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Intel wireless-N 1030 card capacity

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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December 31, 2012 9:23:30 AM

I have an Dell N5110 with a wireless-N 1030 card. I just moved and am confused as to what to do...

In my old house I had CAT5 running from a 2yo Tenda W268R wireless router around the 2nd floor and down to the basement office. When I was near a port I plugged in and got 100MBps (I think). For the rest of the house including the 1st floor I used the wireless and got 54 MBps (I think). Everything was fine.

In my new house (a ranch with a basement) I built I had a low voltage panel put in at one end of the unfinished basement for my Directv connections and ran CAT6 (capable of 1 GBps???) from there for phone lines and also to a couple of ethernet ports on the first floor, thinking that I'd be fine with the wireless signal for any place else. I plugged my DSL modem and router in at the low voltage panel and it works but I get a spotty wireless connection and drops every once in a while. I'm thinking the problem is that the wireless signal is not strong enough from one end of the basement to the other end of the first floor. I know I could move my router to the 1st floor and improve the signal, but I want to leave it down at the panel so I can plug in the wired ports there plus so I have coverage as I finish out the basement. So I thought the best course of action would be to add another wireless router to the 1st floor and link the routers to get better coverage. Does that make sense?

I started looking into routers and see that apparently now there are ones that carry 150, 300, 600 MBps. My question is will my wireless 1030 card pick up more than 54 MBps? Is it worth going to a higher capacity? Let me add that I just got a Samsung Galaxy 2 tablet for Christmas that I know nothing about and will be getting a smartphone soon (I'm still using an old flip phone til my contract runs out next month) so I want everything to be able to access what I put in. I was also thinking about getting Vonage and ditching the old land line so that needs to link as well.

Can someone help me as to what I should do? Any recommendations on routers (I'm on a budget from the wife!)?

Many thanks and Happy Holidays
a b F Wireless
December 31, 2012 9:57:40 AM

Your current router and card should already be able to do 150m. The card in your PC in theory should do 300m...this also assumes it has 2 antennas built in laptop.

This is the key reason people need to not just think buying a bigger number on the box gives them more speed. You already had more than 54m but never got it.

To get N to run more than 54m you must meet a number of restrictions.

First you must disable B and G support and run N only on the router (this means any G devices you will not work)
Next you must set all the equipment to run wide channels, narrow gaurd bands, and mimo (mimo is what makes 150 go to 300).
Last you must run WPA2 with AES for encryption...or run no encryption.

Pretty much any $50 router will meet your needs. Don't be fooled by the numbers though. The maximum N speed is 450. The ones that say 600 or 900 are assuming you run on both 2.4 and 5g bands at the same time which is valid but only for different devices. In your case it does not pay to buy more than a 2x2 mimo device which will say 300m. To get 450m you need 3x3 mimo which means you must have 3 antenna on every device. Not to practical on a laptop or a pad where the antenna are built into the case.

Then again the speed makes little difference as long as it is faster than your internet connection. You hook a 300m wireless connection to a 4m internet and you are still only going to get 4m. Normally this only matters for people who transfer data between things inside their house. You would have to upgrade your routers to have gig ports....note the reason you were only connecting at 100m in your old house was that is all the ports will run. The cable could have run 1g just like your new house.
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