How to Choose Wireless N Routers

Nowadays virtually all new routers support the 802.11n wifi standard (Wireless N) which we hear about as offering greater speed and reach than the older 802.11g (Wireless G) standard. In general this is true given that when all the connected devices to the router also are Wireless N compatible devices then the wireless network speed is greater. Unfortunately many of our wifi devices like our older PC’s use the Wireless G standard which has a maximum network speed of 54 Mb/s.

netgear wrn3500 wireless router with internal antennas

So even though basic Wireless N based routers can operate at theoretical speeds of 150Mb/s they automatically slow down to the Wireless G speed to accommodate the older Wireless G devices on the local network. So in this case the wireless N based routers do not provide you with any speed advantages. Mixed mode N and G or even N,G and B mixed mode networks router set-ups always lead to a network speed of the oldest standard involved. Wireless B has a maximum network speed of 11 Mb/s. So a wireless N router would operate at 11 Mb/s on a N,G and B mixed mode network.

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