01-04-2010 04:41 PM
I've got a linksys wireless g router and live in an older house with plaster walls and barely get a signal two floors up and none int he basement. Would it be better to get a g range extender or a whole new n+ router? Are the N+ that much better?
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01-05-2010 08:55 AM
In theory, N should do better than G. In practice, nearly all N routers on the market these days have cheaped out on the radio (since each router needs 2-3 RF frontends when previously one was sufficient.) In addition, last I checked, most N routers on the market (esp. the new Linksys saucers) had internal antennas.
There are two options for range extension:
1) Repeaters. I don't like these.
2) Improved antennas - if your G router has an external removable antenna, you can get a high-gain antenna that should improve signal. Some BB stores sell a Hawking sector antenna (they call it a "corner" antenna) that's pretty decent.
Actually there is a third option: Run an Ethernet cable to another part of the house and install an access point in the area with weak coverage.
01-05-2010 09:44 AM
I love how you say "in theory", anyway there is no real way to tell which is the best option for you, you kind of just have to try one way and see if it works and if it doesn't, return the stuff and try a different way. The easiest way is probably getting a N router and see if that works.
01-06-2010 08:25 AM
It depends partly on how many other networks are nearby too. N takes a severe performance hit if there are any legacy devices nearby. In the 2.4 GHz band, a legacy (B/G) device anywhere in the band can degrade performance. At 5 GHz, it's a lot quieter and there's more spectrum to play with, however 5 GHz is NOT good for punching signal through obstructions.
The best bet for improving range in an obstructed environment, especially if there is any interference, is a G router with a good high gain antenna.
01-06-2010 03:46 PM
@ OP - is the computer/laptop that you're currently using wireless-N ready? because if it isn't, you'd also need to pick up a wireless-N adapter along with a new router.
i have little experience with repeaters as i've often gone the route of a beefier antenna, so that's the recommendation i'll throw out here.
also, the position of the router is often a factor of signal strength. i've had good experiences with signal strength by mounting the router up on the wall with the antennas facing upwards. sounds weird, but it helps.