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Internet, Networking, and Wireless Discussion of networking, internet, and wireless including Apple's Airport products.

N vs G for a home network.


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James Howlett

 
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Hey, I Just picked up a 24" iMac and I wanna use N instead of G. I have a WRT54G right now but I want a Time Capsule for Time Machine and N while I'm at it, problem is I have two G computers as well. I want to slave one of those G machines for torrents and send them to my iMac, how much of a performance hit will I get if I use a mixed mode for G and N. Is it worth it? or should I upgrade the old comp to N, currently a desktop with a G card inside, probably with an Airport Express Base Station.

p.s. I'll keep the WRT54G for my moms acer laptop with G through the ethernet port on the Time Capsule.
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Kash

 
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You'll notice speed drops only when transferring files between an N and a G computer. However, N is practically needed when using Time Capsule as doing backups over G speeds would be horrendously slow.

As for transferring torrents, it's very feasible, just expect to be waiting a while as the files are transferred over.


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James Howlett

 
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but actual internet while not transferring files will be faster? Even if both computers are connect to the same network.
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Happy to be corrected here but as far as I know if you mix standards on a wireless network they will all run at the lowest common standard....in this case G.

To benefit from the speeds of 'N' you'll need 2 wireless networks. You'll need to connect your time capsule to your existing router by cable. Connect your G devices wirelessly to your existing router and your iMac wireless to the Time Capsule using N.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Howlett View Post
but actual internet while not transferring files will be faster? Even if both computers are connect to the same network.
Unless you have a connection faster than 54Mbps, then no, you won't notice an increase in Internet speed.

mrplow, older N devices forced the entire network to run at the slower speeds when you had mixed devices. However, newer routers only throttle the speed when accessing G devices from N devices.


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James Howlett

 
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See, I've heard that it goes to the lowest common denominator, but i've also heard that it meets somewhere in the middle between the two standards when both are on the network.
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i transfer a lot of media around my house to 4 computers and usually large files and sometimes i am streaming media to one and want to transfer files and i found N to be worth every cent.

if you are going to be streaming and transferring files or downloading files from the web i HIGHLY recommend it.

after a lot of trial and error i found that having anything G connected to my network severely crippled my transfer speeds so i set up 2 networks as briefly described below.

i also found that even know i had he extreme N router it was an older version and was not a gigabit connection but "fast ethernet" and this was also crippling my transfer rates from my devices hard wired to my router (ie iMac, Network Storage Device) which had gigabit connections but could not get the speeds with the older extreme fast ethernet.

i switched to a an extreme N gigabit router and changed my network cables from CAT5 to CAT6 and this also greatly increased my speeds between machines. standard CAT5 can not handle gigabit speeds so i went with CAT6. i believe you can use something called CAT5+ or something like that but the price is the same so i went with CAT6 to be sure i had the best speeds.

what i did and has been working perfectly:

1. set up the extreme N to N only at 2.4ghz and turn on internet robustness on channel 11 with a ssid of DEVO N

2. take the second router and set it up with a static IP (turn off dhcp) and connected it to the extreme N with a crossover cable from port to port not the uplink ports but a standard port to a standard port, set it to channel 1, and gave it a ssid name of DEVO B/G.

i spent a lot of time figuring out how to get the best speeds at my house and i believe i have everything running as fast as possible for me.

if you are interested in seeing my setup you can check it out http://www.box.net/shared/static/krvm8ii8sk.txt
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PerryLynch

 
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The big advantage of N vs G is really just the speed in which you can wirelessly access files from other systems within your own network. Your Internet connection will always top out at 5 or 6 Mbps on a cable connection.

Try this: Odds are you can deliver both N & G through the one router. If you're lucky, you can name them separately. So, name the SSIDs Private-N and Private-G. Config the g-spec systems to use Private-G, and the N-spec to use Private-N.

In either case, remember to use WPA2 encryption, and to use a sufficiently long passphrase - www.passwordmeter.com is a great way to test & create good passwords & passphrases.

Perry M Lynch, CISSP CISA
Mac Newbie, Security not-so-newbie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PerryLynch View Post
The big advantage of N vs G is really just the speed in which you can wirelessly access files from other systems within your own network. Your Internet connection will always top out at 5 or 6 Mbps on a cable connection.
.
my cable internet is actually 20 Mbps down and 3 Mbps and holds those speeds most of the time.

wireless G is stated as being able to handle 54 Mbps but generally runs at half that as those stats are for absolute perfect conditions that do not normally exist in the real world.

that being said if for example like me you are downloading a large internet file at everything your internet has to offer which for me is 20 Mbps and doing this wirelessly then you are already possibly maxing out your G. so if that files takes 20 minutes or more to download and you want to do other things on your network while this is downloading the N as you can see will have its advantages.

another thing to consider is that if you are just getting setup or changing components to your system then why not go ahead and get the latest stuff since the price point is almost nothing and not worry about reasons why you should have just done it this way in the first place a year from now or 2 or 3 years from now. most people dont upgrade all the time so go ahead and get the newest stuff and not worry about it for awhile.

the best solution to get your N router and also use your G. it doesn't hurt anything and you already have it.

added: i forgot to mention above that you can get enhanced G wireless routers that claim to get speeds as high as 108 or so Mbps but you will be increasing your price and now be at a break even point to get an N router so there would be no reason to get these.
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