802.11n routers- any out there besides Apple?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by erandall38, Aug 9, 2007.

  1. erandall38 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 24, 2007
    #1
    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?
     
  2. cyclingplatypus macrumors 6502a

    cyclingplatypus

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
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    Earth
    #2
    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.
     
  3. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    Oct 14, 2005
    #3
    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:
     
  4. timswim78 macrumors 6502a

    timswim78

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    Baltimore, MD
    #4
    If you want a Belkin N router, this is the one to get.
     
  5. erandall38 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 24, 2007
    #5
    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?
     
  6. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    Oct 14, 2005
    #6
    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.
     
  7. esaleris macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    #7
    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.
     
  8. erandall38 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 24, 2007
    #8
    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?
     
  9. danny_w macrumors 601

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    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #9
    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.
     
  10. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    Oct 14, 2005
    #10
    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.
     
  11. erandall38 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 24, 2007
    #11
    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.
     
  12. EmptyG macrumors regular

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    Feb 16, 2007
    #12
  13. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    Oct 14, 2005
    #13
    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.
     
  14. RedDragon870503 macrumors 6502

    RedDragon870503

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  15. sblasl macrumors 6502a

    sblasl

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    Location:
    Heber Springs, AR
    #15
    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...finiti-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/
     
  16. numbersyx macrumors 65816

    numbersyx

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    Sep 29, 2006
    #16
    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)
     
  17. ViperDesign macrumors 6502a

    ViperDesign

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    Aug 7, 2007
    Location:
    Utah
    #17
    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.
     
  18. EmptyG macrumors regular

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    Feb 16, 2007
    #18
    I dunno actually. I'll have to test it and report back :) Feels MUCH faster than my Linksys WRT54G though :)
     
  19. mahonmeister macrumors 6502

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    Jun 9, 2006
    Location:
    Redlands, CA
    #19
    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.
     
  20. EmptyG macrumors regular

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    Feb 16, 2007
    #20
    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?
     
  21. erandall38 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 24, 2007
    #21
    here is one, but in all reality it would be best to just go to google and type in "check my bandwidth speed" or "check my wireless speed"

    http://www.bandwidthplace.com/speedtest/
     
  22. danny_w macrumors 601

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    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #22
    I usually use the flash-based tests from dslreports.com as they seem to be much more extensive and give a better approximation. As erandall38 said though there are many available.
     
  23. numbersyx macrumors 65816

    numbersyx

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    Sep 29, 2006
    #23
    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?
     
  24. EmptyG macrumors regular

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    Feb 16, 2007
    #24

    Well for wireless it's giving me 130 mbps too

    For ethernet (wired), it shows 1GB.
     
  25. EmptyG macrumors regular

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    Feb 16, 2007
    #25
    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.
     

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