I'm Confused

Discussion in 'Networking Issues' started by tarheel, Jun 7, 2004.

  1. tarheel

    tarheel Guest

    Greetings all! Just registered minutes ago after being led here by a countless string of links. Looks like the place I need to help.

    I am relatively new to networking and completely new to linksys. A year or so ago I was bound to AOHELL and WANTED to go with linksys but was instructed by AOHELL that linksys was not compatible with their "service" After cutting the ties to AOHELL completely (what a relief) and getting Roadrunner, it is now time for me to find something else to occupy hours of my time.

    While I was bound by AOHELL I made the move to cable and wireless. At the time, only ACTIONTEC (i know many are saying "WHO?") was compatible with AOHELL. I purchased a wireless router, couple of cards and set it up myself. It HAD to be pretty simple to do if I was able to do it...I aint that smart I tell yah...have enjoyed the freedom of wireless ever since..never had a problem using the router I bought for AOHELL with roadrunner so life has been good.

    So now, I have a lot of extra time, a little extra money and figure what the heck, I will see what all this "G" and "speedbooster" is all about. I understand it will not speed up my internet connection and I am looking for justification for me to make the move from B to G or "speedbooster". Basically, its one of those things that you want just because you can have it and you know it will probably take up a lot of time to setup and cause endless hours of frustration...I am all for it.

    So, for someone that doesnt do that many file transfers (one a day..maybe), no streaming, have not got VoIP (yet..and I heard it would be better to be on G than B for this???) wants to get into CASUAL gaming (PS2 and computer), and thinks that if I had the "know how" I would hook up a amp to a router and setup my own little wireless "hotspot" out here in the boonies (for you city slickers..."boonies" means way out in the woods)

    That being said why should I move from B to G? What is the difference between linksys' G and this new speedbooster technology? I read a couple of things that suggested the G router and the SB router are the exact same with the exception of some memory and a little different firmware..is this true? If not, what is speedbooster all about and is it worth the extra 40.00?
    If I were to buy the WRT54G could I update it with firmware to be the same thing as the WRT54GS?

    WHEN I make the move to G, is there someway I can make use of the existing router that I have? Maybe put in another room to boost a signal...even a B speeds?

    What OTHER uses can one find to make use of these routers? Besides hooking up a desktop, couple of laptops and maybe running a ethernet cable from the back of it to a PS2 (instead of paying 99 for the adapter) what else can I do with it? I am the type of person that even though I do not know a lot, I like to learn and "tinker" with things...as long as I do not do more harm than is good. Other uses..possibilities?

    I apologize for such a long, drawn out first post but, I figured I better ask all the questions at one time before I make any decision. I appreciate the time and look forward to FINALLY getting my linksys network setup, that is of course if I can find good enough reason...err..excuses to do so :lol:
  2. elzbal

    elzbal Network Guru Member

    The "B" vs "G" vs "GS" question really applies only to the speed of communication between your home networking devices. The speed of Wireless-B is perfectly fine for communicating to the Internet (since it's probably significantly faster than your internet connection through RoadRunner).

    How much do your computers talk to each other? What do you do in terms of intra-device communication? For example, do you have a central file server?

    If all you are doing is streaming video from the internet, playing internet-based games, and (possibly) going to VoIP, your existing Wireless-B network will be just fine. If, however, you are looking to upgrade for other reasons (for example, instability in your wireless router), then you might consider going to "G" or "GS", simply because it's not that much more expensive (well, at least "G" isn't).
  3. Esquire

    Esquire Mesquire Staff Member Member

    In addition, the firmwares for WRT54G and WRT54GS are not interchangeable.


    The major difference between the two models is SpeedBooster, and if you do decide to move to the WRT54GS, your wireless clients will also require to have "SpeedBooster" adapters in order to reap the benefit the technology brings, otherwise they will simply operate at B or G - the standard they were designed.

    You should also note that in a mixed mode WLAN, where both B and G devices are present, the performance of the G devices will suffer, even though G is backwards compatible with B.

    Edited on 8 June to shorten long URL to Linksys.
  4. Toril

    Toril Network Guru Member


    I'm a network specialist at an ISP, and I have a very similar setup to yourself. (Although I've never had AOL ;) ... I started out with a plethora of 802.11b equipment (11mbit wireless). Belkin USB nic, DLink usb nic, some noname brand pcmcia I got on ebay, and a netgear nic along with a netgear router.

    I got into the WRT54G because I'm a linux fan and wanted to tinker with my own firmware. The main difference between B and G is that G is faster... 802.11g is 54mbit. Now, you ask about this "speedbooster"? Well, it's basically like I'm a manufacturer and I want to make my product stand out. (DLink has something similar, 2x or AirPlus, etc).... they kinda cheat and hack to get twice the bandwidth. Some folks use compression (like propel, can you say "AOL 9.0 Optimized"?), some use 2 channels instead of one, but the GS version of the WRT54G has more memory and flash, to hold more software... aka, future hacks. Which is why when you get a "speedbooster" from Linksys, it will only work with their "speedboosted" nics ... same manufacturer...

    I didn't want a speedbooster because A) it cost more and B) I had so many different manufacturers of nics, it didn't make sense for me to lock into one, even if it meant something cool like "speedbooster". I wanted the standard 802.11b/g (actually I don't even have any "g" nics yet) ... and interoprability was more important to me than fancy, per-manufacturer features.

    I'm not knocking this practice at all, in fact it's this fierce competition that means you and I as consumers win out in the end, we have such a great selection to choose from. I sold my netgear router for a chance to get my hands on a WRT54G and I just love it.
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