Will upgrading my wireless router make a difference?

Discussion in 'Networking and Wireless' started by DMan, Apr 26, 2011.

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  1. DMan

    DMan Notebook Guru

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    Hey guys, I am currently using a --- wait for it --- DI-524 D-Link router. It's been doing it's job for I'm not sure how many years. The only time I suspect it to be problematic is connecting with certain people on XBox Live (GoW2/BlackOps for instance) because sometimes if I reboot the router I can connect to them. I am running wireless in my place right now and just checked the speakeasy speed on my laptop and I am at around 8MB DL and 5MB UL. Will upgrading to a newer router yield significant results? If so, what is a good router to get these days? BTW, I am on Comcast cable.

    Thanks!
     
  2. GKDesigns

    GKDesigns Custom User Title

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    Cable service typical exceeds wireless speeds, so the bottle neck remains wireless. But which end... the wireless access point in your router or the wireless adapter in your computers/devices? 8MB DL suggests 8x8=64Mbps DL... which is close enough to 54Mbs max 802.11g speeds to suggest that you are topping out your g router. You can go faster IF you buy an 802.11n router AND your client devices support 802.11n... speeds. 300Mbps at close range... faster with some hardware combinations, adapter and dual band router. I would look at Linksys and Netgear 802.11n routers... if you have n adpaters in your devices.

    Edit: My mistake... cable service is still the bottleneck. A new router could be more stable, could offer improved security (firewall, WPA2?), could bump your LAN up to Gigabit Ethernet, could bump your WLAN up to n speeds, and might offer less WLAN interference on the 5GHz band IF you are able to use it. But otherwise, you might choose to wait before retiring your existing wireless gear.

    GK
     
  3. woofer00

    woofer00 Wanderer

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    Erm, I'd actually say wireless speed is usually comparable or faster than available cable bandwidth. I've never seen cable sold at more than 30megabit or so, and I think Comcast tops out for residential service at "up to 20 megabit"

    Unfortunately, I don't think the DI-series D-Link routers can be flashed with aftermarket firmware to give more tweakability. You could try scanning the local wireless channels to see if you're running into any strong interference from neighbors. If you don't see interference when your signal get interrupted, I'd agree that a new router could provide some improvement. I don't know what the limitations of the 360's wireless adapter is, but I think the wireless-n addon adapter does support 5ghz spectrum, so you could try switching to the higher frequency to avoid interference. I don't think the built-in 360 n adapters can jump to 5ghz, though.

    As far as recommendations go, I'd browse down the forum for n routers. I stick to a tomatoed wrt54gl that's been solid for me so far, so I've not yet needed to think about n routers.
     
  4. GKDesigns

    GKDesigns Custom User Title

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    Yeah, you're absolutely right. I don't know what I was thinking... dumb. The existing g WiFi is only a bottleneck within the LAN.

    GK
     
  5. downloads

    downloads Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    I doubt OP meant MB as in Mega Bytes so it shouldn't be a problem although only half of 54mbps that 802.11g offers is what you actually get in real life throughput.
    Another words 20-22mbps under perfect signal conditions. Anyone with faster connection or any need for LAN transfer should probably upgrade to 802.11n

    As for DI-524 I do remember this router (which only confirms how old I am ;) ).
    It had rather slow CPU (some Marvell although it could be different in some revisions) and only 8MB RAM.
    I would say you can expect a significant difference if you decide to upgrade to something decent by contemporary standards.
     
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