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Switching up to 802.11n?


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#1 Xezat

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 04:48 PM

First of all, excuse me for any lack of common terms, not too computer savvy unfortunately so bear with me :thumbsup:

Ok, so here's the deal, the router I have (D-link DIR-615) that should be set to broadcast at the N level, and my laptop's wireless should be able to receive it (its model is Intel® WiFi Link 5100 AGN). Yet, it's still only picking up speeds at the G level of 54 Mbit/s, instead of the what, 600 Mbit/s that N should be able to get up to.

So my question is, is there any sort of settings I need to change on the router or my laptop in order to receive the N signals? Or am I doing something wrong somewhere? Please help, and thanks in advance.

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#2 Retirednow

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 02:04 AM

I would first check your router to see if it really is broadcasting in "N" mode. That should be in the wireless setup section of your router. Go here for info: http://static.compusa.com/pdf/D-Link-DIR-615-Manual.pdf. The info you need is on page 22.

#3 Orecomm

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 12:30 AM

Try using the "site survey" tool on the router if it has one to look at other signals in your area. If there is an 802.11b or g signal on the same channel that your router is trying to use your router must switch to compatibility mode so that the MAC layer protocols can understand each other. Unfortunately, that also causes many of the speed advantages of 802.11n to be lost. First of all if the router can't find two 40Mhz of unused bandwidth (nearly impossible in the 2.4Ghz band these days) it won't get out of 20Mhz mode, which means you are now at 160Mbps max. Then if you don't have two transmit and two receive chains (radios) at each end you can't get MIMO working for you, and max drops to about 80Mbps. Throw in compatibility mode and you are down to 60Mbps or less. It should still work better than 802.11g at the same range, but you won't see hundreds of megabits.

If your router doesn't have a site survey function you can download and use NetStumber on your PC to take a look around.

#4 Torchwood

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 01:45 PM

Another thing 2 look at I downloaded the latest drivers for my N usb
BUT when i looked at the properties i had to enable them for N they were set at G

#5 Xezat

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 02:29 AM

Sorry for the very late reply, been out of town for the last several days.

Anyways, I asked my dad and apparently the router is set on some sort of mode that enables both G and N...the Mixed 802.11b/g/n mode I think according to the manual. Is this possibly why my laptop can't pick it up at N speeds?

Gonna ask later on to see if I can get it switched to just N to see if that would work. The only other devices that would even use wifi in my household are 2 iPod Touches and a Nintendo Wii, everything else is connected via ethernet cable I think, so it's not like there's a lot of other wireless devices in the household.

Edited by Xezat, 26 April 2010 - 02:30 AM.


#6 Orecomm

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 12:03 AM

It isn't the other devices in your house (which are mostly clients) that will cause you the most problems, but other devices in your neighborhood that are access points.

Actually the other devices will cause a significant slow-down in 802.11n traffic. As long as there is a b or g device on the same channel, whether a client or another AP, the n AP must switch to a compatibility mode which disables a lot of the n speed gains. You will still get better signal quality and somewhat faster speeds than a g router, but nothing close to the advertised n speeds, and almost certainly not above about 130mbps.

600Mbps is not a reasonable expectation for the vast majority of n devices today. To get there you need a 4x4 MIMO n device on each end, a 40Mhz (double-wide) channel, and an extremely strong signal with very little interference. No known consumer devices, and very few commercial ones, support 4x4 MIMO. Most n devices available today are 2X2 at best (meaning two transmit radio chains and two receive radio chains) which can achieve 300Mbps max. If either end is a single radio the best possible speed is 150Mbps. Most of the time you also can't get a clear 40Mhz channel, which means it drops back to 20Mhz, the same as b and g, and max single radio throughput drops to 65Mbps, or 130Mbps for dual radio.

Your router has a max throughput of 130Mbps according to it's spec sheet, and operates only on the 2.4Ghz band which makes it unlikely that it can find a clear 40Mhz spectrum chunk unless you are far enough out in the country that you can't see the neighbor's house.

If you select n only in your router setup it will disable the compatibility mode for some functions but not all (some are required by the standard) but any 802.11a,b, or g devices will be unable to connect, and you may mess with your neighbor's networks if they are on the same or neighboring channels.

Chances are that 50-60Mbps is as good as you are likely to get.

#7 Xezat

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 08:43 PM

It isn't the other devices in your house (which are mostly clients) that will cause you the most problems, but other devices in your neighborhood that are access points.

Actually the other devices will cause a significant slow-down in 802.11n traffic. As long as there is a b or g device on the same channel, whether a client or another AP, the n AP must switch to a compatibility mode which disables a lot of the n speed gains. You will still get better signal quality and somewhat faster speeds than a g router, but nothing close to the advertised n speeds, and almost certainly not above about 130mbps.

600Mbps is not a reasonable expectation for the vast majority of n devices today. To get there you need a 4x4 MIMO n device on each end, a 40Mhz (double-wide) channel, and an extremely strong signal with very little interference. No known consumer devices, and very few commercial ones, support 4x4 MIMO. Most n devices available today are 2X2 at best (meaning two transmit radio chains and two receive radio chains) which can achieve 300Mbps max. If either end is a single radio the best possible speed is 150Mbps. Most of the time you also can't get a clear 40Mhz channel, which means it drops back to 20Mhz, the same as b and g, and max single radio throughput drops to 65Mbps, or 130Mbps for dual radio.

Your router has a max throughput of 130Mbps according to it's spec sheet, and operates only on the 2.4Ghz band which makes it unlikely that it can find a clear 40Mhz spectrum chunk unless you are far enough out in the country that you can't see the neighbor's house.

If you select n only in your router setup it will disable the compatibility mode for some functions but not all (some are required by the standard) but any 802.11a,b, or g devices will be unable to connect, and you may mess with your neighbor's networks if they are on the same or neighboring channels.

Chances are that 50-60Mbps is as good as you are likely to get.

Mmm, so the devices around the neighborhood can also affect the signal and stuff? That bites...bunch of idiot neighbors have wireless set up in their houses as well...wish they didn't like before.

Oh well...still would be nice to somehow bump up beyond 54 mbps, but I guess that's about all I can expect...sigh.




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