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Configuring new Dell laptop- should I upgrade to Wireless N or not?

(15 Posts)
flier Mon 09-Nov-09 21:32:52

I think I have finally decided on which laptop to go for configure.euro.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=uk&cs=ukdhs1&l=en&kc=&oc=n0054505 Should I upgrade the Wireless card from 802.11b/g to the 802.11n? Or is the N technology problematic?

Also, can anyone tell me the differemce between these 2 cards?

Dell Wireless 1515 Half Mini Card (802.11n)
and
Intel WiFi Link 5100 (802.11 a/b/g/n 1X2) 1/2 MiniCard

obviously manufacturer is one of the differences... smile

LeninGrotto Mon 09-Nov-09 21:36:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

flier Mon 09-Nov-09 21:39:59

the dell N is £15 and the Intel is £20, so not a HUGE amount but don't want to get it for it not to work or something.

LeonieBurningHeapy Mon 09-Nov-09 21:40:14

Message withdrawn

LeninGrotto Mon 09-Nov-09 22:12:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

flier Tue 10-Nov-09 07:43:35

Hmm will have to look into whether or not my router is N compatible, its one that I got from my broadband supplier (Post Office). I have started streaming TV (occasionally get the buffering messages) and can envisage doing much more of it, so yes to streaming lots of stuff.

flier Tue 10-Nov-09 07:51:42

Ok the router is a zyxel p-660hw-t1, and, having googled it isn't N compatible, so now looking for a good N compatible router - gosh thsi is turning into a bit of a saga isn't it? grin

BadgersPaws Tue 10-Nov-09 10:20:17

A faster wireless network will not necessarily end those buffering messages.

I've got an older g standard wireless network that's meant to offer up to 54Mbps, in practice I'm typically seeing speeds of up to about 16Mbps.

However that's between me and my wireless modem, that modem talks to the internet at a much slower rate so unless I'm sharing information between computers on my own network I don't get to take advantage of the speed.

That'll be more true with the faster N standard, you're computer will be talking really quickly to your wireless router but the chances are that you're modem will slow it all down and you won't feel the speed difference.

There might be more advantages to the N standard such as increased range or reliability but compare your current wireless speed to your broadband connection to see if you're going to be able to browse the net any faster.

flier Tue 10-Nov-09 10:44:48

Thanks badgerpaws. If I knew how to do that, then I would smile

BadgersPaws Tue 10-Nov-09 10:54:40

If you're on Windows XP then have a look at the icons down near the clock (which default to be at the bottom right). If you hover over them you should find one for your Wireless Connection which will also give a speed which will look something like "Speed: X Gbps"

That should tell you the connection speed between your computer and the wireless connection point that it's linked to.

The chances are that it's higher than your broadband connection speed (which is often somewhat lower than what you're sold by the broadband company) and that with a higher wireless speed you won't really see much difference when it comes to downloading things from the internet.

I'm sorry buy I'm not on a wireless network right now so I can't be as accurate as I might like with suggesting where to look....

flier Tue 10-Nov-09 11:13:19

thansk badgerspaws, if I hover over that icon it says 54mps

BadgersPaws Tue 10-Nov-09 11:37:02

And I'd guess that your broadband speed is somewhat below that?

So given as how you've already got what seems to be a good and fast connection I don't think you'll see much improvement by getting the N wireless stuff. The bottleneck will be your connection speed to the internet itself.

All that said if you do a lot of file sharing between the computers on your home network you'll see benefits.

There might also be some reliability increases by moving to the N standard, but it sounds like you're network's running pretty good enough as it is.

flier Tue 10-Nov-09 13:46:41

thanks badgerspaws smile I'll forget about the N technology for now then.

WebDude Tue 10-Nov-09 16:24:36

Another way to test / confirm it's the phone link rather than the wireless link causing buffering would be to just plug in with a cable into the router.

No wireless to 'cause problems' that way



Sorry, comes from 25+ years of using cables for ethernet networking, and I still prefer a small LED to shine to show wiring is good and connection is established than these wireless things where something can go wrong and you can never see the radio waves (or lack of them!)

I do appreciate people are moving to laptops, the iPhone/ iTouch/ PS3, etc and don't like wires but have seen a few clients encounter problems and switching to 'data over mains' has allowed them flexibility without wires up and down stairs, while also giving 'security' (no wireless to eavesdrop/ hack into), reliability (99.99%) and guaranteed speed too!

I'll be using data over mains to link the garage to the house (the latest AV units can transfer up to 200 Mbps via the house mains supply, so no extra wires to/from garage but servers and other bits can be sitting noisily out there in the cool while I view video or play music off pretty much silent PCs in the house).

flier Tue 10-Nov-09 18:23:05

I'll give that a try too, webdude, thanks

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