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Does a wireless connection cap my download speed?

Last response: in Components
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September 29, 2010 3:14:26 PM

My work is getting a new faster internet connection on friday, and I was trying to explain to my boss that since we are on a wireless connection, we wont be getting the fastest download speeds being advertised by our provider. Am i right to assume that using a wireless G card will cap out our download speeds at a certain point and that a faster internet line will have less and less affect?

could use some clarification since i just told my superiors something I am starting to think incorrectly worded.
a b F Wireless
September 29, 2010 4:07:58 PM

A 802.11g wireless card has a theoretical maximum speed of 54 megabits per second, but you'll not get that due to various reasons ..

1. Nearly half of that is used for routine communication between your computer and the wireless access point it's communicating with, not for transfer of your data requests. 24 Mbps is the highest speed that wireless cards are required to support, and you won't see those speeds in practice.

2. It has to share the frequency with with the 802.11b standard and if you have 802.11b laptops, then performance drops.

3. Lots of other devices can interfere with the radio signal, reducing performance, i.e wireless phones, microwave ovens and even a buildings construction.

3. Distance from the access point is another major factor in how fast your connection speed can be. If you're sitting right under an access point that no one else is using, your speed is as fast as you can get. The further you move from the access point, the slower your connection will be, no matter which type of wireless networking you use.

4. The more users the slower the connection.

So in your case, an office environment may produce poor wireless performance, unless you connect your internet connection to an intelligent switch/router and use access points dotted around the office that feed the back to the switch/router by cabling.

If wiring up an office is going to be too costly, think about using an access point connected to a powerline type device to shuttle the connections back to the switch/router.
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September 29, 2010 4:11:04 PM

Overall, no. The fact it's being split amongst multiple computers, the bandwidth is being shared. However, when I do use my wi-fi in the house on a 9MB cable connection, I've been averaging 600Kbs downloads. This is only one system though. It probably be fast enough that most people won't notice anyway.
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September 29, 2010 6:08:44 PM

ok, so from what i understand, it is more about how far away the wireless router is and how many ppl are using said wireless connection. i thought there would be an speed limitation on downloads because you are using a wireless g card with a fast 16 mb connection, that is, a wired connection would yield significantly faster download speeds
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