What to look for in an N router

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by jersully, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. jersully

    jersully LI Guru Member

    I'm a little lost in what someone should be looking for when shopping for an N router. Other than potential Tomato compatibility of course.

    I have read that dual band is good, but why? How important are multiple antennas and is it good to have an internal in addition to external antennas? Are there considerations to be made to avoid interference with extant G routers, cordless phones, microwave ovens, etc?
  2. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

  3. jersully

    jersully LI Guru Member

    I followed that thread. It talks about a router that you can compile Tomato for, but it doesn't address the questions in this thread.
  4. SL83

    SL83 Addicted to LI Member

    Dual band is good because you can use one radio to transmit only and one radio to receive only. So dedicated send and receive = send and receive at the same time. External antennas are generally better than an internal one.
  5. murphm4n

    murphm4n Network Guru Member

    um, dual band is good because you can support both legacy b/g/n + a/n clients (on 2 different sets of radios without impacting performance).. & 5ghz is less crowded than trash-band 2.4ghz.. & (5ghz) has more non-overlapping channels.. (current dual-band capable clients are unable to send/receive on one radio & receive/send on the other - they'll associate to one at a time).. yes, you can call me a 5ghz fan.. despite the performance loss over distance - but that's another topic..

    also, external antennas provide for more antenna options; directional, high-gain, omni, even DAS integration, etc.. but some ap's internal antennas can be as good as some external antennas.. & yes, i have a variety of external antennas, but for your average everyday use - i still like the convenience of a half decent internal antenna (even if it is only a bent piece of sheet metal)
  6. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    OK - to spell it out, 5GHz band is almost mandatory for N operation.

    IF you want to avoid interference from cookers, telephones, they don't operate on 5GHz.

    The thread I pointed to before had my observations on why N operation isn't going to be too popular in areas where there are a lot of "G" routers. They stomp all over the G routers.

    murphm4n has said the rest very well indeed. As for internal antennas, speaking as an engineer it is quite difficult to make an internal antenna that functions well, most engineers simply don't take the trouble. Normally a good external antenna will be better, but not always so.
  7. jersully

    jersully LI Guru Member

    Thanks guys.
  8. jersully

    jersully LI Guru Member

    I want to point out for anyone that runs across this thread that not all wireless-n NICs support 5GHz either, so you need to pair up your purchases to gain the benefits of 5GHz. (Thankfully, the Intel WiFi 5100AGN that came with my laptop does!)
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