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wireless fidelity
wireless router
baby monitors
signal range
Choosing A Router For Your Home Network: Wireless-g Vs Wireless-n
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Choosing A Router for Your Home Network: Wireless-g Vs Wireless-n

When buying your first wireless router, the search will often boil down to a choice between two basic types -- Wireless-G routers and Wireless-N routers. Wireless G and Wireless N actually refer to two different wireless communication standards that presently dominate the market for wireless fidelity (WiFi) devices. Wireless-N routers are newer than their Wireless-G counterparts, and are generally more expensive. Apart from the difference in their price tags, there are also specific differences in the attributes of these two types of routers. Here we'll go through a quick overview of what each type has to offer.

The Wireless-G standard, also known as Wireless 802.11g, has a maximum wireless connection speed of 54Mbps, and is thus significantly slower than the typical wired (plugged in via Ethernet cable) speed of 100mbps. With a wireless-G router, you can expect your laptop's connection to lag behind your PC's wired connection. It operates in a single band range - 2.4 Ghz - which is the same radio frequency used by most other common wireless devices such as baby monitors and wireless phones. This translates into high incidences of wireless interference from other wireless devices, which in turn causes intermittent wireless connections.

Wireless-G routers, however, are presently seen to be very reliable. They are backwards-compatible with previous wireless communication standards such as 802.11b and 802.11a. Most built-in network adapters found in laptops and notebooks are wireless-G cards, and thus function best with a wireless-G router. Since the Wireless-G standard has been around for a longer time, manufacturers have also had more time to build better firmware(programming inside the router) that address previously observed problems or bugs in earlier versions of their Wireless-G routers.

The Wireless-N or 802.11n standard, on the other hand, is fairly new and was finalized only in end of 2009. The new standard boasts of a higher maximum speed of 300mbps and a wider signal range that is made possible by MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) technology. One class of Wireless-N routers, the single-band, makes use of the same 2.4 Ghz band range used by Wireless-G routers. Another class of Wireless-N routers, the dual band N, provides the option of using either the 2.4 Ghz band range or the 5.0 Ghz band range. Using the 5.0Ghz band range equates to less incidences of signal interference but lessens the signal range of the router. Dual-band Wireless-N routers, however, are significantly more expensive than both Wireless-G and single-band Wireless-N routers.

There is one caveat when using a wireless-N router; your adapters(wireless antenna) and devices should also be of the same wireless standard in order for the router to function in full Wireless-N mode. In order to achieve a connection speed of about 100Mbps, for instance, your laptop should not only be connected to a wireless-N router, it should also have a wireless-N card. While the 802.11n router is also backwards compatible with earlier wireless devices, its performance is highly affected by earlier wireless-A/B/G cards. If a wireless-G card is connected to a wireless-n router, the router will end up providing a maximum speed of 54Mbps to the entire network including those computers that are using Wireless-n cards.

If you don't know what your computer has, check on the manufacturer's website and/or the order slip when you got it and look for 802.11a/b/g/n. Once you know what your devices have, you can decide between wireless-g and wireless-n routers.


Street Talk

Gary2  

Great Article Jonie thanks for the info. Gary

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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