More wireless confusion

OK, I thought I’d figured it out: I was going to purchase a Netgear 802.11g access point, plus a Netgear 802.11g wireless PCI or USB adapter for the downstairs machine and a Netgear 802.11g wireless card for my notebook. I chose Netgear simply because my hardwired router (which I plan to keep) is Netgear and I assume I’ll minimize potential problems if I keep everything from the same vendor. The plan is to keep my primary system upstairs hardwired to the router (upstairs next to the cable modem) and then hook the wireless access point to the CAT5 cable downstairs (which is obviously connected to the upstairs router) so that the access point will be closer to the two downstairs systems for which I plan to use wireless.

Cool. However - I start looking at which access point and cards to purchase, and I now see 802.11g options AND something new. I can’t quite figure out how it is different from regular 802.11g, but it promises faster performance. For example, on Netgear’s page they show regular 802.11g equipment as “Faster”, then other apparently 802.11g equipment as “Super Fast”. Link:

I see a similar set of offerings from D-Link:

What is this “new, faster” category?

They’re both the same. I can’t recall the name of the company, but D-Link and Netgear probably both use 802.11g chipsets made by them. It’s a sort of full-duplex mode that doubles throughput. Range isn’t affected, either, as far as I can tell.

I’m using the D-Link 802.11g router, and it seems to work just fine, though I haven’t tried to do throughput tests yet. The other cool thing about the D-Link router (and Netgear may support this, I just don’t know), is that it maintains “g” speeds when connected to “g” cards even when 802.11b hardware is connected. Many standard “g” routers will slow everything to 802.11b speeds if one 802.11b link is established.

Thanks for the response, Loyd. Is there a technical reason why neither offer this faster option in an access point, only the router?

Along those lines - am I being overparanoid/conservative by wanting to get an access point rather than a wireless router, just so that I can have it downstairs? I’ve got a moderate sized two story house; if I just get the wireless router and put it next to the cable modem upstairs, am I risking much in terms of signal loss downstairs (one floor down) and on the back deck and front porch swing?



i use my previous generation D-Link wireless router as a 10/100 switch + wireless access point (wired via one of the switch ports into my router).

just because it has the uplink/router junk doesn’t mean i have to use it, and besides, it was actually CHEAPER than buying the AP w/o router! (it’s a D-Link DI-614+, fyi)

i’m sure you could do something similar, and the cost difference between the stand-alone AP vs. the AP+router are probably pretty slim.

Hmmm. If I were to hook the wireless router in downstairs and hook it up to my current Netgear wired router, wouldn’t they both fight over who has control over assigning IPs, etc.?

not neccesarily- i have the DHCP server turned off on my DI-614+, so any DHCP requests end up ignored (by the 614+) and go to the other router (which has it’s DHCP server running). no fights involved at all.

There are no issues with two routers coexisting, as mlatin noted. Just disable DHCP in one. I’d personally use the D-Link as the router if I could, just because D-Link’s interface and flexibility seem a bit better than Netgear’s recent stuff.

Loyd, in your experience, do you think the D-Link wireless router would have any problem with range if it was on the second floor of a moderate sized home (about 2000 square feet) and the other two computers were on the first floor (or on the front porch?) I don’t think there’s any unusual metal in the walls, floors, etc.

That should work well. Wireless LAN tends to cascade downwards. My house is more of a pain, because I have the broadband connection in the basement, and the wireless usage is upstairs, but I still get good-to-very good signal strength.

Thanks. I’m going to just get the D-Link DI-624 wireless router with the 108Mbps upgrade, the DWL-G650 notebook card, and the DWL-G520 PCI card. I’ll keep the machine upstairs hardwired into the router.

Christmas present for myself :)

I have the same sort of setup (cable modem and 614+ in the basement, with my wife’s computer upstairs via a D-Link PCI wireless card). Works like a champ.