Wireless cards-B,G,N

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Jay H, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Since I'm looking at buying a new laptop with a WiFi card and a docking station, but not really for a wireless home network, more for travel, does it make sense to spend a little more for a new 802.11 type N card which I know the standard isn't finallized, etc. etc? Since it seems N is compatible with G and B networks (you lose the bandwidth though), what do most WiFi hotspots use, more like hotels and stuff that offer it??? Doesn't make sense to spend more than a "G" card which is included in most laptops I've looked at if the hotels mostly come with B or G networks.... and this is a personal laptop, so I'm not staying in fancy Hyatt or Marriott type places either.

    Thanks!

    Jay
     
  2. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    Short answer: no

    Longer answer: how much is "a little more"? A total guess: even business-oriented hotels don't have wide deployments of N yet, or for the lifetime of your laptop.

    G is fast enough for "media streaming" -- at the embarrassingly low bit rates we have in most of the U.S. Other countries are better. That's the main time you will be maxing an internet connection: live or near-live video feeds, or downloading large files off the net.

    The main time the increased throughput of N will be a factor is "drive-to-drive streaming": copying a bunch of data (one big file, many small files) from one computer to another. Disk drive throughput is an order of magnitude faster than G, and so you'd see definite improvement with N.

    So if it is just a little more, you might find some uses at home where you can do stuff faster (file copies and backups) or do stuff at all (streaming HD video), now or in the next few years.
     
  3. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    I agree with Ken. Just go with the wireless G that comes with the notebook. You can always get a USB type wireless N later on down the line.

    Parker
     
  4. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Thanks guys, of course now I'm thinking it might be nice to lounge on my deck facing a lake in the summer time (not now!!) and browse the internet, so I may go ahead and buy a wireless-G router and hook my desktop PC to it but also be able to browse the internet outside on nice days on my deck!!!!!

    So, perhaps I'll go with "G" I figure any real intensive bandwidth stuff I do, I could do always do with my desktop PC which is wired.


    Another question, do Wireless Routers also supposed a wired ethernet connection, i.e. my PC has a non-wireless cable modem directly connected to the RG6 satellite link (since I only have one PC), I would like to reuse this to but would need a hybrid wireless router that also has wired links.

    Any recs. on brands of wireless routers?

    Jay
     
  5. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    What you want is an all-in-one firewall/NAT/wireless router. Plug the cable modem into the box. It then has four to eight wired connections for your computers and other gadgets, plus wireless.

    As for brands, I currently like Netgear.
     
  6. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Thanks Ken, I'm going laptop shopping today after work...

    Doing my part to support the ailing economy. [​IMG]

    Jay
     

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