WIFI router question

Discussion in 'hardware' started by roark37, Jul 18, 2013.

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  1. roark37

    roark37 Registered Member

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    Hi, I still use an old Netear b/g router. It is around 7 years old but very reliable and since I use an old XP laptop, also around 7 years old they seem to work well together. But in the next month or so I will be getting a new work laptop with Windows 7 on it. I knew I would have to upgrade the router at some point so a couple of years ago during a sale I bought a brand new Cisco Valet N router that I have never used. I think it was 2011. My question is when I upgrade the router would there likely be a noticeable difference between the Cisco N that is a couple of years old compared to a newer dual band N router say in the 70-80$ range, maybe Netgear N600? I was also planning to get a new tablet soon and also a new smartphone so I am not sure if I would just be better off going new or would the older Cisco N likely be as good or very close? Thanks.
     
  2. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    No. Yes. Probably not.

    The 802.11n protocols are the same so that part does not matter. Dual band allows the router (or actually, the WAP - wireless access port - which is integrated into the "wireless router") to support both 11g and 11n, but unless a "simultaneous dual-band", it will likely toggle down to the speed of the slowest device currently connected.

    If you have a bunch of people in your house likely to be using connected devices at the same time, then a new, more capable wireless router might be a good idea. But if just one or two people, each using just one or two devices at a time, I would stick with your Cisco.

    And remember, the router (or in this case, the wireless router) simply sets up your "local network" (everything on your side of the router). It is much more likely your greatest bottleneck will be your ISP connection to the Internet, not your local network speeds.

    So if you run a small business and need to share data between connected computers, a new router might be a good idea. If just a normal home user with a couple devices needing Internet access, stick with your Cisco.
     
  3. BoerenkoolMetWorst

    BoerenkoolMetWorst Registered Member

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    I had a non-simultaneous dual-band router and the band you must chose from is 2.4Ghz which supports 11b,11g,11n or 5Ghz which supports 11a and 11n. Once you chosen 2.4 or 5 you can chose if you want to support all protocols(e.g. G and N) or N mode only. If your other devices support N as well then N mode only will be a bit faster but if you simultaneously connect a G and a N device then the N device should still be able to reach high speeds, so it isn't limited to the speed of the slowest device. If you get a simultaneous dual-band router then it can support 2.4 and 5Ghz at the same time.
     
  4. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Please note I said, "toggle down to the speed of the device currently connected". So if you have a slow 11b and a fast 11n currently connected, your 11n access bandwidth will be restricted to 11b speeds while the 11b device is accessing the network - UNLESS you are using a "Simultaneous dual-band" wireless router. If not simultaneous, the router will operate at 2.4GHz or 5GHz - not both at the same time.
     
  5. NormanF

    NormanF Registered Member

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    Keep the old modem for backup if you need it - a new modem will have better security than the old one.

    My 2Wire modem stopped working because of a red power light and I kick myself for having had the CenturyLink tech replace it with a new Zyxel PK5001Z modem! I could save $100 by buying a new $10 power supply to breathe new life into the old modem! :mad:

    But in the meantime, I need Internet access and I still need to test the trashed 2Wire modem to be sure its a failed PSU that's the suspected culprit behind the apparent modem failure to boot up into a working state. There have been lots of threads on it on the Internet.
     
  6. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Ummm, no. Sorry but not true. Wireless-N devices from 2011 support the same security protocols and features as Wireless-N devices from 2013.
     
  7. NormanF

    NormanF Registered Member

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    I was thinking of WPA 2. Older modems support WEP. My old modem from 2007 did.
     
  8. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Sure it did, so it could support older wireless devices too. WPA2 came out in 2004 and became standard in 2006. ALL 802.11n wireless devices are, and always have been required (as part of the protocol standard) to support WPA2. But since 11n WAPs and wireless routers also [typically] support 11g and 11b devices, they also support lessor security protocols. Even cheap, off-brand 11n routers sold today offer WEP and WPA protocols, as seen here.
     
  9. BoerenkoolMetWorst

    BoerenkoolMetWorst Registered Member

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    Yes, I know. With my old non-simultaneous dual-band router set to 2.4Ghz, with a 11g and 11n device connected at the same time, the 11n device could still reach 11n speeds.
     
  10. NormanF

    NormanF Registered Member

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    Strictly speaking, wireless modems supplied by ISPs these days also work as a router so there is no longer a need to buy a separate router. The combo modem/router manages all connected devices in a home or office local area network. :thumb:
     
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