Will a new router make my internet faster?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by wordoflife, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #1
    On the computer plugged into the router, it scores 20MB/s but on the wireless devices, it scores 3MB/s. Right now I have a Netgear wgr614v8 (Yep that $40 router). Comcast is providing a Netgear N150 router but I want to know if it will increase my wireless speed or not. I think the network is just very congested with devices (3 desktops-wired, 3 laptops-wireless, 1 desktop-wireless, 1 iPod Touch, 1 iPhone, 1 printer-wired, Wii). They aren't all on at the same time, but that might have something to do with it.

    I want to know if my router is underpowered and if there will be a noticeable difference from the Comcast router at all, or if there will be another router that can help my problem. Pretty much all of the devices in my house connect through Wireless G.
    From the looks of it, this should be able to handle a lot of devices from the 680mhz processor, etc.



    http://www.amazon.com/Netgear-Range...1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1278515071&sr=8-1

    Thanks
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2010
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #2
    It's not a congestion issue (especially if not all devices are on at the same time).

    Your current router only has a maximum transfer speed of 54Mbps, or 802.11g. Keeping in mind that data rate is in mega-bits - divided by 8 it's a maximum of 6.75MB per second. Whilst double what you stated, it's not unusual to be lower than the rated maximum depending on the placement of your devices or whatever.

    You'd be looking for a Wireless-N (802.11n) router like the one you have linked to significantly improve the data transmission rate.

    Keep in mind though, that your devices need to support Wireless-N to actually take advantage of the speed boost. I can say that your Touch, iPhone and Wii won't benefit (only the iPhone 4 has Wireless N). I don't know about your wireless laptops/desktop.

    As for the Comcast router - if it's the Belkin N150 then... i think it's a Wireless-N router. That was a confusing spec page. Someone else might be able to answer that properly.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #3
    Thanks
    All devices in my house are running Wireless G. :)o)
    I have a question, can you explain this part a bit further?

    Is it because we are dividing 54MB/s by my 8 wireless devices thus giving a max of 6.75MB/s?
    So, provided I had a wireless N router and all my wireless devices were on N too, then 300MB/s divided by 8 devices would be 37.5MB/s as a maximum obtainable speed? Or am I just completely lost here.

    I'm planning on getting a Macbook soon, but I don't want those speeds of 3MB/s on my Macbook. If I buy a midrange N router ($70-$100), and I connect the Macbook via wireless N and the other devices via Wireless G, will the Macbook get around 20MB/s (depending on where I am standing) and the other wireless G devices get what it is currently getting? <---- Because I'd be totally fine with that.

    Edit: Another question, if I buy this router:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833122235

    Will it operate at both Wireless G and Wireless N simultaneously at their respectable speeds or what happens?
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2010
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #4
    You have to keep in mind the case of the letters... Mbps = Megabits per second... as opposed to MB/s which is Megabytes per second. And with 8 bits per byte, you divide by it. It's not by devices, they're not related or important in this instance. So yes, if you have a Wireless-N device capable of 300Mbps transmission, then you'll get a maximum of 37.5MB/s transfer.

    And yes, if you get a new Wireless-N router along with a new MacBook, your scenario will work out. Most routers are capable of transmitting in multiple standards. If you look at your current router, you'll probably see its transmitting at both 802.11g and 802.11b (an even older and slower rate :p).

    I do say "most" though, cause while I know there are routers as such, I've yet to see evidence of routers that can only ever transmit at one standard at a time. I dislike claiming something to be definite just cause there's no proof to show otherwise ;)

    But I digress.

    Netgear provides good routers with easy use (at least in my opinion) and should do what you want.
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Location:
    Virginia
    #5
    multi-radio routers

    I'm not a EE nor a hard-core network engineer, but for what it's worth...

    Some Wireless routers/accessPoints (like the Airport Extreme) actually have 2 radios: 1 5GHz and 1 2.4GHz. This allows them to really support different devices at different speeds - for example, most newer Apple products support 5GHz 802.11N ( not the iPhone), so they can connect to the 5GHz 'segment' of the wireless network while older devices connect to the 2.4GHz 'segment' using 802.11G.

    The device you linked to on NewEgg is 2.4GHz Only, so while it supports B/G/N, in reality, everything is going to connect to the same radio. This generally means that the whole wireless network will degrade to the performance of the slowest device. So if you have an old laptop connecting with 802.11B, all of your devices will be limited to 11Mbps. Or if you have an iPhone prior to 4 connecting at 802.11G, your newer MacBook will be limited to 54Mbps even though it could support N speed.

    I'm pretty sure that NetGear and Linksys do have dual radio models, but you're not likely to get one in the $60 range. They're going to be closer in price to the Airport Extreme, although probably still less.

    Finally, the previous posted mentioned dividing the theoretical max speed by 8. That has nothing to do with the number of devices (although there is a maximum capacity for the device and each active connection has to share that); rather the divide by eight was because your test measurement was in MBps (MegaBytes / second) while the B/G/N speeds are reported in Mbpb (MegaBits / second) and 1 BYTE is 8 BITS. So the max possible transfer speed over 802.11G is (54Mbps/8) = 6.75MBps - the capital vs. lowercase "b" makes a difference...

    Hope that helps...
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #6
    Thank you so much for the wireless explanation. Learning new things everyday. :)
     
  7. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Location:
    UCSC
    #7
    It's not 54MB/s, it's 54Mb/s. Megabits, not megabytes. It takes eight bits to make a byte. That is why you divide it. The industry measures it in bits to make it sound faster than it is.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #8
    This helped a lot!

    So basically if I just purchase a router that says "simultaneous Dual band", I can have my wireless G network portion running the way it is right now, and I can have my Macbook running on the N portion without any degrading in speed respected to the G or N portions?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...127258&cm_re=dual_band-_-33-127-258-_-Product

    Btw, I screwed up when I wrote my speeds. Okay, so when plugged in, I get 20Mb/s, and when I am on Wifi I get 3/Mb, but I get the point.
     
  9. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 2, 2007
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #9
    You don't HAVE TO get the simultaneous dual-band router. Any wireless N router will boost the speed.
     

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