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I'm thinking about upgrading my G router to an N router. Most of my devices (netbook, iPod Touch, iPad 2) support 'N', however I do have one laptop that doesn't, it uses 'G'. I know the N routers are backwards compatible, and I should have no problem connecting.

My brother-in-law went to Best Buy last weekend to pick up an N router, and the salesman talked him into buying an $80 dual-band, rather then the $30 single-band. The salesman told him that if you have a single band (2.4Ghz) N router, and it sees at least one G device connected, it will drop itself down to G speed/range FOR ALL OTHER DEVICES, even the N devices connected. I have NEVER heard this before. I know you have to have an N device (adapter) in order to take advantage of the increased N speed & range, and thought that if you did connect with a G device, that one device would just connect at G speed/range, but that other N devices would not be effected. The salesman implied that with a dual-band, the G devices would use the 2.4Ghz freq and the N devices would use the 5Ghz freq. My understanding is that while that may be true about using 2 freqs on a dual band, I haven't found ANYTHING online supporting the claim that if you had a single band, that connecting with one G device would slow all the other N devices down.

1. Is this true?

2. If it is true, once the G device disconnects, would the N devices automatically speed up?

Yes, I know getting a new N adapter for the laptop will speed it up, but I still want to know if what the salesman said is true or not.


Thanks!

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No, it's not true. Dual-band means it will work with 2.4GHz and 5GHz devices at the "N" speed. Unless your wireless-N devices support 5GHz you won't see a difference (a lot of "N" devices don't). The decrease in speed that people notice is because G-devices take longer to transmit and receive information from the router and while that's going on the speed to your N-devices will be affected. However, the wireless-N devices will still operate faster than "G" while wireless-G devices are active.

killme2 said:   No, it's not true. Dual-band means it will work with 2.4GHz and 5GHz devices at the "N" speed. Unless your wireless-N devices support 5GHz you won't see a difference (a lot of "N" devices don't). The decrease in speed that people notice is because G-devices take longer to transmit and receive information from the router and while that's going on the speed to your N-devices will be affected. However, the wireless-N devices will still operate faster than "G" while wireless-G devices are active.

Killm22 is correct...unless you manage to get a really old original 'Draft 1.0 N'...you should not be able to find any of those 'new' anymore. Those were the ones that dropped the whole field especially when they encountered a 'B' device.

Bob

1. If you want maximum 802.11n speeds on the 2.4GHz band do not let legacy 802.11b/g on to the network. Backward compatibility is a requirement in the IEEE 802.11 standard. If any legacy device is permitted onto the network your router will fall back to the protocol used by the slowest device attached.

2. The above also applies to the 5GHz band. For maximum speed do not mix 802.11a with 802.11n.

3. Dual band devices have a radio that can operate on either the 2.4GHz or 5GHz band but not both at the same time. It's one or the other frequency band. The 5GHz band is not an 802.11n requirement. Many 802.11n devices support only the 2.4GHz band.

4. Simultaneous dual band routers have two (2) separate radios. One operates at the 2.4GHz band and the other at 5 GHz. 802.11n clients have only one radio. (I'm now aware of any 802.11n clients on the market with two radios.) The router will be advertised as having higher throughput because the 2.4GHz and 5GHz data streams are combined. These routers cost more but if you run a mixed environment a simultaneous dual band router is the one to purchase.

5. Buy an 802.11n-2009 USB adapter for your old laptop. That way you don't have to be concerned about mixed mode operation.

I honestly don't know the answer to question asked, BUT I will say that the more expensive routers are often worth the premium price due to added features, like one or two USB ports installed on them, where you can run a print server to a (previously) non-networked printer, and/or you can plug in a thumbdrive/external hard drive for easy file sharing amongst computers that connect thru the router. I have a Belkin Dual Band (I'll have to look for the exact model number) that runs rock solid stable, and I have a 32GB SSD hooked up to it for a low power file sharing solution within the household...

The slow down when connecting a legacy device was most significant when connecting a B device to a G network:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11g-2003

With Wireless N, there is still a slowdown when connecting G devices to it, but it's apparently not as significant.

First off, N routers can have their radios set into three modes Legacy, Mixed, and "Green Field" N-only. Mixed will allow for both legacy and N devices to work on the same network, but at the cost of some overhead. This overhead is lost as long as its in mixed mode, regardless of whether a G client is connected.
http://wireless.agilent.com/wireless/helpfiles/n7617b/mimo_ofdm_...

This article mentions that N clients on a Mixed Mode network will experience a 30-50% increase over a Legacy or G network. I don't know how much slower that is than a pure "Green Field" network though:
http://www.networkworld.com/newsletters/wireless/2006/0206wirele...

More info on mixed networks:
http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.php/Beginners_Guide_To_Network...


Finally, not all N clients can use 5GHz. Most actually use 2.4Ghz. So even if your BIL makes the 5Ghz range N-only, he may still have to connect certain N devices to the 2.4Ghz network in Mixed Mode.



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