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Wireless Router Speeds

Discussion in 'Computers' started by PMTerp, Dec 24, 2011.

  1. PMTerp

    PMTerp Member
    Thread Starter

    Looking to get a new wireless router. Currently I have cable internet but we may be getting fiber here soon. My questions is in a router's specs, it gives speed capabilities, are those total combined bandwidth? For example, if I'm connected with my reZound, the wife's Dinc2, my laptop and the kids are streaming some Netflix on the Wii, do I get an advantage from having a router that claims up to 300Mbps? Or if no one device will be using more than 15Mbps, am I just as good with a 54Mbps router? Clarification would be appreciated.

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  2. andruoid

    andruoid Android Expert

    In terms of speed your devices will get here are a few examples;

    Laptops, the majority connect at 150Mbps. You can also buy a dual antenna USB dongle to boost to 300 or 450Mbps speeds. More expensive laptops may connect at 300Mbps.

    Phones, from what I have seen using Overlook Fing, connect at 65 to 72Mbps on wifi networks.

    I'm not sure if the Wii specs have changed but ours is G speed or 54Mbps.

    The router, provided it is rated at 300M, gives your internal bandwidth a total of 300Mbps. There are a few models that now connect at 450Mbps but you need their specific USB adapter. As for bandwidth if everyone is sharing wifi at the same time, eg; 6 devices, they share the 300Mbps stream.

    I have 100Mbps down and 5Mbps up with a total of 14 wifi devices and 2 wired. I've never come close to a slowdown.

    Hope this helps a bit, Merry Christmas!
    PMTerp likes this.
  3. darkestred

    darkestred Android Enthusiast

    First you have to realize that unless you have super fast internet (25mbps+) the 54mbps...300mbps is of little importance. That is the total speed between nodes on your local network (not going through the internet). As far as priority goes. It's usually halved when sending around the network with multiple devices taking files from one another.. Depending on your broadband, its most-likely a priority first thing when downloading. So the user downloading first will take more bandwidth then someone downloading something else.

    Also keep in mind that you might never see those advertised speeds whens ending files across the network. Distance and hardware technology/cabling/wifi will play a factor in things.
  4. Martimus

    Martimus One bite at a time...

    Take wireless speeds with a grain of salt. The speeds indicated by the manufacturer are typically not realistic. They are best case speeds assuming that the AP is used in an environment with an open floor plan and nothing in the area that could possibly attenuate the signal.

    Personally I recommend sticking with a manufacturer that you know and are comfortable with. Stay away from the gimmicky AP's that state you get higher data rates if you use their handy dandy ultra high-performance interface cards. These solutions tend to be highly proprietary so unless you make a large investment in this companies compatible products you loose the benefit.

    Oh and if you are wanting to maximize speed, make sure that all of your devices operate using the same wireless protocol. In other words, Wireless-N only. If you try to support other protocols using the same radio you'll slow down your overall performance.
    PMTerp likes this.
  5. alostpacket

    alostpacket Over Macho Grande?

    I'm just glad it's not like the USB speed/naming debacle.

    USB 1, USB 1.1, Fast USB, USB 2.0, USB Plus, USB Turbo Excelsior, USB Vindicator of Quantum Mechanics.

  6. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian

    You forgot USB to end all USB limitations
  7. I got myself a linksys wrt610n used on ebay a few weeks back for about $55 if I remember correctly and put dd-wrt on it. It's a really snappy router and doubled my expectations of what a good connection speed should be.
  8. PMTerp

    PMTerp Member
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for the replies. Here is a follow up. I've read (and as Martimus said) running multi bands can slow me down. Although most of the devices I'll be using will be N compatible, my Wii is not. So, would a router that advertises dual antenna or dual band (not sure if those are both the same) fix that issue? Or would I be better of nunning 2 seperate routers, say a WRT54GL for the Wii and something else for my N devices?
  9. alostpacket

    alostpacket Over Macho Grande?

    @Martimus, all: What kinda of overhead does mixed mode produce?

    Also @ PMTerp, do you feel you need "N" ? You might buy the 54GL and see if it meets your needs than not even need a second one. Then, down the road if you feel you really need something faster, upgrade :)
  10. alostpacket

    alostpacket Over Macho Grande?

    Also, I just got the 54GL and put ddwrt on it, pretty nice so far. Learning to flash a router was a bit tricky and took about a day with some missteps and reboots but it eventually got running very smooth and now acts as a repeater for my main WiFi router.
  11. PMTerp

    PMTerp Member
    Thread Starter

    The other night, I had my laptop going, both phones connected (only 1 was actually doing anything), and the kids were trying to watch a movie via the Wii on Netflix. The Wii kept disconnecting, after I turned off my laptop and Wifi on one phone it was fine. My Wii is at the opposite end of the house from the router. So, mainly what I'm wanting to accomplish is add strength and range, more than speed. However, since my phone (reZound), the wife's phone (Inc2) and my laptop are all N compatable, I figured I should get the best possible experiance. But my wife's netbook and the Wii are not. I also want to add a central hard drive.
  12. alostpacket

    alostpacket Over Macho Grande?

    I wonder if maybe you're looking to do what I did. I bought the Cisco/Linksys WRT54GL for the same purpose: using it as a repeater to give my network more range on the other side of the house.

    I actually gave it a separate SSID too so that it's not a pure repeater, but acts like a second AP/bridge. This way I can more easily/manually manage which AP the devices are connected to.
  13. Mayhem

    Mayhem Android Expert

    I have a Netgear WNDR3300 (dual band now running dd-wrt as well) and a WN2000RPT repeater. I have four laptops, a media PC in the livingroom for Pandora, a XBox 360, PS3, Wii, two 3DS', a DSi and a wireless printer/scanner and my phone at times. I have zero issues running with dual band and the only reason I have the repeater is due to the "brown" area in my master bedroom where the wife's laptop doesn't get a clear signal.

    I'd avoid LinkSys like the plague. I made the mistake of purchasing some of their garbage in the past. Never again.
    johnlgalt likes this.
  14. alostpacket

    alostpacket Over Macho Grande?

    Normally I would agree with this but the one model he is looking at has an amazing track record. It has something like 5/5 stars with over 3k review on newegg, never seen that many reviews for anything to be honest.
    NYCHitman1 likes this.
  15. NYCHitman1

    NYCHitman1 Gun for Hire

    The 54GL/GS models were released before Cisco purchased Linksys. That was their (Linksys) last GREAT product before they sold out to the big fish. In any event, it is easily one of the best routers to ever hit the market, imo.
  16. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian

    N incorporates technology that makes line of sight a much less problem, whereas with G you lost strength quickly after a few walls, IIRC. What this means is that not only will your speed go down,but your overall connectivity can be affected as well.

    My house is a 3400+ sq ft ranch style (all on one story). It's well over a 120 feet in length from end to end, and G simply does not give me connectivity at the other end of the house. N does.

    It's as simple as that.

    yes, I could move everything so that it is centrally located, except the central locatins are:

    1) Family room / den - not a great place to keep your router, in plain site, especially when your wired computer is over 50 feet away)

    2) Formal living room - not a good idea to keep anything like this sitting there...

    3) Formal dining room - nuff said

    4) informal dining area adjacent to the kitchen - no place to even keep the router here.

    The placement of my office is at one corner of the house - the house was built like this 23+ years ago, and there is not a lot I can do about it. I'm stuck, literally, in a corner, and I have to make do.

    My GamerLounge works great end to end. And I need connectivity more than speed, although the two are tied hand in hand....
    PMTerp likes this.
  17. Mayhem

    Mayhem Android Expert

    I'd love to have a single story home. I'd run CAT5 drops to every room.

    Heck, if my office was on the 2nd floor I'd run CAT5 now.
  18. Mayhem

    Mayhem Android Expert

    BTW, this is what speedtest.net reports as my speed over wireless:


    I really couldn't care less about the up speed. But check out that download. :D
  19. NYCHitman1

    NYCHitman1 Gun for Hire


  20. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian

    I knew I got inspired for some reason, and Now I know why.

    I decided to replace my GamerLounge as it was just simply old, no new firmware updates, and since it is base on Buffalo's antiquated technology, no DD-WRT.

    I went shopping, and was considering buying the LinkSys e4200 when I noticed that BestBuy had only one NetGear N750 router, and tons of n600 routers. I then asked the department manager which repeater he likes, and he pointed to the same one you have. So, being a good little guy, and knowing that even though he said there really should not be an issue with connecting to my GamerLounge, I went in search of a cheaper N750.

    My eventual searching took me to Staples, but when I got there I was flabbergasted. Not only was that router not actually there, this one was: wndr4500 - I checked, and sure enough, it's new - very new. At most 6 months old. I thought that this would pair up nicely with the WN2000RPT that I wanted to buy, and then I saw a big bonus: GS108E also sitting on a shelf. My old GS108 got fried - and even after I performed he Cap replacement, it simply went into stupid mode with more than 3 devices plugged in.

    I've brought it all home, and played around with it, set up my primary network (thankfully I now have simultaneous dual band!) as well as the repeater and thrown the switch back in.

    Test from my desktop: [​IMG]

    Test from my phone: [​IMG]

    I have connectivity through out the house, and all of the drops I've made are now active again. w00t!

    Thanks for your suggestions. I've already researched DD-WRT for this beast, and it is being worked on, so I'll be happy when it's out.

    I would have if I could have, but I ran into a lot of problems for the Family and Dining rooms, plus, the house has those really tall A-frame ceilings or tray ceilings in most rooms, making it a major PITA to even move around....I put in those that I could, but now we have 3 desktops and 4 laptops and 4 cell devices and an iPad 2 (Yeah, she's a sellout lol) so wireless is a much better option these days.

    Wireless. Are you seriously getting that on your phone?
  21. PMTerp

    PMTerp Member
    Thread Starter

    I think I've decided on the Netgear N600 WNDR3400. It has all the features I want and based on the input here I think this will fulfill all my network needs while staying under $100. It even has an option to disable SIP ALG which is important since I use a VoIP phone in my home office. Again, thank you everyone for sharing! :)
    alostpacket likes this.
  22. Mayhem

    Mayhem Android Expert

    Head's up on the repeater - I'm on my 3rd. The first one would intermittently drop connections. I thought might've been where I'd placed it but eventually figured out that wasn't the case. I got a brand-spanking new one from Netgear on RMA. Shrink wrapped and everything. Dead out of the box. The MAC address was all Fs. An address like that means basically everyone on the network (per Google search).

    The refurb I got works flawlessly. I know its a crap shoot with any manufacturer, but wanted to point that out just in case you have any issues.

    EDIT: I just checked my speed from my phone via my router.


    Same location from my laptop over wireless:


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