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    Thread: Wireless Networking

    1. #1
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      Wireless Networking

      I've got a few questions regarding this, since I'm completely new. I'm trying to assess our situation and figure out what products are best.

      Currently, the modem is in a closet in the corner of the very top floor of the three-floor house. I'm concerned that throwing a wireless router in there would broadcast the signals right out of the house. If this is the case, can I do some fancy stuff with an omnidirectional antenna and a repeater, somewhere on the middle floor?

      What kind of transfer rate should I be concerned with if I'm interested in PC and console gaming, as well as Netflix/Zune video streaming? It seems the higher end of the spectrum is around 400Mbps, but is that excessive? How much of a difference will I notice between that and 150Mbps?

      When it comes to adapters, I've noticed some that are attached through USB port, PCI-E port, and some that seem to be a second router that then allows wired connections. Any recommendation here? The TEW-647GA Wireless N
      Gaming Adapter appears to be an attractive purchase, since all my gaming and streaming is done in the same place.

      What would be the ideal set-up? Any recommendations?

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      Re: Wireless Networking

      Not sure how to address the other questions, but the transfer rate should only impact in-network (LAN) transfers. Your bandwidth is going to be much lower than the router's transfer rate so the choke point when it comes to gaming and streaming is your ISP, not your router.

      I *think* to set up a repeater you need routers that are compatible with DDWRT. I wouldn't be able to tell you how to set that up, but Google probably can.

      I've seen Instructables for adding a parabolic reflector to router antennas, you could try that to direct the signal towards the inside of the house from the corner closet. Probably wouldn't help you direct it downwards though, so you may still need the repeater on the second floor or something.

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      Re: Wireless Networking

      Currently, the modem is in a closet in the corner of the very top floor of the three-floor house. I'm concerned that throwing a wireless router in there would broadcast the signals right out of the house. If this is the case, can I do some fancy stuff with an omnidirectional antenna and a repeater, somewhere on the middle floor?
      I'm not sure what you're asking here. Are you concerned that your signals are being broadcast outside of your home so that passerbys are going to pick it up? You'll need to just lock it down (inconvenient but most secure) by having it go into stealth mode and then requiring passkeys to access the device itself (be sure to name your device with a unique name similar to a kind of password) You can also restrict access by manually assigning a static IP to each connection but that can be just as inconvenient as the first solution.

      What kind of transfer rate should I be concerned with if I'm interested in PC and console gaming, as well as Netflix/Zune video streaming? It seems the higher end of the spectrum is around 400Mbps, but is that excessive? How much of a difference will I notice between that and 150Mbps?
      It's not the bandwidth but the throughput and latency of the device itself. The fault of these devices is in the way they regulate internal traffic and how quickly the processor on-board these devices (be it a router or switcher) reconcile the data streams. There's a lot of high end corporate solutions which minimizes these issues but as a gamer you'd want something that's more built towards gaming.

      I'm assuming you're already familiar with particular settings on your network adapter for gaming (If not, Google "Blizzard Support Network Settings" for a good and general breakdown on the important settings) Make sure the device follow industry standards and check the company website to see how often they update the support section and peruse support forums to see if there are additional issues you should be aware of. The most common complaints I have read regarding this is how often a device is going to pause and confirm the signal and at times you can lose signal strength or the stream altogether when it does this. There should be a "smart" BIOS on the device (paired with drivers for your PC) that should reconcile any differences on the fly but cheaper products will more than likely not have this solution. I would be wary of playing games via a wireless connection with your console systems because they won't have the ability nor the capacity to reconcile any issues with your device in the way you could with a driver on a computer (that you could independently update)

      Also, if your home has a lot of concrete and/or metal in the structure, that can cause additional interference with signal strength. This could force you to have to purchase a second device in order to compensate for any shortcomings.



      ---general caveat rant---
      You should always research the products based on consumer reviews and not on "professional reviews" because where you'll find issues are at the retail end. I always sift through comments on Amazon.com and Newegg.com and try to get a feel of the trend. Sometimes I'll find a host of comments related to a particular issue or bug and read further to see if any of those companies have their representatives respond with solutions (they usually do on newer and more commonly purchased products) I don't follow professional reviews because almost always they're getting a skewed perception when they are given products freely by these companies that could be the "cream of the crop" or ones that were certified as problem free from their engineers and do not reflect the reality of their overall production quality. Only time I read the professional reviews is where it concerns benchmark and esoteric testing because the average Joe consumer won't bother doing that in their reviews and that's okay.
      ---end rant---

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