My wife and I run both our computers off the house Internet connection (not a real big deal, I know). She runs off the Wifi and I run Ethernet since the modem and router are in my office. If I start to run my computer off the wifi too, is there much of a chance that I will note a fall off in WiFi response. We both use it mainly for web surfing, and e-mail. What information would be needed to help? K
I think for the most part you'd be fine. The reason I say that is because both web browsing and email are typically 'bursty' applications, meaning they leave your Internet connection mostly idle in between short bursts of activity.
Take web browsing, for example. Your Internet connection is idle and you click a link to request a page, generating a tiny spike of traffic in the outbound direction. In response, you get a bigger spike of traffic in the inbound direction as the page and its contents are delivered, but then the Internet connection goes idle again while you read the page that you requested.
With email, no significant traffic is generated unless and until you either send or retrieve email. The amount of traffic will depend on the specific email and its contents, but it's usually just a burst of traffic and then the Internet connection goes idle again for some number of minutes, depending on how you've configured your email clients.
If other users are doing basically the same things as you are, their bursts of traffic will sometimes (many times?) occur during your idle times, and vice versa, and will therefore be mostly unnoticeable. If the events line up on top of each other, you may notice a slowdown, but I'd expect it to be short lived.
Where two or more people can run into contention issues is where one or more are doing big downloads or using bittorrent or streaming, for example, all things that use bandwidth for extended periods of time. Bursty applications generally work well together, so I'd expect you to be fine.
Pandora doesn't really stream. It sends the next tune just before the currently playing tune ends, in a high speed burst. Typically, that's a tune every 3 minutes, with a short 2-10 second burst just before the tune ends. In between bursts, there no traffic. You can see it on any network traffic monitor.
Semi-cool. Pandora is rather picky about when it sends its burst of data and how long it takes. If the download path is constipated with other traffic, such as a download in progress, and Pandora finds that it's taking too long to download the next tune, it will stop and deliver a connection error message that has to be manually reset with the mouse. That's rather irritating when I'm using Pandora for background music while I'm downloading updates on customers machines in the office.
It also tends to be a PITA with VoIP. Although I have QoS running to give priority to voice traffic, Pandora still manages to hog enough bandwidth for the few seconds it takes to download a tune to make the VoIP audio sound like gargling ball bearings.
I think my next adventure in router configuration is going to revolve around QoS and bandwidth management to keep Pandora and VoIP happy.
Difficult to tell. Wireless can run at any association speed between
1Mbits/sec and 54Mbits/sec. Troughput is about half of that. Throw in MIMO and/or performance enhancements and speeds of up to maybe
300Mbits/sec are theoretically possible. If one wireless connection is running at 9Mbits/sec (the slowest 802.11g speed), while the other is at 54Mbit/sec (the fastest 802.11g speed), the slow connection will hog 6 times as much air time as the faster connection. There will be some interaction, but because of the speed differences, the 9Mbit/sec connection will *SEEM* to be 6 times slower. In general, the computah that is closer to the wireless router will seem faster and more responsive.
There's also an issue of bandwidth distribution. With a 1.5Mbit/sec DSL line, the wi-fi is much faster than the DSL line making the DSL speed the limiting factor. However, with a 6-12Mbit/sec cable modem connection, the match is much closer, making marginal wi-fi connections a bigger factor than network speed.
Wi-fi is also not the best in terms of reliability and consitency. If the neighbor happens to be using the same RF channel, you'll experience interference on one of both of your wi-fi connected computahs. The problem is that it's difficult to determine if it's something you're doing with your system, or interference from the neighbors streaming video system. If you want reliability, stay with the wired connections.
None. You're fine. What you're basically asking is for us to predict your wi-fi performance. Even if you supplied us with a layout of the building, and RF sniffer results for the neighborhood, it would be difficult trying to estimate the performance of your machines.