What wireless technology is right for me?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by jamdr, May 28, 2004.

  1. jamdr macrumors 6502a


    Jul 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    I've finally decided to setup a wireless network in my home, but when I looked at what to buy, I realized I don't really know what to get. I need to decide what type of router to get. My understanding is that there are "a", "b", and "g" standards. 802.11b is the older tech that has a max data rate of about 11Mbps, 802.11a is faster at 54Mbps but is incompatible with b devices, and 802.11g also has a data rate of 54Mbps and is compatible with b devices.

    Well, my main internet connection is cable and it only has a max download rate of about 150 kbps. So my question is, do I really need an "a"- or "g"-compatible router when I can only download at 150 kbps? I may upgrade my connection in the future, however, so I'd like my network to be somewhat scalable. What exactly does 11Mbps mean, compared to 150 kbps? I've also heard that real-world date rates are significantly slower than 11Mbps, so I'd have to take that into consideration. Thanks for your help.

    EDIT: Also, the computer connected to the router is going to be my eMac, so it has to be Mac-compatible. Are most of these routers Mac-compatible? I'm looking at Belkin and D-Link, but also some others.
  2. kgarner macrumors 68000


    Jan 28, 2004
    If it is just for internet and money is an issue, save a few bucks and go with the 802.11b. By the time you want to upgrade a newer faster standard will be out anyway. If you want to also do file sharing and networking with the WIFI, then get 802.11g. Don't worry about 802.11a as hardly anyone uses it.
  3. krimson macrumors 65816


    Oct 29, 2003
    Democratic People's Republic of Kalifornia
    Yes, most i've installed for people are Airport compatible. I just changed my wireless router to a Netgear WGR614(www.newegg.com $43 after rebate), but the pismo only uses the 802.11b, but should I need to, i could use AEX, or a g card in my mothers PC if i need to.

    So i'd say get a better router, that way you dont end up buy another router if you need the better distance of the g cards.
  4. zulgand04 macrumors regular


    Jul 16, 2002
    Northborough, MA
    Hi, mainly all routers work with macs since mostly all use a web browser to acess the controles. Now for the type i would say go with the "g" since prices are not that bad anymore, and it will last you longer then "b" would, especially with file shareing. Either one will be good for just internet use, internet speeds won't come close to useing up the wireless bandwidth for a while. so go with what u can afford, if you can def go with the "g".


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