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Connecting New Desktop Computer To Internet

#1 User is offline   wlpncp 

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 04:45 PM

I have a new Acer Aspire M3300 desktop with a WLAN4: IEEE 802.11b/g wireless adapter card. I also have a Linksys WRT 120N router. Will this combination work or do I need to upgrade the wireless adapter card to a b/g/n card? If I need to upgrade, what cards are compatible with this computer and which cards do you recommend? Will I need a wireless-N USB adapter also?
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#2 User is offline   LiveBrianD 

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 04:52 PM

All wireless 802.11 standards (b/g/n) are backwards compatible. If your router is wireless N, that means that it's b/g/n (previous standards too, those are g and ancient B). With your PC being b/g, that means that b/g are things that both support, and therefore it'll work. Note that this won't let you get the maximum speed possible out of your router, as the PC doesn't support the faster N standard. If you do a lot of network file transfers or need the improved range of wireless N (G is still reasonable though), an upgrade may be worthwhile.

If you want to buy a wireless N PCI-E card, this looks like a good one: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16833320048

This post has been edited by LiveBrianD: 17 February 2011 - 04:53 PM

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#3 User is offline   wlpncp 

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 09:07 PM

View PostLiveBrianD, on 17 February 2011 - 04:52 PM, said:

All wireless 802.11 standards (b/g/n) are backwards compatible. If your router is wireless N, that means that it's b/g/n (previous standards too, those are g and ancient B). With your PC being b/g, that means that b/g are things that both support, and therefore it'll work. Note that this won't let you get the maximum speed possible out of your router, as the PC doesn't support the faster N standard. If you do a lot of network file transfers or need the improved range of wireless N (G is still reasonable though), an upgrade may be worthwhile.

If you want to buy a wireless N PCI-E card, this looks like a good one: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16833320048



Will the over-all speed of the internet increase very much if I replace the b/g card with the wireless N card that you mentioned? Is it easy for a novice, first-timer to install?
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#4 User is offline   LincolnSpector 

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 08:51 AM

View Postwlpncp, on 17 February 2011 - 09:07 PM, said:

Will the over-all speed of the internet increase very much if I replace the b/g card with the wireless N card that you mentioned? Is it easy for a novice, first-timer to install?


This depends to a large degree on your home's geography. 802.11g tops out at 54Mbps, which is almost certainly faster than your Internet connection (assuming you're living in the USA). But WiFi speed can be effected by distance, physical obstructions, and electronic interference.

You might want to visit http://speedtest.net/ and find out how fast your connection is. If it's reasonably close to the Internet speed you're paying for (which you seldom or never receive, anyway), upgrading the card won't help.

Of course, if your desktop is in the same room as the router, there's no need to use WiFi, at all. Ethernet makes the better choice.

Interestingly, when I got an n router several years ago, it improved the range of my WiFi network considerably, and I didn't even have any PCs with n capabilities. Of course, I don't know if that was because of n's capabilities, or if it was just a better router.

Lincoln
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#5 User is offline   LiveBrianD 

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 11:56 AM

A faster wireless card won't help you with web surfing unless you use an ancient type of networking, like 10mbps ethernet or 12mbps 802.11b wireless, which are both extinct.

For instance, a typical internet connection might be 15mbps. The 54mbps of the older wireless G is plenty for that. However, if you transfer lots of files from one computer on your network to another, it'll definitely help (for instance, if you have a NAS server).
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#6 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 01:38 PM

View PostLincolnSpector, on 18 February 2011 - 08:51 AM, said:

View Postwlpncp, on 17 February 2011 - 09:07 PM, said:

Will the over-all speed of the internet increase very much if I replace the b/g card with the wireless N card that you mentioned? Is it easy for a novice, first-timer to install?


This depends to a large degree on your home's geography. 802.11g tops out at 54Mbps, which is almost certainly faster than your Internet connection (assuming you're living in the USA). But WiFi speed can be effected by distance, physical obstructions, and electronic interference.

You might want to visit http://speedtest.net/ and find out how fast your connection is. If it's reasonably close to the Internet speed you're paying for (which you seldom or never receive, anyway), upgrading the card won't help.

Of course, if your desktop is in the same room as the router, there's no need to use WiFi, at all. Ethernet makes the better choice.

Interestingly, when I got an n router several years ago, it improved the range of my WiFi network considerably, and I didn't even have any PCs with n capabilities. Of course, I don't know if that was because of n's capabilities, or if it was just a better router.

Lincoln



View PostLiveBrianD, on 18 February 2011 - 11:56 AM, said:

A faster wireless card won't help you with web surfing unless you use an ancient type of networking, like 10mbps ethernet or 12mbps 802.11b wireless, which are both extinct.

For instance, a typical internet connection might be 15mbps. The 54mbps of the older wireless G is plenty for that. However, if you transfer lots of files from one computer on your network to another, it'll definitely help (for instance, if you have a NAS server).



Both of the above posts pretty much answer the question...

For things like browsing the Internet or downloading files from the Internet, using 802.11g vs. 802.11n will typically not really matter much. As the others noted, more than likely your Internet connection speed is likely slower than what a typical 802.11g wireless network will do. As noted, this will depend on your specific setup, however. Under this scenario, the biggest reason to go with an 802.11n network might be network range...802.11n networks will tend to have better range or potentially could go through obstacles better (a 5 GHz 802.11n network can typically penetrate masonry/concrete better and will tend to have less interference, but does tend to have a smaller range than a 2.4 GHz 802.11n network).

If, OTOH, you are using a home network and want to transfer files from one computer to another or from an NAS drive to a computer, then having an 802.11n network could certainly be worth while. Under such circumstances, you certainly could see the added speed benefit of an 802.11n network.
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#7 User is offline   wlpncp 

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 01:55 PM

The Speedtest results were:

download speed 24.78 Mb/s
upload speed 3.87 Mb/s.

Are those values pretty good? What are a typical 802.11g wireless network speeds?
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#8 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 07:32 PM

View Postwlpncp, on 20 February 2011 - 01:55 PM, said:

The Speedtest results were:

download speed 24.78 Mb/s
upload speed 3.87 Mb/s.

Are those values pretty good? What are a typical 802.11g wireless network speeds?


In theory, 802.11g is capable of maximum speeds of 54 Mb/s, but in reality it will never get close to that. Typical speeds/throughputs for 802.11g are in the range of about 15 to 20 Mb/s. It is dependent on the strength of the signal. As you get the edge of the range of the network, those speeds will drop.

Thus, assuming the above speeds are what you consistently get, you conceivably could get a very slight benefit from going to an 802.11n network. Unless you are downloading a lot of rather large files, however, you will likely not notice the difference between 15 to 20 Mb/s and the roughly 25 Mb/s you got with the Speedtest testing. Regular browsing and email will typically not result in your noticing much of a difference. You would likely only notice it for large file downloads.

And, yes, those values are darn good for the US.
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#9 User is offline   LiveBrianD 

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 09:20 PM

View Postsmax013, on 20 February 2011 - 07:32 PM, said:

View Postwlpncp, on 20 February 2011 - 01:55 PM, said:

The Speedtest results were:

download speed 24.78 Mb/s
upload speed 3.87 Mb/s.

Are those values pretty good? What are a typical 802.11g wireless network speeds?


In theory, 802.11g is capable of maximum speeds of 54 Mb/s, but in reality it will never get close to that. Typical speeds/throughputs for 802.11g are in the range of about 15 to 20 Mb/s. It is dependent on the strength of the signal. As you get the edge of the range of the network, those speeds will drop.

Thus, assuming the above speeds are what you consistently get, you conceivably could get a very slight benefit from going to an 802.11n network. Unless you are downloading a lot of rather large files, however, you will likely not notice the difference between 15 to 20 Mb/s and the roughly 25 Mb/s you got with the Speedtest testing. Regular browsing and email will typically not result in your noticing much of a difference. You would likely only notice it for large file downloads.

And, yes, those values are darn good for the US.


If you need to download a large file (assuming your internet connection is resonably fast) or do some large network file transfers, you can always plug in an ethernet cable. Most equipment has gigabit ethernet, and even if not 100mbps ethernet is still faster than wireless G.
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#10 User is offline   LincolnSpector 

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 08:53 AM

View Postwlpncp, on 20 February 2011 - 01:55 PM, said:

The Speedtest results were:

download speed 24.78 Mb/s
upload speed 3.87 Mb/s.

Are those values pretty good? What are a typical 802.11g wireless network speeds?

Those are excellent speeds. 802.11g can go considerably faster than that, but your wireless connection is probably not the bottleneck. That would be your Internet connection. What speed Internet connection are you paying for?

Here's an important thing to remember: We use our home networks primarily to access the Internet, but local home network speeds almost always surpass home Internet connection speeds.

Lincoln


This post has been edited by LincolnSpector: 21 February 2011 - 08:54 AM

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