iPhone 3GS 802.11n?

LA MacUser

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Original poster
Sep 26, 2009
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I'm not sure if this of any interest but I've recently discovered that my iPhone 3GS is able to do 802.11n networking. As far as I know the iPhone 3GS will only work on a 802.11b/g or 802.11n with b/g compatible network.

I have a wireless network consisting of a 1TB Time Capsule and an Airport Express. I've recently had trouble with the set up using 802.11n with b/g compatibility and switched my network over to 802.11n only in the 2.4GHz spectrum. I knew that I would loose the ability for my iphone to get on the network but was OK with that.

I noticed today that my iPhone is now getting on the n only network. I can use it as normal but only with the 802.11n 2.4Ghz setting. I've tried the other 4 settings and it works only on the 802.11b/g compatible and the 802.11n only 2.4Ghz setting.

I'm not sure if this has anything to do with the carrier update for MMS yesterday as I've only noticed this today.

Has anyone else been using their iPhone 3GS on the N only (2.4Ghz) setting?

If this is old news or was previously known, I apologize for the repost.
 

LA MacUser

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 26, 2009
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Thanks for the link, but 802.11 n only IS working.

I should have been a little more specific in my posting title.
 

sinsin07

macrumors 68040
Mar 28, 2009
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in case you can't read the dates, i'll just tell you that your thread is from 2007, the year of the FIRST generation iphone, NOT the iphone 3GS
You got me there cheif. There was a link in the post that takes you to the 3GS spec page. I should have just linked that.

Question, does the 3GS do N?
 

WilliamG

macrumors G3
Mar 29, 2008
8,987
2,399
Seattle
Well I can't connect to my 5ghz N dual-band Time Capsule with my 3GS, so maybe you got a "special" 3GS. The 3GS doesn't have an N chip, or at least - the early 3GSs didn't...
 

LA MacUser

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 26, 2009
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Well I can't connect to my 5ghz N dual-band Time Capsule with my 3GS, so maybe you got a "special" 3GS. The 3GS doesn't have an N chip, or at least - the early 3GSs didn't...
I realize that the 3GS specs say b/g only and that the N spec covers both the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz spectrum.

I've tried the different configurations offered in the Airport Utility. N does work for me, but only in the 2.4Ghz setting.

If the question arises, I purchased the 3GS the first day it was offered.
 

WilliamG

macrumors G3
Mar 29, 2008
8,987
2,399
Seattle
I realize that the 3GS specs say b/g only and that the N spec covers both the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz spectrum.

I've tried the different configurations offered in the Airport Utility. N does work for me, but only in the 2.4Ghz setting.

If the question arises, I purchased the 3GS the first day it was offered.
I see. Well that may be possible, but I only use 5Ghz for N, since 2.4Ghz is mostly pointless. 5Ghz is where the performance is (40MHZ vs 20MHZ for 2.4Ghz), and also less interference from 2.4Ghz devices (Bluetooth, other WiFi networks, microwaves, phones etc).

http://www.wireless-nets.com/resources/tutorials/choose_802.11n_spectrum.html
 

LA MacUser

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 26, 2009
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From this post, it looks as if the 2.4GHz band isn't the 802.11n only one.
As you can see from my Airport Utility configuration screen shot, it does show 802.11n only being 2.4Ghz.

Could someone with an earlier version Time Capsule (not dual band) and an iPhone 3GS test this out? I have the latest iPhone software 3.1 (7C144) and uploaded the MMS carrier SW yesterday. My Time Capsule firmware version is 7.4.2.
 

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LA MacUser

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Original poster
Sep 26, 2009
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I see. Well that may be possible, but I only use 5Ghz for N, since 2.4Ghz is mostly pointless. 5Ghz is where the performance is (40MHZ vs 20MHZ for 2.4Ghz), and also less interference from 2.4Ghz devices (Bluetooth, other WiFi networks, microwaves, phones etc).

http://www.wireless-nets.com/resources/tutorials/choose_802.11n_spectrum.html
I agree. The 5Ghz is better for the points you mentioned. But theoretically having the iphone at 802.11n (only not b/g compatible) has the benefit of it's use not slowing the N network down to G speeds.
 

sinsin07

macrumors 68040
Mar 28, 2009
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Wireless G uses 2.4 Ghz. From what I have googling, if your router is set to N and 2.4 Ghz then G will connect. True wireless N is a little more than just the bandwidths.
 

LA MacUser

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Original poster
Sep 26, 2009
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Wireless G uses 2.4 Ghz. From what I have googling, if your router is set to N and 2.4 Ghz then G will connect. True wireless N is a little more than just the bandwidths.
Thanks for looking into this.

If that is the case, I'm having a little trouble understanding what the differences are between 802.11n b/g compatible and 802.11n only is. Wouldn't there be no need for 802.11 n only at 2.4Ghz then?
If 802.11 n only is not true n, then what is it. Are there 2 speeds to the n spec?
 

LA MacUser

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Original poster
Sep 26, 2009
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The options I am given via the Airport Utility are as follows:

802.11n (802.11b/g compatible)
802.11n only (2.4GHz)

802.11n (802.11a compatible)
802.11n only (5GHz)

From what I can tell, the iPhone is only supposed to work with the b/g compatible setting, which lowers the throughput to g speeds when accessing the network.

Screen shot attached.
 

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sinsin07

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Mar 28, 2009
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Thanks for looking into this.

If that is the case, I'm having a little trouble understanding what the differences are between 802.11n b/g compatible and 802.11n only is. Wouldn't there be no need for 802.11 n only at 2.4Ghz then?
If 802.11 n only is not true n, then what is it. Are there 2 speeds to the n spec?
Well maybe I should not have use the term "True N". I have to delve further to see if you would still get MIMO at 2.4GHZ on your other N devices. I have not found a technical reason yet why you would not.

Now you have me curious. I need to by an N router next week. My biggest problem is I have 30 devices running on G or B at my house. For those I can change, I guess it's one card at at time.;)
 

LA MacUser

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Original poster
Sep 26, 2009
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Well maybe I should not have use the term "True N". I have to delve further to see if you would still get MIMO at 2.4GHZ on your other N devices. I have not found a technical reason yet why you would not.

Now you have me curious. I need to by an N router next week. My biggest problem is I have 30 devices running on G or B at my house. For those I can change, I guess it's one card at at time.;)
Wow. That's quite a bit of wireless devices you have. Good luck with the upgrades.

Still can't figure out the n issue on the iPhone. Good problem to have though. :)
 

sinsin07

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Mar 28, 2009
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Wow. That's quite a bit of wireless devices you have. Good luck with the upgrades.

Still can't figure out the n issue on the iPhone. Good problem to have though. :)
Some I can't update, Xbox, PS3, PSP, and Wii but I won't need to. I want to be able to get the benifit of N on at least some devices, or why spend the money.

From what I gather, your phone does connect to the wifi, just not on G, is that correct?
 

mike12806

macrumors 6502
Sep 30, 2007
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Boston, MA
Well maybe I should not have use the term "True N". I have to delve further to see if you would still get MIMO at 2.4GHZ on your other N devices. I have not found a technical reason yet why you would not.

Now you have me curious. I need to by an N router next week. My biggest problem is I have 30 devices running on G or B at my house. For those I can change, I guess it's one card at at time.;)
Or you could run two concurrent wireless networks, one 802.11g and one 802.11n. I have a linksys G router and an Airport Extreme both hooked up to my edge router/firewall and I get the best of both worlds!
 

LA MacUser

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 26, 2009
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Some I can't update, Xbox, PS3, PSP, and Wii but I won't need to. I want to be able to get the benifit of N on at least some devices, or why spend the money.

From what I gather, your phone does connect to the wifi, just not on G, is that correct?
That is correct. I have the network set up as N only. Somehow the iPhone is connecting to the network. I can use the iPhone to control iTunes on my MacBook pro via the Remote app., surf the web, etc.
 

LA MacUser

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 26, 2009
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I think I read somewhere that the updated 3GS hardware is capable of 802.11n, Apple just had to enable it.
I believe that I read something like that as well.

I'm curious if the carrier upgrade for MMS had anything to do with it.
 

TheShinyMac

macrumors 6502a
Apr 3, 2009
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I always thought I good wireless N router was backwards compatiable even if only set to N mode
 

sinsin07

macrumors 68040
Mar 28, 2009
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Or you could run two concurrent wireless networks, one 802.11g and one 802.11n. I have a linksys G router and an Airport Extreme both hooked up to my edge router/firewall and I get the best of both worlds!
I know this is off topic, but what are you using for your edge router/firewall?

Thanks