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Wireless Router Question

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by pascal, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. pascal

    pascal

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    Howdy,
    Is there any chance that a new Refurbished Linksys N router would have better range in G mode that the older D-Link G that I have now?
    pascal
     
  2. Pierre!

    Pierre! NRA Life Member

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    Range really has more to do with the construction of the building, and what sort of "interference" you have!

    I moved my wireless router a while ago. Set it *right* next to the 2.4Ghz and a 5Ghz phone base stations. (Yah, what was I THINKIN???)

    Soon after we noticed that the notebooks would just drop, and you had to fight to get them back on.

    Moved the wireless router 4 days ago - Not a hitch yet!

    Did a site survey for a buddy of mine. Called another tech I had used in the past. Told him I needed a wire strung under the house. No Prob he says. He sent out a lower level tech who said "Awww, just put in wireless". I nearly bled to death having to support that stupid wireless. Ruined a good friendship. Between the wireless router and the remote computer was TWO - count em - TWO huge fans for the heating system in the 3500 sq ft house. They threw off interference like you would not believe!!! In addition to this, the owner had a CD Storage Tower that would bounce the signal all over the place... Moved it and gained some speed when the fans were not blowing.

    Cost the owner at least what it would have cost to run a cable, and it is still unreliable.

    So - Site Survey rules the day when you start talking about effective range. Be sure you test with the house fan running, and if possible turn on some appliances that might throw some EMI/RFI - anything with a motor or microwave.

    What it says on the box for 'range' is calculated in an area free of obstacles.... so it really means *nothing* when it comes to the real world.

    HTH
     

  3. pascal

    pascal

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    Hello Pierre!,
    I appreciate the length you've gone to, with the information. My circumstance is 1 floor down, maybe two concrete block walls, one end of house to the other. With the antenna on the router we could connect, but signal strength was just making it, wouldn't connect auto, drop out, move the laptop an inch this way or that, get very good connection. I had an antenna with like a 3' cord, from and old lan card, and put it on which brings the signal closer to the open door with less walls. Increase in strength, wouldn't connect automatically most times, slightly better strength up to and including Excellent connection, with moving computer an inch this way or that.
    Located, maybe not directly but close is the whole house. Kitchen, laundry room, cordless phone, tv (cable), ceiling fans. I was thinking about installing an Access point in G, but didn't see any with WPA2, that weren't just too expensive to offset the wife's inconvenience. Was just hoping that the antenna-less newer router might just have enough extra oomph to get a better connect.
    The cable connecting the router to my main computer is just regular lan cable? So maybe I can locate the router further toward the open door and clearer of several walls. If I may impose, is there a limitation on how far you should cable your router? I have a 2nd computer hardwired to the router also.
    I am only talking about 20 or so feet. Thanks for any info.
    pascal
     
  4. JimmyN

    JimmyN

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    If you're having signal strength problems I wouldn't go with an antenna-less model. It's a radio so it still has antennas, they are just mounted inside in a fixed position, which is likely less than optimal. You would probably have better success with a router that has a set of rabbit ears on top.

    Remember too that it is a two way communication. Sometimes it's not a lack of signal from the router, but rather the wireless NIC adapter in the PC that is not putting out enough signal to reply back to the router. A one way connection is still no connection, a "I can hear you, but you can't hear me" scenario. I had a PC that always had poor signal, even with a remote antenna. I changed the NIC in it and signal strength is always good~excellent now.

    Relocating the router may help. I visualized the line of sight from my router (second floor) to the den (first floor) and realized that the refrigerator was in the path. So I moved the router down to the far end of a high shelf so the signal would pass over the refrigerator en route to the den, and the strength went from good to excellent at the PC. You can put a longer ethernet cable on it. 300' would be a problem, 20' would not.
     
  5. ND40oz

    ND40oz

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    Wireless N models have MIMO, so that should improve your range as well, over a non-MIMO G router.
     
  6. pascal

    pascal

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    Good Day JimmyN,
    You just gave me some great information, I hadn't thought about. But, I have some issues that can not be resolved. The laptop I want to connect with the router is work issued. It is thus locked down pretty tight, so the way IT is, is the way its going to stay. Thanks about the cable length.
    So I should just return that router. Or save it for when we get a laptop for the Missus of our own and can go N.
    Thanks for the clear explanation.
    pascal
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2010
  7. pascal

    pascal

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    Good Day to you, ND40oz,
    Not understanding much about the MIMO or Standards, the question I have is if the MIMO N antenna-less router will use MIMO in G mode?
    Thanks for the reply.
    pascal
     
  8. Sgt. Schultz

    Sgt. Schultz Annoying Member

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    The limit for Cat5 cable is 328 feet
     
  9. pascal

    pascal

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    Howdy Sgt. Schultz,
    Of course for "knowing nothing", you know quite a bit. Thanks for the data.
    Take care.
    pascal
     
  10. Sgt. Schultz

    Sgt. Schultz Annoying Member

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    I know strudel ... strudel!

    :supergrin:
     
  11. pascal

    pascal

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    Sgt.
    Do you see noooothing or do you see strudel and whats that traditional cake Xmas holida?. Something like schtolen. I usually pay for mine.
    :whistling:
    pascal
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2010
  12. JimmyN

    JimmyN

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    'n' routers and NIC's have two radios. Thus the multiple in-multiple out (MIMO) simultaneous transmissions, with each radio only having to transmit/receive half the data. That provides the big speed boost you get with 'n'. But when communicating with a 'g' it will only use one of the radios since the 'g' adapter only has one.

    Having a 'g' operating along with 'n' on the same network will slow down the 'n' since one of the radios is being used for 'g' transmissions as well as the other half of the 'n'.
     
  13. Linux3

    Linux3

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    I switched from a Belkin G to a "N+" router for no other reason than distance. At home my router is at one end of a normal suburban stick built home and when sitting in the living room, other end of the house, I got a lot of dropouts. Now with the N+ I never get dropouts.

    The max run for Cat 5E cable, and I don't think you can find Cat 5 any more, is 90 meters, aka 295 feet. But.... Lets say your cable is a little long so you just put the excess in a coil next to the router. Bad, bad, bad. This will attenuate the signal.
    Also, some people say the max length is 100 meters but this includes all passive cables such as patch links and jack to computer links etc.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category_5_cable
     
  14. JimmyN

    JimmyN

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    I have a Belkin N+ as well. They do seem to have a stronger signal even when operating in 'g' mode. And they have really good range if you have a Belkin N+ adapter at the other end to match. I can sit outside under the shade tree, which is about 100' from the router and through a couple of walls, with no problems at all.

    It's kind of funny in a way. The company lets me work from my home office, since I can do everything over the internet. But the boss has no idea that a lot of the time I'm actually sitting in the backyard under the shade tree while I work. Out of sight, out of mind I say. I'd be out there today but it's just too hot lately.
     
  15. pascal

    pascal

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    Hello Gentlemen,
    Thank you for your knowledge and time. The situation being such as it is, I can not alter the laptop at all, I'll cross my fingers and hope the N router running wireless only to that laptop will give a stronger signal. If not I have 30 days to return.
    Appreciate it.
    pascal
     
  16. ND40oz

    ND40oz

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    An N router can increase the range in the 802.11g band as well by using MIMO diversity. This is probably why others are seeing better coverage. You can also buy a G router with MIMO, but there's really no sense since the N router will offer the same thing and at this point, there's little price savings.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2010
  17. srhoades

    srhoades

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    If you don't have a N adapter it's really not worth it to buy an N router.
     
  18. pascal

    pascal

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    Hello Gentlemen,
    Well the die is cast. It should arrive today. I see that we are getting different viewpoints on the efficacy of the N router. Well at least it will give me the capability for future, or I can send it back within 30 days.
    Thanks for the varied points of view. I just need a little squeak of extra range.
    pascal
     
  19. TBO

    TBO Why so serious? CLM

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    ālea iacta est
     
  20. JimmyN

    JimmyN

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    Realistically you're going to end up with a gigabit ethernet and 'n' wireless anyway, and you have to start somewhere. Unless you're going to hold out for 10gig ethernet and the next "quad radio whatever" wireless protocol. I started with the 'n' router and a gigabit NIC in one PC. That didn't give me either a 1gig LAN or 'n' wireless, but it set me up for the next upgrade. I then put a 1g NIC in my NAS and things really started improving. Since then I have upgraded the other systems when I saw something on sale and now everything matches except for my oldest laptop, and if I see something at the right price I'll probably upgrade that.