Set router to G or B/G?

I found this in a Wiki entry on Tomato, a firmware alternative similar to DD-WRT:

"B/G Mode: This may be Mixed (B+G), B-Only (restricted to 802.11b), or G-Only (restricted to 802.11g). If you set this to B-Only or G-Only, connection attempts from the other protocol may be seen as interference. Recommend leaving this set to "Mixed"."

I've read somewhere that using both B and G in your LAN will slow things down a lot, or at least slow the G devices down a lot. So I just assumed that setting the router to G-only would be best. But this quote suggests that's not the case.

I've also read somewhere that if there are a number of nearby networks, it may be better to be on the same channel with them as opposed to being on a different channel where they will be seen as interference. Apparently interference slows things down more than recognizable competing packets. Is the router setting issue the same kind of thing?

If it matters, my router is a Buffalo WHR-HP-G54, and the only wireless device on my LAN is a laptop using G.

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I ALWAYS go b/g. You never know what devices you'll want to connect to your network, and some are 802.11b only.

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With the fairly new WHR-HP-G54, I would use Mixed Mode (B+G) unless you are interested in squeezing every last bit of speed out of the beast.

According to theory, the older chipsets would take a severe performance hit in mixed mode. The way they worked was to sample for "b" clients about 1/4 of the listening time. It varied with chipset and product. See the table at:

Hmmm.... Looks like the Atheros white paper I referenced has been moved to:

However, current chipsets work differently. They still sample for "b" clients, but vary the listening window and sample rate depending on whether they hear any "b" traffic, or if any "b" client associates. If they do, then the aformentioned slowdown still happens. However, if there are no "b" clients around or connected, then the maximum "g" speeds can almost be achieved. Methinks this is a good compromise although it does seem to have a detrimental effect on the time it takes for a "b" client to associate.

Where the Mixed Mode (B+G) causes problems is with wireless video. The intrusion of a "b" client will slow things down and possibly break any attempt at streaming.

An open question is whether it is necessary for a "b" client to actually connect to the wireless router to slow things down, or if just a few "b" packets in the vicinity can cause problems. I don't know the answer but will make an attempt to find out (when I have time) as it's something I've been wondering about. The older chipsets only required one lousy "b" packet to slow things down. Hopefully, with the newer chipsets, Broadcom did something smarter.

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