Wireless B vs. Wireless G - Worth the upgrade?

SlimShady

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im finally getting broadband set up in my household, and i am going to be using a wireless ap/router to get it to another computer in the house, regardless of where it is installed. actually im currently trying to figure out which computer gets better signal reception depending on which pc the wireless AP is at.

anyways, i currently have a linksys wireless B router/AP that i was going to be hooking the broadband to. (one of the PCs will be directly linked to the router, so that one wont be an issue) will upgrading the router to a wireless G setup results in better speeds for my wirelessly linked PC in regrads of internet activity? i will not be transferring files at all between the two PC's (nothing more than word document), but i was curious if the faster wireless standard would improve my performance browsing the net, downloading, etc. does it make any difference, given that the performance of the broadband is at the 3Mbit standard?
 

acascianelli

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from my experience, 11mbit wireless will give you about 450-500kb/s (kilobyte) of speed. going to a 54mbit network will up that to around 1.5mb's (megabyte). if you have an isp thats only capable of say 3mbit, your maximum speed will still be only 375kb/s which is something that 11mbit networks can handle.

i upgraded my dlink di-614+ to a di-624 because all the wireless devices i own are now 802.11g, and i wanted the extra security.
 

nonsequitur

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i concurr, if you 85% of the time you are web browsing or chatting with your net connection, it's no big whoop. even with data transfers, there isn't much difference you would notice.
 

Joe Six Pack

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acascianelli said:
from my experience, 11mbit wireless will give you about 450-500kb/s (kilobyte) of speed. going to a 54mbit network will up that to around 1.5mb's (megabyte). if you have an isp thats only capable of say 3mbit, your maximum speed will still be only 375kb/s which is something that 11mbit networks can handle.

i upgraded my dlink di-614+ to a di-624 because all the wireless devices i own are now 802.11g, and i wanted the extra security.

Actually an 11Mbps (Megabit per second) wireless is going to give you about 1.375 MBps (Megabyte per second) which is more than enough for your 3Mbps Internet connection.

For an internet connection the wirless b works great.

I updated to wirless G for the added security and the faster transfers across the local LAN.
 

acascianelli

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Joe Six Pack said:
Actually an 11Mb/s (Megabit per second) wireless is going to give you about 1.375 MB/s (Megabyte per second) which is more than enough for your 3Mb Internet connection.

For an internet connection the wirless b works great.

I updated to wirless G for the added security and the faster transfers across the local LAN.

thats the theoretical speed. youll never see this speed, there a loss of like 75% or something.
 

omega-x

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the loss is 50% in ideal conditions (line of sight and very close range)
add a few walls and you're looking at more like 80% of the 11mbit being used for redundancy.
the max REAL speed of B is 500kbyte, while G gets 3 mbytes of real speed.
 

acascianelli

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Joe Six Pack said:
75% seems like an aweful big loss :eek:

I'll have to check that out :)

even wired connections arent 100% efficient. when was the last time you saw 12.5mb/s with 100mbit networking.
 

Joe Six Pack

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acascianelli said:
even wired connections arent 100% efficient. when was the last time you saw 12.5mb/s with 100mbit networking.

True, it’s that damn theory and real life thing. ;)
 

acascianelli

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Joe Six Pack said:
True, it’s that damn theory and real life thing. ;)

its sad because even with 100mbit equipment, your still getting slower than 10mbit transfers. :(
 

darktiger

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You prob would not notice the difference unless you are doing a lot of file transfer between wireless and wired computers...
 

SlimShady

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thanks guys, thats what i needed to know.

also, how much added security does G provide? im not looking to lock down anything, but i just want to be able to use encryption and disable channel transmissions and stuff so that any moron just cant turn on their wireless laptop and use my internet connection. i know my current router can do that pretty well. any real reason to upgrade then?
 

ipconfig /all

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acascianelli said:
even wired connections arent 100% efficient. when was the last time you saw 12.5mb/s with 100mbit networking.
You are confused on the Bit/Byte conversion.

100Mbps (100 Megabits per second) = 12.5MBps (12.5 Megabytes per second)
Now in real world conditions, you will probably not exceed 90Mbps (even with Full Duplex enabled.)

11Mbps (Megabits) = 1.375MBps but since 802.11b uses CSMA/CA and it's half duplex (a wireless repeater...not a switch), you will see about 6 to 8Mbps if you are near the WAP and nobody else is using it.
 

Rix2357

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100Mbit networks get about 90Mbits easily. Stuff that slows that down include slow computer and slow hard drive. It is the 1000Mbit network where you are capped to 50% due to hard drive limitations. For 100Mbit ethernet, your hard drive has to provide 12.5MBytes/s. For gigabit ethernet, your hard drive would have to provide 125MBytes/s. The pci bus on most computers is only capable of 133MBytes/s. This is why gigabit ethernet never runs to it's theoretical max.

For wireless, it is hard to get near 50% of the theoretical speed.
 

SlimShady

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so even if i am getting half of the Mbits for the connection (5.5Mbits at this point, down from 11MBits) that will still be plenty to not impact my internet stuffs, correct?
 

omega-x

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idealy, correct, but remember, the further away you are, the slower it goes (as slow as 100kbit).
G is faster at longer ranges, cause where B would fall back to 1mbit, G would fall back to 12-18 mbit, and still have room to fall. (as low as 1, also)
 
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Okay new question on the same topic, is the added security of "g" in the router or in the transmission of data from the router.
Meaning, I care about my computer while my sister is only going to use it to check her email and look for cloths. Should I get a 802.11g router that supports "b" , get a 802.11g card for myself and a 802.11b card for her. is there any problems with that? I could save money on the bandwidth she is not going to use anyway.
 

jimnms

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ninethreeeleven said:
Okay new question on the same topic, is the added security of "g" in the router or in the transmission of data from the router.
Meaning, I care about my computer while my sister is only going to use it to check her email and look for cloths. Should I get a 802.11g router that supports "b" , get a 802.11g card for myself and a 802.11b card for her. is there any problems with that? I could save money on the bandwidth she is not going to use anyway.

If you going to go with an 802.11g setup, get all 802.11g stuff. Mixing b and g slows things down if you plan to use the wireless for transfering files between computers.

I don't really have much to add, everyone pretty much has covered the basics. If you just want to browse the net, 11b is fine. If you're going to do alot of transfering of files between wireless clients, 11g is better.

I have an all 802.11g setup. I set the router/ap to 11g only mode, and turn on static superG with turbo since all wireless clients support it. It adds an extra 10-20Mbps with it set that way as opposed to the default mode that's compatible with all 802.11x hardware.

When copying files from my main system connected to the router/ap, to/from the computer in the other end of the house with the wireless card, I usually get ~30Mbps, but I've pushed 50Mpbs a few times when copying large files from it.
 

dagamore

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if you are only using the wireless network for internet stuff (email/web/on-line gaming) then B is plenty, aslong as you dont satrate the network, ie keep it to under 4 or 5 machines, if you need more then say 7 wireless conncetions get G or if you are going to use a Domain Controler (with roaming profiles) and or share alot of files over the network (say mp3/divx) get G you will need and like the speed, but for just internet stuff stick with B.
 

SlimShady

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2 pc's (3 max if it happens) no data transfer between the comps, ill be using the internet for gaming, DLing, etc. so it looks good. i was kind of hoping to be able to use WPA but that is only available in G routers, correct? not a huge deal.

also, is there a setting i can change that will prevent wireless adapters from automatically connecting to my network, maybe by setting only specific mac addresses? i just dont want people to be able to turn on their pcs and see that my network is there, even if they cant connect to it. im using WEP at the moment. i realize any moron with netstumbler et al can see it is there, but id rather prevent it if i could. i realized this when i booted my PC up and it saw and attempted to connect to the above network i was setting up.
 

chrisf6969

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just a quick explanation b/c I think someone was missing this...
1 byte = 8 bits

(12.5 Mega bytes / second) x (8 bits / byte) = 100 Mega bits / second

SO you're not seeing a 80% loss...

Ex: my cable modem is a 4Mbps (download) connection
so when I download from a great server I get like 500Kb/s
which is perfect 4000 kilobits per second / 8 = 500 kilobytes per second

with most protocols you have some overhead. Depending on the protocol / hardware / software / etc. (hardware/software efficiency)

But here's the real kicker.... with the wireless connection with distance(or interference) you lose speed so it is nice to start at a higher speed... so as you get futher away you're still above your bottleneck speed of your internet connection

Ex: my bother's laptop (802.11g /54) will work like 3 houses down, but at that distance it drops down to like 5-11mbps which is still higher than the cable modem's speed. However if he was on a B network with 11mbps max he might be down to 1-2Mbps which would be slower than the cablemodem.

So if you're getting good speeds(>5mbps) with your 11mbps network in your house then you should be fine. But if you've got lots of walls/big house/etc.. and you connection speed is slow you MAY want to upgrade. Though it probably not worth it if you already have a network in place.

Recap:

Buying new.. its worth getting the slightly more expensive 802.11g
upgrade... its probably not worth it... unless you're having a slow connection already o nthe b network.


Use a speed test like this: http://reviews.cnet.com/7004-7254_7-0.html
to see if you're reaching CLOSE to your internet claimed speed. (best results at night)
 

acascianelli

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i made a few errors in my previous posts. there is not as much loss as i thought in wired connections

but in WIRELESS connections, there is a huge loss of around 50%. there is no way you will ever get the full 11mbit (1.375 megabyte / second), at maximum youll only get maybe alittle over 700kb/s (that kilobyte per second). and with 54mbit (6.75 megabyte / second) youll see at best around 3.2mb/s (megabyte per second).

i tested this using 2 routers, my old di-614+ which is a 802.11b and my di-624 which is a 802.11g. the card in my laptop is a broadcom card. the router had one wired computer plugged into it, not even an internet connection. and the antenna of the router was butted up against the back of my laptop display, the antenna on my laptop's wireless card is on the back of the display.

advertised speed / theoretical speed / realistic speed

10mbit wired = 1.25mbyte/s = ~1.1mbyte/s
11mbit wireless = 1.375mbyte/s = ~700kbyte/s
54mbit wireless = 6.75mbyte/s = ~3.2mbyte/s
100mbit wired = 12.5mbyte/s = ~10mbyte/s
1000mbit wired = 125mbyte/s = ~100mbyte/s
 

chrisf6969

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What operating system are you using. Just curious, b/c I've noticed on Win98 I get much slower network speeds than on the same computer if I install WinXP.

And the realistic for gigabyte lan I think is only about 40-50Mb/s

Good breakdown... which reiterates what I said... 802.11b doesnt have much leeway.... if you've got a good connection you should be alright... however with distance or interference you speed may drop and be slower than your cablemodem. Though thats still not the end of the world... just less than optimal. :)
 

acascianelli

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xp pro. the gigabit number i estimated with some servers at work with running u320 scsi drives in raid. not sure on the complete details about what kind of interface the cards were on.
 

wraieghaeien

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As for the WPA stuff, Im pretty usre several of the good brands of B equipment can be reflashed or get new firmware to support it.
 

oldpablo

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Don't forget to think about it like this, needs change. If you go G then you have given yourself some leeway for the future. If you end up having your needs change, you will be spending twice as much to replace all your equipment. Would you buy a 1Ghz computer right now? No because you know it won't last as long. If you think about it, the price isn't really all that much more. Dlink has G stuff that works awesome for a pretty dang good price ($60 router at newegg). Should I shop at Frys or Safeway? Come on, at the end of it all you saved a dollar but had to drive across town. Just do the G and you won't ever have to wonder... :)
 

acascianelli

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OldPueblo said:
...Dlink has G stuff that works awesome for a pretty dang good price.

ive set up some home networks for some people and i tried out that 108mbit wireless stuff they had, that works really good actually. if i were to upgrade the wireless card in my notebook id get one that i could do the 108mbit wireless with.
 

oldpablo

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Yeah I wish I hadn't just got G, I wish I had now done the price jump and did the Super G stuff because I transfer files all the time... Don't be me!
 

acascianelli

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OldPueblo said:
Yeah I wish I hadn't just got G, I wish I had now done the price jump and did the Super G stuff because I transfer files all the time... Don't be me!

my di-624 does support super g. but i couldnt find a mini-pci card that supported it.
 

oldpablo

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Don't be afraid to try a USB card, I used to be totally against them but USB network cards are far better then they used to be and so handy if its wireless. People bring their machines to my house and I just plug my USB 802.11g in along with my thumbdrive with the driver on it, and they're on...
 

acascianelli

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OldPueblo said:
Don't be afraid to try a USB card, I used to be totally against them but USB network cards are far better then they used to be and so handy if its wireless. People bring their machines to my house and I just plug my USB 802.11g in along with my thumbdrive with the driver on it, and they're on...

the wireless card thats in my laptop now is a mini-pci, and if i could get a new one, id want to just replace the one thats allready in my notebook. i have a second 802.11b card for people who bring their laptops over to my house.

when i went from a B to a G network, i noticed gaming performance to be better. i would run 2 people off the wireless network and 2 wired.
 

jimnms

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acascianelli said:
my di-624 does support super g. but i couldnt find a mini-pci card that supported it.

Edit: Whoops, just now realized you said mini-pci.
 
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