Wireless N questions

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by macman4789, Nov 8, 2008.

  1. macman4789 macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2007

    Just a couple of questions. Just wondering if I get a router which is wireless N, where G is around 54mbps? (I think?) What sort of speeds will an N router give roughly?

    Also I have three macs on a wireless network. 2 are N capable and the other G. Will having a g computer limit the whole network to g speeds or will the N computers work at faster speeds?

  2. gwerhart0800 macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2008
    Loveland, CO

    The general rule of thumb is one or two slower "G" devices will not have a huge impact, but the more "G", then the slower the "N". The reason is that the "G" uses only one channel where "N" uses two. When the "G" device transmits, the router will drop back to using only one channel. The N device will have to wait for the slower G to finish transmitting before getting to send at the faster N speeds. (Assuming that the N is transmitting data intended for another N.)

    So, if your network is 90% G and 10% N, expect closer to "G" throughput, if the network is 90% N and 10% G, then closer to "N.
  3. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    for best performance, run 2 networks (N & b/g)

    i run my N in "N only 5 Ghz" with wide channels. Speed in the same room as the base is around 5-6 MBs. If i go into the living room, with a couple walls in between i drop to 3-4 MBs.

    the 5Ghz will get you better speed, but walls and other obstacles kill it pretty quick.

    it also depends on what you are doing, for internet, G should be sufficient for most home connections in the US.
    the only time you'll see a major difference in speed is on file transfers that are entirely on your network.

    you can launch activity monitor to check your actual network speeds.
  4. Doctor Doom macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2008
    Castle Doom, Latveria
    Or you could just put the router as close to the "G" machine (assuming that it is a desktop) as possible and ethernet connect it and just wireless the other two "N" machines, and that could be problem solved.
  5. macman4789 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2007
    Thanks for the replies guys. Three devices are a macbook (g) a macbook pro (N) and an imac (N).

    It's just the 1 device thats g.
  6. davidwarren macrumors 6502a

    Aug 28, 2007
    +1 on everything here
  7. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    I get 6-7 MB/s with my wireless G. My N (with my slow POS network drive) gives me 11-15 MB/s. It's spiked around 28 MB/s, but usually sustains around 14 MB/s. And yes, I understand the difference between the big B and the little b. I do believe it would be faster with another PC - but I don't share my N.

    Honestly, I can't see any huge advantage of going with N right now. Unless you're streaming Hi-Def media, or transferring large files frequently between PCs. Even so, Gigabit ethernet is far faster. I have N, but I ended up going with ethernet, as it is a LOT more reliable, and plenty fast.

    This stolen from Wikipeda.

    Attached Files:

  8. davidwarren macrumors 6502a

    Aug 28, 2007
    I've never gotten higher than about 15-18Mb/s sending a large file from my macbook on 5Ghz N to my iMac on gigabit in the same room as each other and the router.
  9. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    On the gigabit - hooked up to a PC. (testing the router when I first got it) I got 40MB/sec on file transfers. But it was really unstable. Some files were 20MB/sec - others 30. It was almost random. I'm not sure if it had anything to do with the fact I was going XP vs OSX. I wasn't very impressed with it, considering the theoretical max was 125MB/sec. I understand the sustained read-rate of the HD itself is barely that speed. Guess I'll find out once faster drives come out. ;)
  10. davidwarren macrumors 6502a

    Aug 28, 2007
    well when I had the MB and iMac on wireless N, I wouldn't get more than 6-7Mb/s
  11. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    That stinks, because it's on the top-end of wireless G speeds. (seriously)

    Do you have a 5400rpm drive in the MB by any chance? That could be one of your bottlenecks.
  12. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    To the op, personally I would get a cheap Wireless G router for the older macbook and use Wireless N on the iMac and MB Pro if just for the range benefits. You could also set up some network area storage to really take advantage of Wireless N for file backups.

    Generally OS X to Windows slows down file transfers some. I get the fastest on XP to XP or OS X to OS X. Also a lot of those slowdowns are probably from smaller files. Like I have some fast hard drives and even on internal disk to disk transfers there is a huge speed drop when I hit a patch of Audio or Picture files compared to Video files and disk images.

    My rates can vary between 60-70MB/s on giant files and drop to 5 on thousands of 4KB system and temp files.
  13. macman4789 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2007
    Thanks for the replies guys.

    If I used my g MB on an N network however, would the network bump down to g speeds only when it is being used on the wireless network? And revert to N when Im just using it with my imac and MB pro.

    It's just I cant kick the wife's MB off the wireless network!
  14. rightlyso macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2008
    Same question I have. Even though it's possible to set two networks using two different routers, it seems so much less elegant, and decandent.
  15. davidwarren macrumors 6502a

    Aug 28, 2007
    yeah, but would that make that much of a difference? It's a mid 2007 (bought August 2007) macbook.

    edit-- I guess it's 5400, it's the base 80Gb in the base model. However, I can't believe the hard drive would be the bottle neck of my wireless speeds
  16. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    I seriously doubt it, you can look up the model # of your drive and find it's tech specs. But even at 5400rpm - it should clear 50MB/s sustained read.

    As for the separate networks - I know linksys has (or had) routers that had separate transmitters / receivers for BG and N. The WRT600N had this - and I think the have a couple others. It lets you run N at peak speed, and still have B and G on the network without any slow. It's also nice because you can create an open network for multimedia, and have it running alongside (but isolated from) a secure network.

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