802.11n routers- any out there besides Apple?

erandall38

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 24, 2007
455
0
I would like to start taking advantage of the new 80211.n networking... ok so its not that new, but I have new computers so I want to see how fast it really is. Someone was mentioning to me that you can only get the "n" network from Apple's rather expensive router? Or is there other "n" capable routers out there that are cheaper but work well?

Also, what does everyone think of the 80211.n, is it that much faster?
 

cyclingplatypus

macrumors 65816
Mar 15, 2007
1,077
210
Earth
Belkin makes nice N router, it can be had for $90 at Best Buy.

Belkin N Router

The only thing to be aware of is if you have non-N devices running on the same network most (if not all) of the N routers will throttle back to the lowest device for the entire network.
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,248
1,319
I thought the 802.11n only throttled back to 130MPBS, not all the way back to the speed of the slowest device?

That's the rate my MBP showed its connection to the AEBS as when I ran it in mixed mode. :confused:
 

erandall38

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 24, 2007
455
0
Waid so if I get a N router for my computers, but my families desktop is wirelessly connected to it, then my computers will not run on N network anyways, it will run on G?

So technically the N network only works to its potential with N devices ONLY?
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,248
1,319
Also, what does everyone think of the 802.11n, is it that much faster?
The only thing 802.11n sped up on my network was copying files between our 802.11n laptops and between the same laptops and a Mac mini that was connected to the router via an ethernet cable.

Unless your Internet connection is faster than 802.11g (that'd be a nice problem to have!!!), the faster speed of 802.11n shouldn't help it out any.
 

esaleris

macrumors 6502
Oct 18, 2005
310
3
Would recommend Netgear's NEXT 802.11n routers. As far as I am concerned, they are decently reliable, they update their firmware often enough, and are pretty cost effective. I've preferred them over Linksys and D-Link several times as wireless technology changes. And they look better and fit the "Mac" look much better, if that is a concern.

Right now the NEXT series is slightly expensive, but not as bad as Airport Expresses, even though they feature more functionality.
 

erandall38

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 24, 2007
455
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Thanks for all the replies guys it has been very helpful.

I think the N should help considering I just did a network test and got 289 KBPS on my DSL, it seems to get slower and slower. http://reviews.cnet.com/7004-7254_7-0.html

BUt again, will having G/B/A user on the network slow mine down?
 

danny_w

macrumors 601
Mar 8, 2005
4,383
120
Austin, TX
Thanks for all the replies guys it has been very helpful.

I think the N should help considering I just did a network test and got 289 KBPS on my DSL, it seems to get slower and slower. http://reviews.cnet.com/7004-7254_7-0.html

BUt again, will having G/B/A user on the network slow mine down?
289 KBPS is less than 3mbps, while 802.11g is *up to* 54mbps (much faster than dsl). Now why is N needed for only 3mbps speeds? You will only notice a difference between computers, not on dsl.
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,248
1,319
I think the N should help considering I just did a network test and got 289 KBPS on my DSL,
Just to reiterate what Danny said, your DSL modem isn't even using 10% of the capacity of your 802.11g router.

Since the router isn't the thing slowing your DSL down, adding an even faster router isn't going to speed it up any.

The only thing 802.11n would make faster for you is wirelessly copying files between other 802.11n computers (or to a computer connected via ethernet to the 802.11n router).

If an A/B/G device joins your network, then the speed of the n devices will slow down.
 

erandall38

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 24, 2007
455
0
Just to reiterate what Danny said, your DSL modem isn't even using 10% of the capacity of your 802.11g router.

Since the router isn't the thing slowing your DSL down, adding an even faster router isn't going to speed it up any.

The only thing 802.11n would make faster for you is wirelessly copying files between other 802.11n computers (or to a computer connected via ethernet to the 802.11n router).

If an A/B/G device joins your network, then the speed of the n devices will slow down.
aristobrat, thank you for the clarification I was very confused. I do not understand what is holding down the speed, is it just the service I have, can you clarify that as well please?
Thanks.
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,248
1,319
aristobrat, thank you for the clarification I was very confused. I do not understand what is holding down the speed, is it just the service I have, can you clarify that as well please?
Thanks.
How fast is the DSL service you pay for supposed to be?

One way to test things is to plug your Mac directly into the DSL modem (i.e. remove the wireless router from the equation for a minute or two), rerun the speed test and see if there is a big variance.
 

sblasl

macrumors 6502a
Apr 25, 2004
844
0
Heber Springs, AR
Buffalo makes some great routers. And their tech support is Apple friendly. I have the WZRAG300NH Buffalo Technology Wireless-N Nfiniti Dual Band Router. Works great with my AppleTV, my MacBook Pro, and my Wife's MacBook. These are all on the "n" network. I have my iPhone on the "g" network so that it does not degrade the "n" network. Having a dual band router is really nice. We have never had any problems with this router. Kinda pricey, but so are alot of other things.

http://www.buffalotech.com/products/wireless/wireless-n-nfiniti-dual-band/wireless-n-nfiniti-dual-band-gigabit-router-access-point/

They also have the Wireless-N Nfiniti™ Router WZR2-G300N.

http://www.buffalotech.com/products/wireless/wireless-n-nfiniti/wireless-n-nfiniti-router/
 

ViperDesign

macrumors 6502a
Aug 7, 2007
649
505
Utah
What's the wireless speed though? I have a D-Link 625 n router and the Network Utility shows that my MBP is connecting at only 130 mbps. (In Boot Camp, Windows XP is 300 mbps)
I have one of those and my wireless laptop up stairs (windows) connects at 300mbps.

Great router though, I really like it. Solid range as well.
 

EmptyG

macrumors regular
Feb 16, 2007
187
0
What's the wireless speed though? I have a D-Link 625 n router and the Network Utility shows that my MBP is connecting at only 130 mbps. (In Boot Camp, Windows XP is 300 mbps)
I dunno actually. I'll have to test it and report back :) Feels MUCH faster than my Linksys WRT54G though :)
 

mahonmeister

macrumors 6502
Jun 9, 2006
297
0
Redlands, CA
It sounds to me like you don't really need the bandwidth of a wireless N router. Like others have said, you only need it if you are moving large files from computer to computer or if you have a device like the :apple:TV.

Your internet connection will not improve with a new router (assuming your laptop is getting a good signal from your current router). The person who told you that you must use an Apple router was mistaken.
 

EmptyG

macrumors regular
Feb 16, 2007
187
0
This may sound n00bish, but what's the easiest way to test the speed on my MacBook Pro? :) Is there a program I can use?
 

numbersyx

macrumors 65816
Sep 29, 2006
1,146
63
This may sound n00bish, but what's the easiest way to test the speed on my MacBook Pro? :) Is there a program I can use?
First thing you can do is see how fast the connection is as recognised by the OS.

Go to Network Utility and Click on the Info tab. Then in the drop down menu under "Please select a network interface for information" and select Network Interface (en1) which should be your wireless interface.

Check "Link Speed". My D-link only connects at 130 mbps for some reason. How does the 655 do?
 

EmptyG

macrumors regular
Feb 16, 2007
187
0
First thing you can do is see how fast the connection is as recognised by the OS.

Go to Network Utility and Click on the Info tab. Then in the drop down menu under "Please select a network interface for information" and select Network Interface (en1) which should be your wireless interface.

Check "Link Speed". My D-link only connects at 130 mbps for some reason. How does the 655 do?

Well for wireless it's giving me 130 mbps too

For ethernet (wired), it shows 1GB.
 

EmptyG

macrumors regular
Feb 16, 2007
187
0
OK so the issue seems to be the Airport card...

I switched the router settings to broadcast in mixed b/g/n, mixed g/n, and n only

All three connected to MBP at 130 Mb.

But am I crazy, or is that wireless-n speed? When I drop the router to only go in G mode, the MBP connects at 54 Mb. So the N speed is more than twice that.