Wireless B or G?

By bkaa · 24 replies
Jan 26, 2004
  1. Im planning on getting a wireless networking system for my house, although i know its cearl to me that G is alot faster than B, my question is... Do i really need a g router? its more expensive, i would buy it but then i was thinking do i really need to go that fast, or is B fast enough???
  2. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    B is about 8x faster than most high-speed DSL connections. That makes G about 5x faster than B.

    But take my word for it - B is plenty for the Internet.

    Infact, I recommend B unless you plan on transferring large amounts of data between computers (network backups, for example...)

    Behind the scenes, G makes an absolute mess of the signal because it has such a wide bandwidth. G is more sensitive interference and can actually give you a signal worse than B networks if you plan on spanning your network over a good distance (maybe a two story house or for your next door neighbors for example).

    Even though B has some age on it, it's still plenty fast for the net and seems a pretty sensible choice since it is cheaper, sufficient and simpler under the hood.

    Many people choose G because they like to have the "best" though, so that is your choice. :) Also, most G routers broadcast B signals as well... So there's no problem with compatiblity if you choose the G.
  3. bkaa

    bkaa TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 36

    So a wireless b router is just fine then, because all im gonna use it for is LAN games and internet, thanks for telling, ah i didnt wanna spend all my money on a G routher thanks alot!
  4. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    You may want to take a look at www.newegg.com as well (if you do online shopping). It might save you a few thousand pennies.
  5. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    Yes B is definately the way to go if you just want to get on the internet and do lan parties. But as Rick said if you are interested in transfering large files then G might be a better option, but still if you are patient, then B is still ok.
  6. bkaa

    bkaa TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 36

    B it is, cuz i was thinking maybe B is wayyyyyy to slow, then again i was thinking, maybe G is wayyyyy to fast, its so fast i dont need to be that fast. ok thanks alot
  7. bkaa

    bkaa TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 36

    I have one more question, if I have a G router and B adapters on my computers, would that make it faster?? Or would the B router be just as fast as the G since i have B adapters...
  8. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    The G router will only transfer at G speeds if ALL adapters are also G (exception: some expensive routers can send both G and B simultaneously without the G dropping back to B level).

    Normally, on any G network, if there is only even ONE B adapter, the whole network speed falls back to B speed.
  9. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    While I'm sure they exist, I've never seen a wireless G router that didn't broadcast a B signal as well.

    Even 'cheapo' bottom-feeding off-branded products with rebates worth more than the product itself (from my experiences) have always had B compatibility with G signaling.

    Some examples would be Airlink, Trendnet and Xterasys access points / routers. You might be hard pressed to find a router or access point that DOESN'T support G & B simulataneously. I know I've been through about a dozen different routers and access points from these companies that are G, and none of those products were an exception.
  10. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Rick, we must have some misunderstanding. A G-router can always do G and B. If all adapters are G, then the network-speed will also be G. If there is one B adapter on a G router, the speed of the G router and all other G adapters will fall back to B speed. (exception:.....)
  11. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Oh... heh. :)

    Must have misread what you were saying there.
  12. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,094

    Are you sure you want to blast more high frequency waves through your home .I am not convinced these things are safe.Why not good old hard wired equipment .It's cheaper faster secure and more reliable.
    Or am I just parinoid !
  13. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    To recapitulate, wired is best/savest etc. (fully agree with Liquidlen, I wired my whole (4 BR) house for about €40.- ) but if you insist on wireless, 802.11b is more than sufficient, as Rick said.
  14. PHATMAN5050

    PHATMAN5050 TS Rookie Posts: 593

    Let me clear up some misconceptions with what I've found to be true by trial and error...

    802.11B at 11mbps is good for smaller networks (in size and in quantity of computers).

    802.11G at 54mbps/108mbps is better for larger networks or networks with many computers on it. G, although running off of 'b' technology and the same 2.4ghz wavelength, actually runs a bit further than the B. ALL 'G' routers will step down to 'B' for those running the cards, but whoever is running a 'G' card will still receive 54/108mbps. I've yet to see a windows/mac setup that, once one B card is detected, slows everyone down to B, only thing like that is RAM.

    If you are buying it from a retail store, definately take a look at the DLink DI-624 Router. It is 108mbps G router with a much further spectrum than any other B or even Linksys G or B router. It is also relatively cheap at $99.99 at CompUSA (where I work as the Networking Specialist) and in ads can be as cheap as $59.99, the same price as the Linksys 4port WIRED router.

    All wireless routers also have a 4port wired switch, so if you have any computers that are going to be in the same room as the router, you might as well hardwire them in.

    Good luck with your purchase!
  15. Great post,

    I have been looking at wireless routers. And this post was most helpful.
    I have now deside to take your advise PHATMAN5050, & go with the D-Link - DI-624 - AirPlus Xtreme G 108Mbps 2.4GHz Wireless Router.

    Now, I do have a question.
    I am buying this for a laptop.
    Should I buy a matching pcmcia card?:
    D-Link - AirPlus Xtreme G - DWL-G650 - 108Mbps 802.11g 2.4GHz Wireless PC Card

    Or will any brand work & perform the same?

  16. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Any card will work fine, although different cards will perform differently. If you are looking for good signal strength, I would advise you to stay away from Linksys. I've heard D-link has lower range than most other wireless brands, but this is just here-say. It's also very unreliable to generalize brands, although I feel very confident in saying Linksys all around sucks.

    For that particular router, if you get a matching Dlink wireless card, there's a firmware upgrade that tweaks your Wireless network from 54mbps to 108mbps. So in this case, you may want to get matching equipment... Just because. :)

    I've never had a problem with D-link or Netgear wireless products.

    But no matter what you get, it should work fine for you. Most people be fine with just about anything as long as it works.
  17. Thanks for the reply Rick,

    I like the idea of a firmware upgrade, and i will stick with buying D-Link.

    Thanks again.
  18. bkaa

    bkaa TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 36

    How about a Netgear wireless routers? Are they good, bad? They are pretty cheap, so im not sure what to make out of it.
  19. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Good to very good, if not the best.
  20. lowman

    lowman TS Rookie Posts: 380

    Use newegg.com...I am now a believer, thanks to reccommendations on Techspot...
  21. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,978   +15

    Netgear is my personal favorite, I'd get it over any other brand.
  22. bkaa

    bkaa TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 36

    Ok, cool, i'll try to getting a Neatgear Wireless B router :grinthumb

    how about PCI wireless adapter or USB wireless adapter?
  23. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,978   +15

    PCI defently.
  24. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    get the USB adapter, the problem with the PCI adapter is the placement. It is going to be inside the machine with the tiny antenna sticking up the back, possibly under a wooden(hopefully not pine) desk. The USB adapter will have better placement since it will have a cable that will give you more options of the best placement for good signal. Just remember that a G usb adapter will most likely require a USB 2.0 port.
  25. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,978   +15

    I recon a usb wireless would end up getting broken much easier because of how its outside of the PC and all, just seems like more possibilites.
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