Buying a Wireless N Router or Upgrading to 20mbps?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by msw123307, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. msw123307 macrumors 6502

    Mar 25, 2007
    I just recently got set up and am wanting to get faster web speeds. I'm using a wireless-G router now. Typically I'll just use multiple computers to browse/download, and watch sports on Apple TV or PS3/Netflix. The PS3 and Apple TV are directly connected.

    I'm wondering what differences I would see by going with an Airport Express that's N compatible, or by upgrading from 10mbps to 20? It seems if I up the speed to 20 it would only be useful for streaming. What about upgrading to an N router? Would this help my web speeds only since my video devices are plugged in directly? Do all my devices have to be wireless N in order to reap the benefits? I have a Withings Scale that I don't think is N compatible.

    Thoughts appreciated.
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    I'd say upgrading your speed would be better, especially with multiple devices. Even 20Mbps doesn't touch N speeds, so you wouldn't see a whole lot of benefit there.
  3. Razorhog macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2006
  4. msw123307 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 25, 2007
    so i won't see any diff in web speed/streaming videos by upgrading the router?
  5. iStudentUK macrumors 65816


    Mar 8, 2009
    You might see an improvement. It is hard to say though- what signal strength do your devices get? Does you current router signal suffer from interference? Is it a good quality one? Dual or single band?

    However, upgrading the line from10 to 20Mbps will make a massive difference. (When I first got cable broadband they gave me 3 months free upgrade to 20 from 10. Miss it now! :()
  6. Hermes Monster macrumors 65816

    Hermes Monster

    May 4, 2010
    Is both an option? Try asking your ISP to send you a N router to reward you for giving them more money p/m. If not, get the 20mb
  7. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Web speeds are limited to the speed of whichever is the slowest: the speed of the network inside of your house, or the speed of your Internet connection.

    Reading cube's linked article, your 802.11G network is likely pushing data around at ~27mpbs inside your house. Your Internet connection is 10mbps, making it the most likely bottleneck.

    If you get a new router and it gives a stronger signal to a device that was getting a crappy one from your old router, that may make the Internet seem a little faster -- on that device.

    But generally speaking, doubling your Internet connection (from 10mbps to 20mpbs) will most likely give you the biggest performance improvement on all devices.
  8. msw123307 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 25, 2007
    seems like the 20 mbps is the winner here. although i'm thinking about doing both.

    i actually thought it would be the other way around. i had read that there isn't a big difference from 10 - 20 because basically the devices aren't able to capture data any faster. sounds like that isn't true.

    my devices are macbook, macbook air, iphone, ipad 2, ps3, apple tv, and a withings scale. i think all are N compatible except the scale. is it true that having one device that isn't N compatible will bring the whole network down from N to G?
  9. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    AFAIK, having a G device on a N network will stop the N devices from talking as fast as they are capable, but it doesn't slow them down to G speeds.

    Some routers are dual-band, which let's you setup two wireless networks on the same router. One would be for B/G devices, and the other one would be for N-only devices. Best of both worlds, if you need N speeds. But if your N-devices are mostly just using the Internet, that's probably overkill!

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