Wireless N

Has anyone played around with Wireless N at home?

My Wii is lonely and needs friends, but it has no ethernet port, so I guess its time to put in a wireless network at the house. When I went to pick up a router I had an N in my hands and a passing lady told me that Wireless N is extremely fragile and easily broken by interference, and I should get a Ruckus wireless G router instead.

IMHO I’d hold off on N for a while and stick with G. I’ve been reading about some standardization problems with N ( which might have been sorted out ).

I completely understand the “wait for standardization” advice when it comes to workplaces, but for most home users, just go ahead and take the Wireless N plunge. You’re not talking about a lot of systems and in such situations it is wise to stick with same-manufacturer (whether its dlink, linksys, whatever) anyway since you tend to have less problems that way regardless of what standard you’re using. There is absolutely nothing inherently “fragile” about wireless n. You should have punched that lady in the face for being such a goddamn liar.

I really dont think thats soild advice at all. Who wants to be in a situation a year down the road in which they are locked in to a certain manufacturer for their parts? I ran in to that problem with G and it irritates me to no end.

I agree - CCZ, that’s bad advice. Buying pre-standard stuff is a no-win for anyone.

Most people stick with the same brand anyway. And consumer wireless routers that are always on only have a shelf life of like 1-2 years before they die and need to be replaced, in my experience (with various brands). And most people are only connecting like one or two systems. And wireless gear is cheap. And these days, almost all gear is firmware upgradable and we’re close enough to N being standardized that no manufacturer should be putting out gear that can’t be flashed to the true N standard when the time comes.

There are PLENTY of people for which it makes perfect sense to just buy draft wireless n gear if the increased speed is of any use to them. You’re all just a bunch of OCD/anal standardsmongers.

From anything we’ve tested at Ziff Davis, the pre-N stuff doesn’t seem any more prone to interference than G. It’s usually more robust, even when connecting to a B or G device (like the Wii).

However, I think it might be a little early to jump on the N bandwagon. This spring (I think around March or so) we should see some Draft 2.0 pre-N hardware, that will use different chips and should be much closer to the final spec. Those should be either compliant with the final N spec, or compliant with a firmware upgrade. The stuff you buy today is a bit of a crap shoot as to whether or not it’ll be firmware-upgradeable to the final N spec.

The problem with “N” right now is that they have not completed designing the standard. That means you can have several pieces of equipment that have a “N” designation that cannot communicate with each other unlike “G”. So unless you have 2 pieces that have the same chip and flash your destined to have problems until they sort it all out. I’d stick with “G” right now but keep it cheap, they should have a “N” standard sometime early this year (2007).

Getting a something that promises “N” standard with a flash later on is BS becaue the chip and it’s firmware is what they’re fighting about. Wait a few more months unless you like being a Beta Tester.

Yeah, I got burned with USRobotics’s “X2” pre-v92 modems.

The problem with “N” right now is that they have not completed designing the standard.

Yeah thats the last thing I read about it. N should end up being a great standard once they actually get it standarized.

600 or so they say. That sure beats the current 108 max (about 54 really) on a clear day with God shinning sunlight over your shoulder.

My “in the field” experience with Pre and Draft N consumer equipment have been pretty much the opposite, and the same seems to be true with most other Geek Squad field-agents I know.

We’ve had enough recalls for the devices under-performing that it’s not uncommon for agents to set the devices in B and G only mode.

I’ve been sent a number of Draft N units, all of which perform at best with equal range and overall performance with my D-Link DGL-4300. I’d rather just get a better antenna for the D-Link than use one of the current N offerings.

And that’s with the N units having the advantage of having both the router and the compatible N PCMCIA adapter, versus just the built-in G adapter on the laptop.

Agreed. I had one set of Pre “N” devices and returned them favoring my current “KICK ASS©” DGL-4300. They need more time on this so I would recomend waiting on the “N” standard to actually become a standard.

What’s a standard smonger?

Hong “nonstandard smonger” Ooi

We’ve had some pretty good experiences too, but also had some units underperforming compared to manufacturers promises (but still outperforming G). But no instability or inteference issues at all.

But yes, buying one now means sticking to that manufacturer if you want N-performance. But even connected to G devices you should still see better range and coverage. Netgear and Asus made the best devices in our last test.

Draft N BLOWS.

Don’t do it.

The chances of it being upgradeable to the final standard are near zero, and all your gear would likely have to be from the same vendor to work at the higher speed anyways (which the Wii isn’t).


Did you try it near microwaves and vacuum cleaners? Not that I doubt your honesty, but she didn’t seem insane and she specifically mentioned microwaves and vacuum cleaners.

Anyway, thanks for all your help, I will be going with G.

Nintendo should be releasing an ethernet lan adapter for the Wii the first week of January. I don’t know if it’s only going to be available from their site or in stores.

I’m curious as to how long ago those reviews were done, as well as if they mention the need to make sure your firmware is flashed to the latest version.

We had nothing but trouble with the Draft N devices for a number of months after release because a good number of them absolutely would not load specific sites like Google until firmware updates were released. And this was across major brands, including Linksys and Netgear.

And then there are a number of gotchas that most users don’t know about, such as with the Rangemax Next, which will only work in with WPA2 encryption in N mode. That doesn’t sound like much until you discover just how many devices, even brand new laptops, that simply don’t work well with WPA2, requiring the end-user to change the router back to G and B mode only to get WPA working.

Other annoyances include streaming video hiccups. The Belkin, Buffalo and Netgear draft N routers I have all can transfer information at N speeds, but watching a video that’s on my server will give me annoying second-long pauses about every minute or so. Something you don’t notice during regular data transfers.

And then there’s the driver issues with the N compatible PCMICA adapters. We’ve had a number of recalls due to the adapters randomly deciding they no longer want to communicate with their router across N and will only transfer a G speeds. The only way to fix the issue has been to seek and destroy every last bit of the existing driver files and install a new copy.