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Does 802 N wireless actually have a better range

than G?



9:21 am on May 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've bought a Netgear wireless N router to replace my old Safecom.

First impressions were really good, improved ADSL speed and virtually double the range of my old router router on G.

Then I started to wonder how far the wireless range would increase on N, so off I went and bought a wireless N USB adaptor for my laptop.

The speed difference is amazing 135Mbps around the house, dropping to 12Mbps at the edge of reception.

But here's the rub, the range is identical to G, the adverts claim twice to four times more! Hunting around it seems the claimed increases in range are for line of sight only, put walls in the way and all bets are off, in fact G can perform better when passing through walls etc.

The reason being it operates at 2.5GHz while N used 5GHz, and as any good radio amateur will tell you as the frequency goes up the ability to pass through sold objects reduces.

I'm interested to hear your experiences with N vs. G have you found the same as me, or did you do better?


4:34 pm on May 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

if you want better range get a higher dB antenna


7:57 pm on May 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The range is good enough for what I need, and in fact I did try a high gain antenna with my old router.

What interests me is the claims the manufacturers make about the range of 'n' compared to 'g' in my opinion they are at best misleading. I was/am interested whether anyone has achieved the advertised improvements.

My new Netgear router supports RangeMax. I was looking on Ebay earlier and bought a cheap RangeMax G USB adaptor, so I'll see if this combination offers better range than an ordinary 'n' adaptor.


7:53 pm on May 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

all range and speed claims made are misleading, I take whatever it says with a grain of salt. every enviroment is different, this is why I wire and strickly use wireless as secondary low priority computing.

Those (rangemax)(speedboost)etc etc are also misleading and more of a way to make you buy their router and their cards, in some cases they are exactly the same as the other manufactures just with another name.

[edited by: J_RaD at 7:56 pm (utc) on May 10, 2009]


8:30 am on May 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Is it true that for a particular speed, you can be further away with N than G?


4:48 pm on May 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

N has an indoor range of UP TO 300m, G is 100m.

I look at this as, just how far do you want your network going OUTSIDE of your building. I can already pick up peoples G networks a block away. Once N becomes popular you'll be able to pick up MORE farther away, security nightmare.

[edited by: J_RaD at 4:49 pm (utc) on May 11, 2009]


7:26 pm on May 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Is it true that for a particular speed, you can be further away with N than G?

From my experience yes and no! Line of site, laptop in the garden, nothing in the way (router in a window) N has better range. Router in the corner of a room with cavity wall, G is better (marginally).

My RangeMax card arrived today, there is a slight improvement in range, but the speed is much better - 12Mbps against 1Mbps at the edge of reception, and the connection is less prone to dropping out.

Overall the biggest single way to improve the range is also the cheapest - move the router!


3:15 pm on May 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Final Observations.

Routers with two aerials are directional, by rotating my router thru' 90 degrees I was able to increase the range by 10m, and reduce dropped connections.

There is very little difference in range between G and N in 'real' situations. The best I've achieved is 65m through two cavity walls and a clear view across the garden.

For a given range N is faster, but this is only important if you are moving big files, or streaming video. For surfing the web, email, etc. you won't notice the difference.


11:32 pm on May 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member


give this a try as well.


11:53 pm on May 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

With my G which is located on the first floor, I would have intermittent connectivity for a laptop on the second floor.
Upgraded to N and have never had a connection drop yet. Knock on wood.

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