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The maximum bandwidth the cable company promised my family is 35 Mbps
Promises, promises... ;-p
Originally Posted by puppymagic
I am currently looking at two wireless router models one is 150Mbps and the other one is 300Mbps
Is the maximum (150, 300) irrelevant as long as the promised bandwidth by the cable internet company is lower than 150?
Or is the 300Mbps going to provide a higher wireless bandwidth?
If you read the small print and check speed test sites you'll notice consumer connections almost never max out at the bandwidth the provider advertises because of provisioning economics and the fact that it's going to be you and a gazillion other users between CPE and head end. So with respect to the WAN bottleneck it doesn't matter if your router advertises(!) whatever maximum usable bandwidth over that of what your provider actually will provide. It's different for LAN-to-LAN connections obviously.
Sure you'll want a router that is up to date, does triple band wireless, handle DLNA etc, etc, but all features come at a price. For instance some routers Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI) degrades throughput noticeably and some routers claim they do but in practice don't handle concurrent multiple connections too well (think for instance BitTorrent traffic). The best site I've found to compare SOHO HW is smallnetbuilder.com. It may be just my opinion but their level of reviewing and testing with an eye for Real Life usage I don't find on HW vendor sites, Toms hardware or Anandtech.
Wireless contains a very high amount of clutter. If one could get full speed and they didn't use wireless encryption, the connection may be close to full speed. When you add in encryption (and you ought to) you start putting on more bits and using more cpu power just to move the same basic amount of data.
I was looking at one of the newer asus routers that seemed to have OK reviews and high rated speeds for about $100. I'd buy one but I almost never use wireless.
I have always had good results with Linksys. It's the only brand of wireless router or access points that I have experience with, so my experience is not broad, but I've been happy enough with them to stay with them.
They are probably as reliable a brand as any for a reasonable home-use type of price.
unSpawn is right about the speeds providers promise versus those they deliver.
Speedtest.net is probably as good a site as any for testing your actual speeds, and even it is more theoretical than actual.
If you have not already tried to improve the performance of your existing router by positioning the router, selecting the best channel, shielding and directing the signal to and from the router's antenna, perhaps improving the antenna on the receiving computer, you might try doing so.
The point is that there are many things that influence the throughput performance of a wireless connection, and buying a new router, even if that might otherwise be warranted, may not solve your problem as you expect. First see what else may be affecting your reception and will still be there as an important factor after you buy a new router.
As a general rule, the maximum results you will get with a wireless connection is half of what you will get with a cable connection. In my case, to take advantage of a real 30Mb Internet connection in an apartment building, I thought to buy a 300Mb 802.11n router with three external antennas for MIMO, and in case I wanted to replace them with some with higher gain, but still my throughput varies according to the competition from all the other signal traffic within range.
Just as you can learn lot about linux and computer hardware in general by reading posts here at LQ, you can do the same for wireless at the afore mentioned smallnetbuilder.com and similar sites.
When I wanted to choose a router, I also looked at recommendations by purchasers on Newegg, but It's like buying a car, everyone has their favorites, everyone has a brand they won't ever touch, and everyone has had bad luck at one time or another. Also, everyone knows they don't build them like they used to. My choice was an Asus RT-N16 with DD-WRT firmware.
Last edited by thorkelljarl; 11-22-2012 at 06:24 PM.