Is the iPhone 3GS Wireless N Capable?

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by Agent 21, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. Agent 21 macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2009
    I'm about to setup a wireless network in my house and I'm going with wireless N since it has the best speed and range, but I want to use my iPhone on the network too, since for some reason my service has been going wacky the past few weeks. It used to be full bars of 3G at my house, ever since the day I got it (the 3GS launch day). The past 2 weeks it's been fluctuating from like half 3G bars to 1 bar of Edge, and sometimes it's down on the O network. I don't even know what the O stands for lol. Also, I have no service (like it literally says no service) in a lot of places now when before they'd be 1 or 2 bats of 3G. I have no clue what's going on, but it's pissing me off, especially when 20% of calls fail now and I can't download apps or use Internet based apps because the network is always so slow now. I know the Wi-Fi won't solve the actual call issues but I use the Internet/apps/downloads a LOT on my phone, so Wi-Fi will be perfect. Just need to know if it will wirk with wireless N. Thanks in advance fir any help/info.
  2. Givmeabrek macrumors 68040


    Apr 20, 2009
    The iPhone is not wireless N but wireless G. But it will connect to a wireless N router as all or these routers are backward compatible to G and B. You will have no problem connecting.

    Wireless G is 54 Mb max which is way more than your internet connection anyway. :cool:
  3. Agent 21 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2009
    Well is there a such thing as a wireless N router that can also have 802.11b/g devices connect to it? If I'm setting up wireless I obviously want to go with the newest/fastest/best range, but since part of the reason is for my iPhone to connect then I need one that will allow that.
  4. Jhanson09 macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2009
    kansas city, mo
    pretty much every single wireless N router will be able to connect B/G devices to it as well. so any N router should be just fine to connect your iphone too. I currently use a linksys N wireless router and my 3gs connects just fine. If your having poor call quality you may want to look into ATT micro-cell. not available nationwide yet, but will be very shortly. pretty much you plug it into your broadband connection and it makes a cellular 3g hotspot just like a router would do w/ a wifi hotspot.
  5. Agent 21 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2009
    Ah thanks. This is actually what I was asking, I guess I just didn't word it right. I don't necessarily need/want the iPhone to be 802.11n speeds, I just meant can it connect to the Wi-Fi period. I'm pretty good with tech stuff and gadgets but I'm just getting into the whole wireless network thing. Never had a use for it in my old house and my laptops have always just connected to Wi-Fi without needing to setup, so the actual process of setup and compatability is a learning process for me.

    We can just ignore my post right before this, I must have been typing it as you replied.

    Thanks for the info man
  6. Agent 21 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2009
    Hey thanks man.

    As far as call quality, it has been perfect up until 2 weeks ago. Then all the sudden my 3G network connectivity is shaky at best (it was always full strength mostly everywhere) and most of the time I'm now running around 2/3-3/4 bars on Edge, or in some places it drops down to the O. I just think it's really random, and annoying, that I've had perfect service until 2 weeks ago and now it sucks and calls fail.

    AT&Ts crappy service was the reason I held off so long on the phone, I wanted the original iPhone since the day it was announced, but I had previously had AT&T (before the merge with Cingular, but I had Cingular at one point too, both were terrible) and it was so crappy I vowed never to go back. Then a few of my friends got iPhones and I realized the service/coverage was MUCH better, so the second my Sprint contract was up I FINALLY got my iPhone. I had been extremely pleased with it and the service up until this issue, now it's just super frustrating. I just don't get how coverage can regress?
  7. jtara macrumors 68000

    Mar 23, 2009
    Technically, an N router (maybe I should say "N radio") can NOT accept connections from a G device.

    I say "technically", because most/all consumer-grade N products also have built-in G and B radios.

    However, there ARE N devices that accept ONLY N. These are mostly made for the IT market. In particular, there are N access points that are made to add N to an existing G network.

    So, it's a good idea to do a quick check of the specs on the router you want to buy.

    BTW, N's not so great at going through walls. I get 270Mbit connection speeds in the same room as the router. Pitiful 20's and 30's in the next room - G is almost always faster in the next room. Sometimes N is better, though, during peak periods when all my neighbors are competing for the G spectrum... (Cisco WRT610n).

    As for the iPhone, the chip in the 3GS is N capable. The software isn't, at least at this point, and perhaps not even the rest of the hardware (for example, antenna(s).) It's moot, anyway - at least with the 3G. Not sure about the 3GS, but the 3G tops-out at about 4mbit/sec throughput. I have a 25mbit/sec connection from Cox. It tests-out at that speed with DSL Reports Speedtest on my PC, and 4mb/sec with the iPhone version, to the same server...
  8. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2003
  9. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    OK, here's the deal:

    The iPhone is an 802.11g device (54Mbps). Unless there's some revelation to me, it cannot be upgraded with a software update like some of the Macs were a few years ago.

    Almost every (if not every) 802.11n router you can buy will also connect with 802.11a, b, and g devices. If it won't, it's a POS. But in a single-band router (the default unless the box says otherwise), the network speed is whatever the lowest common denominator is. You won't have the 802.11n speed (is it 300Mbps?) with an iPhone on it. What you need is a dual-band router like the newest AirPort Extreme Base Station. It basically creates two networks so you can put the 802.11n stuff on one and 802.11g at the other. But you don't have to do a bunch of extra setup.
  10. nullx86 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 26, 2009
    Wilmington/Jacksonville, NC
    No. It is wireless g (802.11g). Next revision of the iPhone should be 802.11n. You can connect to a 802.11n router/Access point (only as long as the router is in compatibility mode, some routers are setup for 802.11n only), but you cant use the wireless n speed of it.
  11. Agent 21 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2009
    thanks for the info.

    This is the router I'm looking at because it's on sale at a store near me, it's like $30 off the normal price. It's the Linksys WRT160N:

    would that one do what you are saying, where wireless N devices (like my laptop) can use wireless N speeds while G devices like the iPhone or my roomates 360 will use G speeds without limiting the N speed? Sorry if that's confusing lol, but basically what you said, the network is only as fast as it's slowest device unless it's dual band, would that router be what I want? Or can anyone recommend a good one that let's N devices use N speeds and b/g use their speeds?

    Again, all the info is a huge help and greatly appreciated.
  12. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2003
    Yes that supports wireless G. However, it will "slow down" when using G devices. Reason being for a G device to transfer lets say 1 mb of data it has to use up the airwaves (as the sole user of the airwaves) for more time then a wireless N device would use. As the G device has slower transfer speeds. When the wireless G device is not sending or receiving data the N device will work as if the G device is not there. So at regular speeds. So the G device slows the network because it uses more time then an N device to transfer data.

    One way to get around this is buy one that has dual networks such as the extreme:

    It can host two networks at once. One for the G devices and one for the N allowing the N to always perform at its best.
  13. wase4711 macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2009
    the linksys you are looking at will work just fine;
    dont worry about high speed downloads with your phone, as you will get your emails and browse with safari just fine with "G"

    I happen to have a dual band, d-link, DIR 855, with seperate "n" radio, and seperate b/g radio, but i use several wireless devices in my house, and, some are "g" only, including 3 iphones, and some have "n" cards in them, like my mac laptop, so I wanted the dual radio capability to have more control of what goes on.

    But for someone like you, the WRT160N will work just fine..
  14. apfhex macrumors 68030


    Aug 8, 2006
    Northern California
    If I were going for a more future-proof device I'd want something with at least gigabit ethernet speeds (which the WRT160N doesn't have) and a dual-radio setup to make full use of N speeds with a mixture of N and G/B/A devices. The Airport Extreme is a perfect example. Linksys makes some models like that too.

    Otherwise I'd recommend saving money by getting a G device (which typically only come with 10/100 ethernet ports as well). The iPhone 3GS won't see a benefit from anything better.
  15. Agent 21 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2009
    Might be a dumb question, but does the Airport Extreme work on Windows PCs or just Macs? I do want a wireless setup that will be good for awhile, so I really want N capability. Maybe I should fully detail what devices will be going on the network and that might better help router suggestions since I need a mixture of features:

    Windows XP desktop (need to connect wired via Ethernet)
    XBox 360 (wired)
    PS3 (Wired or wireless)
    Windows Vista Laptop; to be Windows 7 as soon as it's released (wireless N)
    iPhone (wireless G)
    Roomates Xbox 360 (wireless G)

    So I basically need a router that works on Windows, allows for at LEAST two (but preferably 3-4) wired Ethernet connections, and has dual band to allow my N device to use N speeds and the G devices to use G. I definately want it to be as good as possible so it's not obsolete in a few months, but if the price difference between dual band and single band is a big one then I'm OK with going single and just having my N laptop go a little slower when the XBox or iPhone is using the network.
  16. techwarrior macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2009
    Agent 21: Only word of caution is the dual band routers (2.4Mhz and 5.0Mhz) you will only be able to connect to the 2.4 radio with your iPhone.
  17. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2003
    Yes both Macs and PCs can connect to the extreme.

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