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Author Topic: Wireless N... worth it?  (Read 1586 times)

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Kwyjibo

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Wireless N... worth it?
« on: January 18, 2011, 09:04:39 AM »

So, I'm confused.  Wireless N routers advertise 150Mbs, 300Mbs and some 600Mbs (though that's really just 300Mbs broadcast twice, I think) speeds.  Is the pipeline coming in transmitting information even close to that fast?  What little I can gather is that the basic Road Runner service is like 8Mbs.... so why on earth do I need a router that does anything more than that?  G is something like 56Mbs right?  Looks to me like they're selling me a spaceship when all I really need is a bicycle.  What am I missing?
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dirk

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Re: Wireless N... worth it?
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2011, 10:25:58 AM »

Generally, it isn't going to matter if you have regular broadband access.  Unless you have fiber optic broadband, you aren't going to be close to the max speed of wireless G (which has a max in reality of about 25 Mbps with all the overhead, interference, etc).  I ran into this when I had 30 Mbps fiber in my old place.  I actually had to run a cable to get my full 30 Mbps because the wireless G couldn't keep up.

The only time you are going to get an advantage from wireless N is when you are transferring files between computers.  Other than that, the limiting factor is going to be your internet connection, not the wireless network.
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Kwyjibo

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Re: Wireless N... worth it?
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2011, 10:43:20 AM »

Exactly what I figured.  Marketing at it's finest.  I cornered a guy at Best Buy the other day and asked why only the N600 Gigabit (in itself a misnomer) routers said they would do HD video when my G router does it just fine.  He just kind of stammered and said they would all do it and went on.  The only advantage I can see to N is that the range is a little better. 
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rva

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Re: Wireless N... worth it?
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2011, 01:24:06 PM »

It makes an appreciable difference if you are transferring data between machines in your home network.  To some extent, that includes streaming music and vids but it's really more for other uses.
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Kwyjibo

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Re: Wireless N... worth it?
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2011, 01:58:16 PM »

Pardon my ignorance but in what circumstance would you even do that?  How many PCs do people have?  We have one, and a Wii and my droid... they don't send info back and forth through our router and I can't see why I would want to, particularly.  I guess I could see playing music from one machine on another, maybe, is that what you're referring to?  I have a hard time believing enough people utilize this kind of technology for them to be pushing N on everybody as though it's a have to have.
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Dan

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Re: Wireless N... worth it?
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2011, 03:05:56 PM »

Just an instance:

My roommate has a server or something like that full of movies downstairs in the basement.
I have a PS3 upstairs in the living room.
If I have a higher speed router, the movies won't pause up and struggle to flow seamlessly, while still looking awesome.
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Poncho

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Re: Wireless N... worth it?
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2011, 11:26:15 AM »

We do it all the time.  The computer I'm sitting on right now is in my office.  It is directly connected to the router and also to my external media hard drives.  This machine is the Cadillac machine in the house.  This machine has digital copies of our vacation movies, all of our photographs and nearly 200GB of music files.

We now have my old PC connected in the living room as a sort of media server (this was my new Netflix workaround from back in the Roku thread) and it is wirelessly connected to the router.
We have my wife's laptop that she uses almost every day around the house.
We have an old laptop in the bedroom that gets fired up when we're in the mood or reading in bed or laying in bed on the weekends.
We both have smart phones that use the wireless at home.


The higher throughput of the router makes a MASSIVE difference on your internal network, as dirk, dan and RVA said.

We can watch the vacation movies on the television.  My wife listens to music as she works on her laptop.  We play music through the stereo in the living room.  We play music through the stereo in the bedroom.  We can look at our photos, etc.

I don't have any movies yet that have that "digital copy" they keep promoting... well actually I do, but I've never loaded one of them anywhere... we'll probably use that feature.
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