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Worth getting a N rated router if laptop has G card in it?

by johnv41 / April 15, 2009 4:27 AM PDT

The question I have is, is it worth upgrading to a N rated router like the Linksys WRT310N Wireless-N Gigabit Router if the primary wireless component that I am running is a Dell Inspiron 1525 laptop which I believe has a 802.11g Wireless card in it. The only other items running off the router is the standard wired desktop and an Epson Workforce 600 printer which I have running wirelessly.

The only other factors that may be needed for the answer is that the laptop will usually be running within 30-50 feet of the router (very rarely at a distance of 80-90 feet), the printer is in the same room (about 8-10 feet away), and the cable that I am running is through Comcast. I have their Triple Play offer, and according their website it says it is running at "Download speeds up to 16 Mbps with PowerBoost

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by FrankQC / April 15, 2009 4:35 AM PDT

Get an N router if in the future you think you'll buy an N laptop.

If your laptop is wireless G and you buy a wireless N it won't have any features the N has (i.e. distance, speeds). It will be connected through G, and G only.

So my suggestion is that you stick with a G unless you are planning on purchasing an N laptop in the near future.

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upgrading laptop card to N?
by johnv41 / April 15, 2009 5:06 AM PDT
In reply to: Depends...

Thanks for the fast responce! First of all, can wireless cards be change out the in that laptop and if so, is it fairly easy and reasonablely priced to upgrade to a N card?

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by FrankQC / April 15, 2009 5:22 AM PDT

I'm not 100% sure about that one. If it's in the laptop it would be a very big hassel to change the wireless NIC seeing as how the antennas are around other hardwares and confined (since laptops are smaller than desktops).

Google around to make sure. I won't lie... I don't build computers so I can't really help you on that part.

Hope it helped,

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by johnv41 / April 15, 2009 5:38 AM PDT
In reply to: Probably...

Thanks again Frank! I will look into that and again, thanks for the first question. I will take your advice and I will probably get the G router (unless the N router is on sale close enough to the G). I just bought this laptop a few months ago, so by the time I upgrade to a new one, there may be another boost above N, so I will purchase the laptop and router then based on those facts.

Have a great day!

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N will never be a standard
by richchrono / April 17, 2009 11:31 AM PDT

One of our clients runs a PC service and repair company and has had nothing but problems with N.

He said it will never be a standard, like G.

I asked him what was next and he said he didn't know, but to avoid N.

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I don't think is finalized though....
by FrankQC / April 17, 2009 11:36 AM PDT

Draft-N, not actual N.

Correct me if I'm wrong.

One time or another there will be an N standard (or an equivalent). "never" is barely non-existent in technology advancements.

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N will never be standardized
by richchrono / April 17, 2009 11:51 AM PDT

According to him, the problems are so severe that manufacturers are not planning to pursue the platform.

He has been hired to make N networks (from different manufacturers) work (for businesses)and in every case has ended up pulling out the N network and having the client either go wired or switch to G.

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by FrankQC / April 17, 2009 11:59 AM PDT

Right now N is still in development i.e. Draft N.

According to the official IEEE website, the final product of N will be released at the end of December 2009. That's like your friend wanting to implement Windows 7 but having troubles and saying that Windows 7 will never be a norm.

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It would be nice...
by richchrono / April 17, 2009 12:12 PM PDT
In reply to: Well..

if my friend is wrong.

I like the purported advantages with N. But only if it works.

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by FrankQC / April 17, 2009 12:16 PM PDT
In reply to: It would be nice...

Only time will tell. But I wouldn't be surprised if N is the new standard in a few years. You can't judge something based on their pre-finalized versions.

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N or G?
by Zouch / April 17, 2009 11:33 AM PDT

If your internet connection is up to 16 Mb/s, a G router will handle the speed easily (54 Mb/s). Unless you live in a steel framed house, the wireless signal will probably cover the whole house - mine does and half way down our small garden. If you want to transfer big files to your other machine, then you might notice the difference in speed but then if it's an occasional requirement, you might as well just bring the laptop to the router and plug in an Ethernet cable for the file transfer.

Depending where you live, an N router may be significantly more expensive - here in the UK, N or particularly, N1 is about twice the price of G.

Can you upgrade your laptop to N? Well as others have said, maybe. My laptop, a Samsung Centrino, has its wireless card in an internal mini-PCI slot, which has an external cover, so in principle, it should be easy but (and isn't there always a but?) the antenna is soldered to the wireless card. Obviously there would be risks in taking a soldering iron to it!

But replacing the internal wireless card isn't the only way to upgrade. If you have a PCMCIA slot or a PCMCIA Express slot, you can simply upgrade with the appropriate Wireless PCMCIA card. Or you could us a USB Wifi dongle. In fact, here, Belkin and Dlink both sell N kits that include a USB N Wifi key.

Remember also that 802.11N is still a draft standard. Most of the router manufacturers say their Draft N routers will be upgraded with a firmware patch but check if you decide to go down the N route.

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N works great
by rmalone1602 / April 17, 2009 3:22 PM PDT
In reply to: N or G?

Everyone is right about using an N router with a G laptop, you will be getting G performance. I bought a DLink N router and an N USB dongle for my laptop. I use my laptop 2 rooms away from my router and loose very little if any of the 20Mbs broadband speed. I have had no trouble with my N router after 3 months and actually find it more stable than the Linksys G router I was using before.
I am using a similar laptop Dell XPS M1530 and was able to replace the mini wifi card by only removing a small cover and a couple of screws. I had no issues with antennae. However, the USB dongle works just as well and is cheaper.

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n or g router
by kittikat21 / April 17, 2009 7:35 PM PDT
In reply to: N or G?

I have a gateway laptop purchased 1 month ago. Also a older desk top(5 yrs). I live in a house with plaster walls. Does this affect my wireless on my laptop? I have beeen told it does because of the chicken wire in the walls.I have an n router.Should i get a range booster? I cant go 25 feet from the router without losing signal. Im not computer smart so please use laymens terms.Thanks in adavnce.

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Well what I would do is....
by FrankQC / April 18, 2009 2:52 AM PDT
In reply to: n or g router

I would set up a repeater.

So basically what that is is you have 1 normal router (i.e. yours currently) then you get another router and you put it in the other room. What that other router will do is get signals from your normal router and give you that signal from the 2nd router. Your speed will be slightly affected but you will get higher bars.

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Repeater or router?
by kittikat21 / April 18, 2009 6:44 PM PDT

So i should get another router or a repeater?What is the difference? Sorry for so many questions.If I get another router does it have to be the exact same kind? Ex: n and g router or both n routers? Thanks again for your patience.Have a good day!

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So yea that's the tricky part
by FrankQC / April 19, 2009 1:04 AM PDT
In reply to: Repeater or router?

Once you get a new router (it can be any kind), it has to be supported by the third party firmware you will install on it.

The firmware is called dd-wrt. Before buying a second router check this website to make sure that your router is supported by the firmware. There is no point on buying a router that isn't supported.

If you do decide to do the above, here are a few links to help you make your new router a repeater to receive signals from your primary router to make the signal better (note that performance if on wireless will be lower).

p.s. second link is the one that I followed when setting up my router as a repeater.

I am not liable for any damage done by the third party firmware.

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router or repeater
by kittikat21 / April 21, 2009 6:35 PM PDT

Im sorry i dont understand what the dd-wt means. Should i go buy another linksys wrt110 router and just plug it in another room? Does it have to have a cable going to it? (cat 5)From the main router?(which is connected to my desk top)Im not very computer literate.So I don't understand it.Or would a repeater be easier?Thanxs for your patience.

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by FrankQC / April 22, 2009 3:40 AM PDT
In reply to: router or repeater

Your repeater can be either wireless or plugged to your first router. Note that wireless repeater drastically slows down your connection.

dd-wrt is a firmware. Firmwares enable hardware to work.

You have a firmware right now in your router. What we need to do is switch your second router's firmware to another firmware. Note that if you do it wrong it can break your router, just so you know.

Here are some links to help you understand:

Note that I am not liable for any attempts to transform a current router into a repeater. Thus, you should follow an official guide.

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by msgale / April 20, 2009 4:37 PM PDT

I have been running Pre N for at least a year with no problems. I use Vista 64 bit and Windows 2k3 with no problems. Drivers were included on the Retail Microsoft OS disk, so there wasn't an installation issue.

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N over G
by Mike+1 / April 17, 2009 10:13 PM PDT

I have a Toshiba laptop with a built-in g wireless card on Comcast cable internet and had some problems with my Linksys g router. I upgraded to a D-link wireless N router and bought a D-link wireless N card for the PCMCIA express card slot. This improved my connection distance and range by at least double. Speed is now very near what I get with a wired connection and fewer issues overall than before. For me, it was well worth the extra money to have a better wireless connection because I use the laptop all over my house and out on the back deck all of the time.

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