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WiFi Adaptors

Discussion in 'Computer Related Help & Discussion' started by TonyKillay, May 22, 2012.

  1. TonyKillay

    TonyKillay Well-Known Member

    I've recently been upgraded to 60Mb broadband, which is due to be upgraded further to 100Mb in the next 12 months. But using 802.11/n at 2.4Ghz I very rarely get anywhere close to the 60Mb. It clearly depends on time of day, measurement site etc. However, I get the impression that these speeds are approaching the limit for this technology and an upgrade to 5GHz would help. There doesn't seem to be many 5GHz PCI adapters on the market at the moment. Can anyone throw some light on where WiFi technology is heading and to future proof any upgrade at least for the next 12mo or so!

  2. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    You are correct in that you might be reaching the limit.

    Because the theoretical limit is 54Mb/s over 802.11g but that is ideal conditions ie no other interference from 2.4GHz stuff.

    There is now 5GHz stuff coming into the market this might help explain where we are heading.

    There is also 4G mobile data comms down the line now that the digital switchover is in place.


    But this opinion suggest upgrading to 5GHz does not gain anything.


    There are 5GHz 802.11n USB adapters available though. It might be the shift to PC having alot of USB2.0 ports these day and only a couple of PCI slots.

    Came across this as well

    Last edited: May 22, 2012
  3. AndyTake2

    AndyTake2 Well-Known Member

    Wifi is always a compromise.
    It doesn't use the carrier sensing tech of wired systems, so has to ask if there is someone to talk to, and then do a similar thing every single time it communicates with the AP.
    Everything else in your home will mess the comms up as well- most wireless devices and even the microwave work at 2.4 ghz, the same as the majority of wifi.

    Some now have an A setting (802.x A) and the latest N is the same, it can work at 5ghz, so if you have that option, use it. The signal will be better, though possibly less powerful
  4. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    5 GHz signals are going to be much more seriously impacted than lower frequencies by intervening walls etc. 4G is going to use up all the "empty" frequencies which you might want to use for home/office networking, so no relief from that source. Basically we're screwed. Copper cabled networks, OTOH, have no difficulty running at 1000 HMz full duplex over the size of a typical home or office and the cables can be routed through walls, round corners etc. without affecting the propogration characteristics. Fibre optic cabled networks have much higher data throughput potential (I believe 10^15 bits/sec has been demonstrated) and make it very difficult indeed for any potential eavesdropper.
  5. Meredith

    Meredith Well-Known Member

    Wi-fi speeds are stated half duplex to make them seem faster than they really are. 802.11g is 54Mb/s. Allowing for overheads the maximum possible bandwidth is probably somewhere near 48Mb/s. As that is a half duplex speed you have to divide by 2 for the actual speeds you will see making the max speed about 24Mb/s.

    Half duplex means you add up the transmit and receive speeds to arrive at the overall speed figure. Wired ethernet speeds are quoted full duplex so a 100Mb/s wired network connection can actually transmit and receive data at 100Mb/s.

    So if you have a broadband connection of over 20-24Mb/s running maxed out your Wi-fi can't keep up and is a bottleneck (if running at max possible speed). Of course Wi-fi will often run at lower speeds due to interference, range of connection, etc making the bottleneck appear at lower speeds.
  6. AndyTake2

    AndyTake2 Well-Known Member

    I think a lot of people will come to the conclusion that they will have to install repeaters in some areas in order to boost the signal, and directional antennae are something to look at as well - if a signal can be contained in the required area it makes more sense.

    There is wallpaper available which acts as a Faraday cage, but any foil- lined insulating paper would do the same, and could be put on walls which are to be painted as well.
  7. TonyKillay

    TonyKillay Well-Known Member

    Thanks to everyone for their replies. I'm surprised no one mentioned powerline adapters, I saw one quoted as 450Mb but they weren't specific with what that actually meant. As a radio amateur I'm not that enthusiastic about them anyway.
    But the only conclusion I can come to is that the broadband suppliers are racing to deliver faster and faster broadband to the front door, but the consumer will only be able to distribute that speed around the house with a wired network while the market forces are pushing wireless.
    The only mitigating factor is that at present there are very few applications that really need that high speed ... but history tells us that will change


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