless-N router?  Will I be happier simply with the range and reliability at 12 mbps with a Wireless-N router? "
Pretty much the same answer as the first question with the added note that N is the newer/better technology.  G may be fine for you right now, but in a year or 2 you may find that you need the faster speed for something and have to upgrade again.  And has been mentioned, N has a greater range which in your situation may be reason enough to go with it right away.

Clock24
Clock24's picture
Wow, thank you both! This is

Wow, thank you both! This is so incredibly helpful! It sounds like the WNDR3700 makes sense then, as if I interpret this correctly, I will not need adapters with the WNDR3700.

Clock24
Clock24's picture
Sorry, one more quick thing -

Sorry, one more quick thing - if I do get the WNDR3700 - is there a recommended modem to buy as well?