Shouldn't 802.11n be faster than 802.11g?

  Pineman100 16:21 PM 06 Feb 13
Locked
Answered

My router is a BT Home Hub 2, which (BT says) has 802.11n capability.

Until recently my laptop only had 802.11g, but I've now bought a new laptop with an 802.11n wireless adaptor.

I assumed that this upgraded wireless adaptor would give me faster Wi-Fi connection speeds and a stronger Wi-Fi signal between my laptop and the BT Home Hub. However, there doesn't seem to be any improvement at all. In fact on my old laptop I regularly saw four (out of 5) bars of Wi-Fi signal, but on the new one I only see 3 bars. And subjectively I would say that there's no network speed improvement.

Do I have to make any changes to the router's settings in order to establish 802.11n communication between the router and the laptop, or does this happen automatically? If so, any ideas why my Wi-Fi speed doesn't seem to have improved?

  chub_tor 16:46 PM 06 Feb 13
Answer

You can check if your BT Homehub is configured for n capability in Settings, Advanced, Wireless Configuration. The choices are 802.11b/g/n (recommended, 802.11b/g or 802.11n.

And you can check the Wireless Adapter settings via Control Panel, Network and Internet, Network and Sharing Centre and clicking on the Wireless Connection. That should bring up your WiFi Status and show you both Signal Quality and Speed. Mine flickers between 117 and 144Mbps.

  wiz-king 17:24 PM 06 Feb 13

Are you measuring your wifi speed or just the available speed if the internet line? Usually the limiting factor is your line speed.

  Pineman100 17:32 PM 06 Feb 13

Thanks chub-tor, I'll check out those settings.

wiz-king, it's specifically my Wi-Fi network speed and range that I'm trying to optimise. I recognise that my adsl speed is likely to be slower than this, but I want to be sure that I eliminate any potential "pinch-points" in my connection.

  xox101 19:51 PM 06 Feb 13

I'm not too sure about the Homehub as I dumped it in favour of a Billion router but the type of encryption used between router and client will determine the speed of connection. Most routers and all Windows boxes that I have seen are set at TKIP which effectively cuts your N speed in half.

Changing the wireless encryption method in both router and laptop to AES will allow your connection to run at full speed dependent of course on distance and obstacles between your router and laptop.

TKIP is software encrytion...AES is hardware and is done in the router.

In Windows right clicking on your connection and left on Properties will bring up the Properties box where you can change the encryption method. I have no idea how to do this in the Homehub or whether the Homehub automatically detects which method to use.

Linux, Android, Apple all select encryption method automatically and do not have to be changed.

Full N speeds are really only of any use to you if you stream HD or regularly pass files over your network by wireless.

  woodchip 19:54 PM 06 Feb 13

Try Running TCP Optimizer

  woodchip 20:03 PM 06 Feb 13

I have used the above with success on all my PC's.Just checked my speed o a Samsung nc10 Netbook TalkTalk 8meg connection one and half miles from exchange,

Download speed 7175kbps Upload 876kbps

  chub_tor 08:04 AM 07 Feb 13

woodchip

TCP Optimiser is for optimising the connection between the router and the exchange and that is not what Pineman 100 is concerned about. His query is regarding the WiFi connection between the router and his new laptop.

  Pineman100 10:01 AM 07 Feb 13

Thanks to everyone for your responses. This is an area which is at the limit of my computing capabilities, so I need to work my systematically through each idea to (a) understand it and (b) see whether it works.

But I will report back when I've done this.

Many thanks again.

  woodchip 13:47 PM 07 Feb 13

TCP Optimizer is for Optimizing your PC not the Router

  Pineman100 15:07 PM 07 Feb 13

Well I have checked all the settings as recommended, and as far as I can see both my adaptor and my router are set to 'n'.

I can only assume, therefore, that the lack of a speed increase on my new system is down to the fact that my old 'g' Wi-Fi system did not in anyway throttle my internet connection. So when I see no increase in speed from my new 'n' system, what I'm actually seeing is an unchanged broadband connection speed from my router to the phone exchange.

This may suggest that this exercise has been a waste of time (mine and yours!) but in fact it has served the purpose that I wanted - it has confirmed that there is no bottleneck in my home Wi-Fi network.

So many thanks to everyone for your responses. They've been a great help and are much appreciated.

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