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Computer Question Regarding Wired Ethernet vs Wireless Connections

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Old 04-28-2009, 10:43 PM   #1
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Computer Question Regarding Wired Ethernet vs Wireless Connections

I know we've got some decent computer whizzes amongst us. I am not one of them! I've got a basic understanding but need advice:

Currently I have an old desktop PC located in the top floor of my house. Last year we had Verizon FiOS installed where the cable comes in the side of the house at the top floor level. It connects to the wireless router in my bedroom, to which the desktop PC is connected via ethernet cable.

We just finished the basement, and now I'd like to replace the old slow-ass PC, and put a new desktop in the basement. To do this, it would seem I have two options:

1) Move the FiOS cable so that it comes into the basement, running to the wireless router now located in the basement, and connect my PC via ethernet cable.

2) Buy a desktop with a wireless adapter, and leave the FiOS cable and wireless router where they are in my bedroom.

Option 2 is obviously easier, and I'd much prefer to do this, but I don't want to sacrifice connection speed. So my question is, would I sacrifice much in the way of connection speed by choosing to connect via wireless PCI adapter instead of wired ethernet?

Thanks in advance for the assistance.
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Old 04-29-2009, 01:06 AM   #2
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Re: Computer Question Regarding Wired Ethernet vs Wireless Connections

Depending on the distance between the router and access point (wireless adapter) you should be alright. See if you can borrow a wireless adapter and move your PC downstairs to test the connection; you can also try with a laptop instead but they aren't always able to pick up/transmit as well.

What router do you have now? Most 802.11G routers will typically cover that area, if not you can always go with an 802.11N router and adapter and that should cover it no problem.

I'll assume that you have the 15mb down/1mb up package, which is in megaBITS, as opposed to megaBYTES. There are 8 bits in a byte, so your actual down speed is about 1.875 megabytes max. A 802.11G will cover that with decent signal. I'd suggest upgrading the firmware on your router if you're comfortable, but it doesn't seem to be the case.

Nothing much more than to try it.
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Old 04-29-2009, 06:49 AM   #3
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Re: Computer Question Regarding Wired Ethernet vs Wireless Connections

I have a FIOS router on the 1st floor, and when I am upstairs I use a laptop with wireless connection. The speed is generally fine. There are a few deadspots, but overall the connection, once established is fine for any basic needs. I use HULU upstairs to watch streaming TV at times, and that has worked fine as well.

On the other side, a wired connection obviously offers the better and most secure option if you have any concerns that way.
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Old 04-29-2009, 08:39 AM   #4
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Re: Computer Question Regarding Wired Ethernet vs Wireless Connections

I have been told a wireless signal flows like an umberal. Basically you want the router above the device you are sending the signal too. I have Comcast high speed and it is on my third floor of my townhouse and my Xbox is in the basement no problems at all with signal and speed. My laptop works all over the house with no problem. I just have a net gear G router.
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:17 AM   #5
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Re: Computer Question Regarding Wired Ethernet vs Wireless Connections

Much depends on your router. Even ignoring n versus g you'll still a wie varying of quality and signal coverage across brands. Essentially you'll get what you pay for.
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:56 AM   #6
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Re: Computer Question Regarding Wired Ethernet vs Wireless Connections

The wireless adapter idea should work, Schneed. Buy an 802.11g adapter that can be moved around. USB is usually the easiest.
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Old 04-29-2009, 10:06 AM   #7
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Re: Computer Question Regarding Wired Ethernet vs Wireless Connections

For upgradability in the future, I would really go with the N.
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Old 04-29-2009, 10:23 AM   #8
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Re: Computer Question Regarding Wired Ethernet vs Wireless Connections

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Originally Posted by TheMalcolmConnection View Post
For upgradability in the future, I would really go with the N.
There's no need. G has the speed, is cheaper, and works with the Verizon-supplied routers. Verizon doesn't offer an 802.11n router, so IMO, you'd just be wasting your money on an N adapter, schneed, when a G would work fine.
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Old 04-29-2009, 11:12 AM   #9
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Re: Computer Question Regarding Wired Ethernet vs Wireless Connections

Get a Wireless N card and router and you're all set. You won't lose any speed because your home network communication will be faster than you ISP speed. Don't go with Wireless G because it is inadequate for streaming multimedia files through your network.
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Old 04-29-2009, 11:41 AM   #10
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Re: Computer Question Regarding Wired Ethernet vs Wireless Connections

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Get a Wireless N card and router and you're all set. You won't lose any speed because your home network communication will be faster than you ISP speed. Don't go with Wireless G because it is inadequate for streaming multimedia files through your network.
It's more than adequate for what most people do. The thing about FIOS is that they use their supplied routers as a quasi modem as well. It's not a simple case of just swapping in the new router and having it act like the old router. The old router will need to remain in place, as it acts as a media converter on the coax installs, and will need to be put into bridge mode (if you want the new router to be a true router).

That's the main reason whey I've been harping on just sticking with G. Going with N may open a can of worms that Schneed just may not want to deal with.
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Old 04-29-2009, 12:06 PM   #11
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Re: Computer Question Regarding Wired Ethernet vs Wireless Connections

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It's more than adequate for what most people do. The thing about FIOS is that they use their supplied routers as a quasi modem as well. It's not a simple case of just swapping in the new router and having it act like the old router. The old router will need to remain in place, as it acts as a media converter on the coax installs, and will need to be put into bridge mode (if you want the new router to be a true router).

That's the main reason whey I've been harping on just sticking with G. Going with N may open a can of worms that Schneed just may not want to deal with.
If the goal is as instant as possible it most certainly isn't adequate. If you're planning on watching a movie over the network and fast forwarding or rewinding a movie you're not going to be a happy camper, if not then go with G. Also, every ISP gives you a modem/router that doesn't mean you should use this stock modem/router as your home network gateway. Yeah, it might be a pain to get it all setup but once it's done it is well worth it.
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Old 04-29-2009, 01:35 PM   #12
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Re: Computer Question Regarding Wired Ethernet vs Wireless Connections

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Originally Posted by cpayne5 View Post
It's more than adequate for what most people do. The thing about FIOS is that they use their supplied routers as a quasi modem as well. It's not a simple case of just swapping in the new router and having it act like the old router. The old router will need to remain in place, as it acts as a media converter on the coax installs, and will need to be put into bridge mode (if you want the new router to be a true router).

That's the main reason whey I've been harping on just sticking with G. Going with N may open a can of worms that Schneed just may not want to deal with.
I'm not too familiar with the FIOS router but there's no reason you couldn't leave the routing to the FIOS hw and install an N access point. That way you're not fighting ip addressing conflicts, non-default router configs, etc. Throw a N wireless nic in the basement PC and you should be good, assuming you don't have a lot of interference in the house. Third option is to run some cat5 and install a jack in the basement wall.
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Old 04-29-2009, 02:09 PM   #13
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Re: Computer Question Regarding Wired Ethernet vs Wireless Connections

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I'm not too familiar with the FIOS router but there's no reason you couldn't leave the routing to the FIOS hw and install an N access point. That way you're not fighting ip addressing conflicts, non-default router configs, etc. Throw a N wireless nic in the basement PC and you should be good, assuming you don't have a lot of interference in the house. Third option is to run some cat5 and install a jack in the basement wall.
Yep, you could do that. Or you could buy an N router, turn off DHCP, run a cat5 between the Actiontec and a LAN port on the new router. Would do the same thing. If this is the way you go, it would also be advisable to turn off the radio in the Actiontec as well to reduce possible interference. N uses channel bonding, so in order for it to work as intended, you have to have semi clean air.
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Old 04-29-2009, 02:50 PM   #14
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Re: Computer Question Regarding Wired Ethernet vs Wireless Connections

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Originally Posted by cpayne5 View Post
Yep, you could do that. Or you could buy an N router, turn off DHCP, run a cat5 between the Actiontec and a LAN port on the new router. Would do the same thing. If this is the way you go, it would also be advisable to turn off the radio in the Actiontec as well to reduce possible interference. N uses channel bonding, so in order for it to work as intended, you have to have semi clean air.
Yeah, this is kind of what I intended. Do they actually make N band access points or are they all full routers by default? Any router should have an Access Point mode that you can implement... We are strictly B/G here at work and i haven't upgraded at home yet. (we're wired for multimedia)
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:13 PM   #15
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Re: Computer Question Regarding Wired Ethernet vs Wireless Connections

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Originally Posted by cpayne5 View Post
There's no need. G has the speed, is cheaper, and works with the Verizon-supplied routers. Verizon doesn't offer an 802.11n router, so IMO, you'd just be wasting your money on an N adapter, schneed, when a G would work fine.
verizon supplies modems, some of which have routers built in

You can still use an external router with one of those. If you're going to be shooting files back and forth across the network, streaming HD material, etc.. you'll appreciate the N. Sure you can do it with a G, I do, but speed is awesome, especially when backing up data if you can't do it across LAN alone

and as far as moving the FIOS cable, I think I'd rather just run cat-5 from the router downstairs if needed
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