What Wireless Network Adapter Do I Get??

By jozhall ·
I am a complete n00b to wireless networking. Which is scary because I now manage one! (Don't tell anyone at the office my secret!) Anyways, I need to buy a new wireless network adapter for my bosses laptop and I am a bit confused. Whats the difference in the letters below? And how can I find out what one to choose?

802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n

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by Ken-LM In reply to What Wireless Network Ada ...

First of all you will need to know what kind of wireless network you need to connect to.
Chances are you're router supports both b and g standards. It so, go with "g".

"n" is the standard with the faster data transfer rates. (Theoretically 270mbps max)

"g" is the most common IEEE standard right now and usually the most cost effective. (At 54mbps max)

Wikipedia has a good overview page on wireless standards, here:

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Doesn't G have interference problems?

by jozhall In reply to adapters

I read that article at said that G can have interference problems with other things like microwaves and the such, is this a valid concern?

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B, G, N = same frequency

by MGP2 In reply to Doesn't G have interferen ...


Actually B, G, and N are all on the same frequency, so they're all subject to the same interference. What makes N a little more efficient is MIMO, as describe in the same article:

802.11n builds upon previous 802.11 standards by adding MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output). MIMO uses multiple transmitter and receiver antennas to allow for increased data throughput via spatial multiplexing and increased range by exploiting the spatial diversity, perhaps through coding schemes like Alamouti coding. Antennae are listed in a format of 2x2 for two receivers and two transmitters. A 4x4 is four receivers and four transmitters. The number of antennae relate to the number of simultaneous streams. The standards requirement is a 2x2 with two streams. The standard does optionally allow for the potential of a 4x4 with four streams.

However, chances are your company isn't using N, so this posting is purely informational from your standpoint. It won't solve your problem.

Good luck,

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by Ken-LM In reply to Doesn't G have interferen ...

The largest amount of interference that would cause any concern would be that of other WLAN systems. However, you must remember that all this "reception" talk is unexact, as your signal will depend on multiple factors beyond that of what frequency or standard you run your network on. Things like physical barriers, distance.. etc....
Once you have a WLAN receiver, just check to see if there are any other networks obtainable from your location. If you can view them, find what channel they're broadcasting on and choose a different channel for your network, this may help somewhat.

Unless you're in a high traffic area, I would not worry so much about interference. And microwaves? Just don't set your antenna on top or inside the thing...

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