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Router specifications

PWilliams
Newbie
Posts: 7
Registered: 13-06-2013

Router specifications

I am awaiting delivery of a Dell Inspiron 660S desktop computer running Windows 8. It has a RJ-45 (10/100/1000 Ethernet) connection and a wireless card with with integrated 802.11b/g/n WiFi.
The router I have had since joining Plusnet some years ago is a Thomson TG585 V7 capable of 802.11g with theoretical transfers up to 54 Mb/s. I was thinking this is a bit out of date considering that the 802.11n has been provided for a long time and theoretically will provide transfers up to 600 Mb/s. Also the Dell 660S provides up to Gigabit Ethernet, i.e. 1,000 Mb/s.
However, I notice that Plusnet "Essentials Broadband (BB)" offers downloads up to 16Mb/s. "Essentials Fibre BB" offers speeds up to 38Mb/s and the fastest unlimited fibre up to 78 Mb/s.
Am I missing something here? These new PC's are capable of speeds over 10 times greater than the internet service provider. Why would you need ethernet 1000 and is there any point in me upgrading to a router capable of 802.11n?
4 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,030
Fixes: 62
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Router specifications

I suppose the points which need to be addressed are
Do you have other devices on your internal network which are 1Gb ready -if you don't then Gbit is a waste of time
As you are on ADSL (when you go fibre it requires a different router) the wireless speed for internet access will be OK on g providing they aren't too far away from the router
If you want to network using wireless then all parts will need to be n not just the router and one computer to see any benefit
What is your actual connection speed
PWilliams
Newbie
Posts: 7
Registered: 13-06-2013

Re: Router specifications

My speeds on my 7 year old XP machine at 18.36 were 6.6Mb/s download and 0.9 Mb/s upload.
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,030
Fixes: 62
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Router specifications

I mean the connection speed as reported by your router
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,164
Thanks: 478
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Registered: 10-06-2010

Re: Router specifications

The 802.11n specification defines the parameters for speeds up to 600Mbps, but most parts of the 11n specification are optional. I think wireless routers and adapters that support 600Mbps are pretty much non-existent (600Mbps on a single band, adding 300 on 2.4 and 300 on 5 doesn't really count).
The mandatory parts of the 11n specification require up to 130Mbps for a wifi access point, and up to 65Mbps for client devices (computers etc.). Apparently the Dell Wireless 1506 card in the Dell 660S is only 150Mbps, and would likely only operate at a max of 65 or 72 in the presence of neighbouring wifi networks. And then the speed that you can transfer data over the wireless is also less than those numbers. Those tests in an unrealistically ideal environment showed that the 130Mbps Plusnet TG582n router could just about cope with the 77Mbps of the fastest possible Fibre broadband.
All parts of the wireless network do not need to be 11n to see any benefit. There is no requirement for everything to transmit everything at the lowest common speed, there's no reason to, most data is transmitted from the router to one particular device, it doesn't matter if other devices can't / don't receive it.
No there probably isn't much point in getting an 11n router. A cheap gigabit ethernet chip probably doesn't cost much more than a chip that only does 10/100 ethernet. Presumably a 300Mbps (2 antenna) or more 11n wifi card does cost slightly more than a only 150Mbps (1 antenna) 11n card.