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Should I upgrade my router?

Last response: in Networking
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December 17, 2011 6:25:51 PM

Hello all,

Thank you in advance for your help. I currently have a router that I bought maybe 6 or 7 years ago. However, since that time, I have upgraded my computers and wireless devices. They all have wireless 'N' cards, so my question is a pretty simple one; Would buying a new router that supports 'N' cards speed up my internet at all? I use my internet primarily for streaming movies and using my computer as a router for XBox live. Would watching video and running Live see any benefit from buying a new router?

My specs are as follows:

Current Router: Westell VersaLink Model 327W
Down: 3360 kbits/sec
Up: 864 kbits/sec

When I do a speed test, results are pretty poor:
Ping: 37ms
Download: 2.86mbps
Upload: .72mbps

Again, any help would be great. Thank You!

More about : upgrade router

a b F Wireless
December 17, 2011 8:30:54 PM

I assume the Westell is wireless G. Given your ISP is not even providing enough bandwidth to fully exploit wireless G, wireless N isn't going to provide much improvement, at least if we're limiting the discussion to Internet access. Of course, for internal use between machines, the more bandwidth, the better, esp. if you stream HD content locally (e.g., PC <--> XBOX).
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December 17, 2011 8:36:15 PM

So would you say the problem in speed is with how cheap my parents are in choosing our ISP package?
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a b F Wireless
December 17, 2011 8:59:28 PM

It depends. Are you satisfied w/ your user experience using the currently available bandwidth? Are you getting smooth, stutter-free internet video? If not, then your internet package is probably the bigger problem. 3-4Mbps is marginal for SD (standard def) content, and a non-starter for HD (high def) content (although there isn’t that much HD content available on the Internet anyway for the same reason – it sucks up bandwidth).


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December 17, 2011 9:08:29 PM

The only thing I am dissatisfied with is how long it takes shows and movies to load. Sometimes it works great, but other times, the video is very choppy and/or I need to just let it sit and load for a while.
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a b F Wireless
December 17, 2011 9:26:51 PM

Then the most likely problem is the lack of bandwidth from the ISP. Your video player is simply consuming content faster than it can be delivered. As I said, 3-4Mbps is marginal for SD content. Long load times and/or choppy playback are the typical result.
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December 17, 2011 11:14:53 PM

And in order to increase my bandwidth I will need to call my ISP and probably pay more money?
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a b F Wireless
December 18, 2011 12:10:17 AM

Well you'll certainly need to call your ISP. And presumably it will cost more money. Of course, you could shop around for a better deal w/ cable, fios, etc., whatever other options you have available. Doesn't hurt to call your current ISP, act a little naive w/ customer service, and complain (nicely) about the performance. See if they offer a deal, and if they don’t, tell them you're going to look into "other options" before you decide to upgrade. Sometimes that's enough for them to make an offer, just to make sure they keep you as a customer.
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December 18, 2011 12:15:47 AM

Well alright. Thank you so much for your help eibgrad. You have been awesome!
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December 18, 2011 12:16:06 AM

Best answer selected by mjo8907.
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