I'm finally upgrading my internet from my currently pathetic 1.5 mbps to a robust 20 mbps cable connection. It's getting installed over the weekend and my question is, should I try to place the modem close enough to my pc for a direct ethernet connection, or will wireless be fast enough to take advantage of the full 20 mbps? I have a linksys wireless-g wrt54g router. It says it's 54mbps so it should be far beyond my cable speed. My adapter on my pc is a Netgear WNDA3100-100NAR dual band usb 2.0 wireless N adapter that claims up to 300 mbps. So it seems like I should be able to achieve the same speeds wireless or wired, but really don't know much about networking other than basic router setup so wanted to double check. It will be a bit of hassle to try to route the modem into my computer room as I don't have any lines run there currently. If I place it by the tv and go wireless it's a lot easier setup.
There's only way to find out, test it. Real world wireless G performance never comes close to its rated spec (54Mbps). Those are only theoretical numbers produced in laboratories under perfect conditions, and doesn't even consider network overhead, it’s just raw bits. A more realistic number is perhaps 18-24Mbps. But that can vary a lot depending on distance, obstacles, interference from other 2.4GHz devices, etc. So you're a borderline case, and only testing will reveal the answer.
Of course, if you need better performance for local (i.e., machine to machine) connections, you need either wire, or a wireless N router.
Thanks guys. My friend at work did a speed test with the same setup and got nearly identical results wired vs wireless. I did an internet speed test on my wireless only and was able to achieve 20 mbps (my max speed from my provider) so I'm very happy with the router setup.