Advantages of using a N Router with G Wireless Cards ?

Are there any advantages of using a wireless n router as opposed to a g router in terms of speed or distance when used with a g wireless adapter only ?

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"" hath wroth:

Yes and no. That's because there are no "wireless n routers". They're all Pre-N. 802.11n has yet to be ratified. However, that hasn't stopped the Wi-Fi Alliance from certifying Pre-N devices. Anything for a buck.

The Pre-N stuff also comes in several radically different technologies. They use either multiple streams as in the Airgo chipset, or beam forming as in Ruckus Wireless.

In the case of Arigo, it's you need to have a MIMO device at both ends, complete with multiple antennas and high sticker prices.

However, for the beam forming, you don't need a compatible client. In fact, there is no compatible client. The technology "points" the antenna to the clients it wants to hear, and puts nulls in the direction of sources of interference. It works with any client.

The down side of both of these technologies is that you can *NOT* use external antennas on the access point.

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Jeff Liebermann

Jeff ,

thanks for the reply - it is for a friend who is enamoured with new technology. I told him to apply the 3rd party firmware to his vesion 4 wrt54g Linksys router ( I would install) Which products are which - Which are the beam forming products ? Another question from this same fellow - how about a Linksys " range extender" ? Are they a good idea ? I tried to talk him out of it .

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"" hath wroth:

My kind of customer. Buys the latest greatest newest gizmos, and then wonders why they're overpriced, flakey, full or suprises, and fail to meet expectations. I call to your attention that 802.11n is being billed as a speed increase standard, and not as a reliability or range increase mechanism. This should give you a clue as to where the problems are hiding.

There are a huge number of settings and features. Be prepared to learn more than a few new things. You can see what's available with online simulators:

DD-WRT v23

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DD-WRT v24 VPN beta
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Not everything works on the simulator, but it's good enough for a shopping list of features.

Beam forming products usually use an Atheros chipset with technology from Ruckus Wireless. Netgear uses their chips in some of their various MIMO products. Generally, it's the ones with no visible antennas such as the WPN824:

The one's with visible antennas use spacial multiplexing (Airgo).

A readable FAQ on MIMO technology at:

Netgear also has the WNR854T which uses the Marvell Pre-N Draft 2.0 chipset.

Incidentally, the Netgear WPNT834 RangeMax 240 is a current example of an Airgo based wireless router. Much as I like Airgo, there are problems. See the comments under "Cons" at:

which largely answer your questions.

MIMO Face Off (Old but worth reading):

Repeaters, range extenders, and store and forward mesh networks are in my never humble opinion a bad idea. Range extenders can allegedly be made to work, but I haven't been able to do it. They invariable cause problems with thruput and packet loss. If you're desperate, try one. DD-WRT firmware will turn your router into a repeater. WDS will also do the same thing. If you want it to work well, do everything you can to REDUCE the number of transmitters involved and work with the antennas.

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