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

Upgrade to "N" speed - Best practice?


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bence8810

 
Member Since: Jul 01, 2007
Location: Budapest, Hungary
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Mac Specs: MacBook Air 1.6 - iMac 20" for the wife

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Hi

I have a MacBook and an iMac at home, both brand new and with Airport extreme. I have a huge amount of pictures on a SAMBA server that I need access to from all stations, and with current G connection, it lags badly. I was monitoring, and I am getting max 3000kbit/sec on the wifi. When I connect via cable, I am getting 9000kbit/sec and iPhoto is perfectly smooth.

The task is given, we need to upgrade to N. Will that be that much faster? Can I achieve 9000kbit/sec, or in other words 100MBit/sec? I know what the specs say, I am interested in Hands on experience.

Is it worth going with Apple's Airport station for N, or can I get any N rated router?

Another thing unclear is that we have a Dell laptop that only supports G speeds. Will this drag the speed down when connected, and the Macs will be on G speed too, or the Macs will operate on N while the Dell on G? I also have an iPhone which is G only I think.

Thanks for any ideas,

Ben
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Kash

 
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When transferring files between two N machines, the speeds will be significantly faster than under G. Now I'm not sure whether it will be 100Mb/s, but it'll be pretty fast (if you need actual numbers, there are a number of review sites that have this information for various routers). I can stream video between the Macs on my network fluidly with my 802.11n router. File transfers are also very quick. So I would imagine viewing photos over an N connection would work well.

As for which router, it's really up to what features you want. If adding an external hard drive to the router is important to you, then the Airport Extreme is your best choice. If you need four Ethernet ports or just want to save money, then going with a router from Dlink or Linksys might be a better choice. Just do some comparison shopping and pick the one that best suits your needs (and be sure to read reviews, some 802.11n routers aren't that great).

Speeds will only be dragged down when transferring files to or from that particular G machine. Having that machine on the network won't slow down transfer speeds between N machines.

This seems to be a good comparison of various 802.11n routers as it includes transfer speeds: Which 802.11n Wi-Fi router is right for you?


June 2007
July 2009
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bence8810

 
Member Since: Jul 01, 2007
Location: Budapest, Hungary
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kash View Post
When transferring files between two N machines, the speeds will be significantly faster than under G. Now I'm not sure whether it will be 100Mb/s, but it'll be pretty fast (if you need actual numbers, there are a number of review sites that have this information for various routers). I can stream video between the Macs on my network fluidly with my 802.11n router. File transfers are also very quick. So I would imagine viewing photos over an N connection would work well.

As for which router, it's really up to what features you want. If adding an external hard drive to the router is important to you, then the Airport Extreme is your best choice. If you need four Ethernet ports or just want to save money, then going with a router from Dlink or Linksys might be a better choice. Just do some comparison shopping and pick the one that best suits your needs (and be sure to read reviews, some 802.11n routers aren't that great).

Speeds will only be dragged down when transferring files to or from that particular G machine. Having that machine on the network won't slow down transfer speeds between N machines.

This seems to be a good comparison of various 802.11n routers as it includes transfer speeds: Which 802.11n Wi-Fi router is right for you?
Hi
Thanks a lot your post is indeed very helpful.

Do you have any hands on experience with the Airport station? I like that overall, and would be happy to keep it all Apple branded. I am too snob

Will the Airport station allow me to redirect ports? This is important as I have a server behind the router doing mails, etc.

One thing I dont quite understand from the article is the following

The author says, pure N network and Mixed network. Mixed network means that it has some B and G devices hanging off of it, or just the setting in the router allows you to set it in N mode only, or Mixed mode?

He reports much slower speeds in mixed mode, and I am unsure if it means just a switch in the admin interface, or just adding a G device to the network by connecting it.

Thanks for any advice. Basically I have 2 Macs, 1 Dell with b/g card, and an iPhone with b/g I think.

Ben
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z4k

 
Member Since: Oct 21, 2007
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I was at a buddys house with a LinkSys "N" wireless router. I took a trip to speedtest.net. I was extremely surprised. Comcast Cable is his provider. I was able to max out at ~19M D/L and ~ 8-9M U/L Needless to say it is time that I pgrade at home.
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bence8810

 
Member Since: Jul 01, 2007
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Posts: 94
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Mac Specs: MacBook Air 1.6 - iMac 20" for the wife

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Hi

That is an impressive speed toward the WAN side, but it has nothing to do with the router being N graded. A G router should handle that with one antenna broken off.

I am looking for info on the LAN side.

Thanks

Ben
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