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Beginner router questions


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#1 tos226

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 07:13 PM

I may have to replace a router. What a jungle of things one must know!
Just too many routers, with unclear specs to be able to compare and understand, out there :(

I don't understand most of it. Oh, I can set it all up correctly at this point (XP), DHCP, DNS, filesharing, all that. Still it's all a big puzzle to me.
Things works just fine, but I'd like to learn a little bit and plan for the future.

Starting with these four questions:
1. taskbar icons: LAN says 100.0 Mbps, Radio one says 54 Mbps. Is that bytes or bits? Refers to between the computer and the router, is that correct? Not releated to the wicked web access?
2. How does all this square with the ISP provider's fiberoptic rate of 5Mbps down and 2Mbps up I pay for - irrelevant? How to explain 100 vs 5 or 2?
3. current setup for the wireless indicates 54Mbps (varies sometimes) at 2.4Ghz radio waves, .g standard of some 8xx rules. Is it correct to assume that it's pointless to get a router with dual band 2.4 and 5GHz frequencies? If not, why not?
4. Real web speed depends on the network congestion? For instance Speedtest.net reports 4.8Mbps down and 1.5Mbps up, on both wired and radio connections. I suppose another router in the path and a firewall drop it a bit from 5/2, correct?

Thanks in advance for few very clear answers.

Edited by tos226, 05 October 2011 - 07:20 PM.


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#2 Baltboy

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 09:27 PM

1.Mbps is Mega bits per second. That is the connection speed between the router and the computer. Web access speed is controlled via your ISP account.

2. For your ISP speed it is the same Mega bits per second. They are an apples to apples comparison.

3. Not pointless. You will not increase your current speed but having a wireless N router will assure new devices can operate at the fastest possible speeds.

4. Web speed depends on a lot of factors including: the number of devices (routers,ect) between you and your destination, the speed of the connections from device to device, the type of connection you are using, network congestion on the different networks you cross, remote host response time, electrical interference, and list goes on. Firewalls and router at you location in and of themselves don't really slow the trsffic down. Maybe by 1 millisecond but not much more.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
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#3 tos226

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 10:48 PM

Thank you very much. Especially that Mbps has the same meaning on both sides :)

Just one follow up question. What "other" devices might use that .n standard? Another computer with a wireless adapter not .g type? Something in the future? Whatever they are, they couldn't connect to my computer which has the 54 rate, right? Can you give me just an example or two to help me imagine better.

You're right about the little effect of the routers. I just remembered that echo replies from the farthest router come in under 1ms. But I'd think a firewall which is looking at every packet header has to slow things down a bit.

Edited by tos226, 05 October 2011 - 10:53 PM.


#4 Baltboy

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 07:50 AM

For the most part all of the wireless standards are backwards compatibile. N can work with G and G can work with N. You have to used a mixed mode setup on the router so it knows to look for other wireless standards. However you are stuck with the speed of the slowest connection. You can add add in cards to get wireless N on any computer. some smartphones and tablets also have Wirless N built in. As of now N is the standard so just about anything you buy that uses wireless uses N.

As I said I'm sure there is some delay by the firewall processing the data. Remember it is going through your main processor which can handle billions of bits per second so the impact isn't something anybody would ever notice.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
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#5 tos226

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 08:39 PM

However you are stuck with the speed of the slowest connection. You can add add in cards to get wireless N on any computer. some smartphones and tablets also have Wirless N built in. As of now N is the standard so just about anything you buy that uses wireless uses N.

Ok. Got it. Thanks a lot.
BTW, I can't add any cards. It's a laptop. But that's ok. I finally understand what the future holds and the implications.




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