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TonyDi
01-24-2007, 08:15 PM
Given that a residential high speed connection yields maybe 6 MBPS, what would be the benefit of a faster wireless connection? The computers on the network could talk to each other faster and access to print servers and networked storage devices would be faster. However, would access to the Internet be any faster?

In a home network setup that has one or two wirelessly connected machines, is there really a need for faster wireless routers when it comes to Internet access? Personally I don't see a difference between my 802.11b laptop and my wired machine when it comes to Internet access.

Seth
01-25-2007, 03:36 AM
Even the slowest routers are infinitely faster than any high speed internet. So no, there wouldn't be any difference.

Keep in mind that the transmitted signal from the router to the network card is travelling at the speed of light. It doesn't get any faster than that.

There is a common misconception that "Internet Speed" means how fast the signal is travelling. This is incorrect, as internet speed (whether wireless or wired) is travelling at the speed of light. That 6MBS simply means that the maximum amount of information that your ISP will allow to to be dropped into this "speed of light" stream is 6MB every second.

jcampi
01-25-2007, 08:22 AM
I have a desktop wired to my wireless router and two laptops use a wireless connection. I'll soon get another laptop, which will result in three wireless connections to the router (most likely only two laptops will connect with a wireless connection to the router at any given time). Is there a limit with the number of laptops I can connect to my home wireless router? Does this impact performance, etc.? I really haven't noticed any negative impact thus far.

Dan18960
01-25-2007, 09:15 AM
Keep in mind that the transmitted signal from the router to the network card is travelling at the speed of light. It doesn't get any faster than that.


Actually it is nearer the speed of sound - only a fiberoptic that uses light would be the speed of light.

But with FIOS speed ability to communicate at the present COMMERCIAL service of 30mbps - going to the "n" rating will have a more beneficial throughput.

While you are looking at the speed of packets - there is a lot of overhead in TCP/IP that would enhance the faster wireless. Remember that TCP/IP has to transmit the ENTIRE packet over when there is a crc error. One of the advantages that Novell and NetBIOS accomplished was that if a packet crc didn't complete - only the needed "data stream" was retransmitted. TCP/IP is actually a topology of the 60's and they didn't have a way to analyze the packet stream and make a simple request of the loss packet data - it require(d) a resend of the entire packet.

So it isn't just the speed of the throughput - it is the ability to resend at a speed that you don't recognize an issue. Think about a page where it takes a longer time to load - you get maybe half the page and then you see the rest populate. When that happens there are several possibilities - slow server speed, saturated bandwidth, or a "hop" that has a failing router and requires multiple sends to populate your page. On a faster LAN router, this negotiation can be accomplished quicker and the delay of page populating is "acceptable".

Seth
01-25-2007, 10:06 AM
Actually it is nearer the speed of sound - only a fiberoptic that uses light would be the speed of light.

The electromagnetic radiation that exits the antenna on a router travels at the speed of light. Given that it's traveling through a medium (air) as opposed to a vacuum, it's not going to be exactly at the speed of light, but it's very close. Certainly much faster than sound. So for all intent and purpose, it's traveling at the speed of light.

The internet signal that travels through wires is also very close to the speed of light. I say "very close" as the electron contains mass and no particle with mass can travel at the speed of light. So when one electron is instigated at the router end, it "pushes" out another at the network end, virtually instantaneously.

Regarding fiber optics: You're referring to the bandwidth, not the speed. And even the slowest routers can handle way more bandwidth than the fastest ISP's can provide. As such, a faster router will make no significant difference to the end user, as the bottleneck isn't the router.

TonyDi
01-25-2007, 11:27 AM
As such, a faster router will make no significant difference to the end user, as the bottleneck isn't the router.

That's where I was headed. A faster router really won't make a difference in a small network with only one or two wireless users.

Seth
01-25-2007, 11:34 AM
As such, a faster router will make no significant difference to the end user, as the bottleneck isn't the router.

That's where I was headed. A faster router really won't make a difference in a small network with only one or two wireless users.

Right.

I use to have an old 54MBS Inexo router. It routed 3 wireless computers, and three wired bench computers. I then changed to a 108MBS D-Link. Didn't make a lick of difference in speed.

Dan18960
01-25-2007, 01:40 PM
Tony,

Actually we have been replacing our 100mbps with the 1gbps and there is definitely a throughput speed noticed.

One of our clients is a small "user" base - only 7 users and the gigabit has had a tremendous enhancement in word, excel, accounting, and printing.

To limit the speed of a network to just the internet access is forgetting the real reason for networking computers in a LAN. It is to share printing, files, and internet access.

Actually I have found that the computer is VERY important to the access of the internet sometimes beyond the speed of the router.

Take an "old" P-III and connect to the internet and take a Duo Core and the ability to accept the data stream is greatly noticable. I had this happen just yesterday. Was working on a Dell 2400 with DDR 333 mhz ram and it took an hour to do the sp2 download and install. I am use to that taking minutes on the new systems I may have to whack and reload. The throughput is through my FIOS 15/2 connection, 100mbps, connected directly to the Verizon router.

Seth
01-25-2007, 01:46 PM
Take an "old" P-III and connect to the internet and take a Duo Core and the ability to accept the data stream is greatly noticable. I had this happen just yesterday. Was working on a Dell 2400 with DDR 333 mhz ram and it took an hour to do the sp2 download and install. I am use to that taking minutes on the new systems I may have to whack and reload. The throughput is through my FIOS 15/2 connection, 100mbps, connected directly to the Verizon router.

Agreed. I can't reach my my max download throughput on old systems.

In regards to your first line, you're referring to the sharing aspect and not the internet speed...correct?

TonyDi
01-25-2007, 01:52 PM
That agrees with my first post - the speed would be noticed when communicating with other devices on the network - computers and printer. However, in a home network where the wireless is only being used to allow another machine or two to connect to the Internet, installing a faster (e.g. 'g' or 'n') router won't increase Internet access speed.