08-12-2011 07:06 PM
I plan to upgrade from Verizon FIOS 20/5 to 35/35 mbs, buy a pc with a 10/1000 NIC,andupgrade my Actiontec wireless MI424-WR to b/g/n. I have these three questions for the experts.
1. Will my 10/1000 NIC pc benefit fom any of these upgrades?
2. Will my wireless N laptop benefit from any of these upgrades?
3. Does VZ Actiontec have an b/g/n upgrade?
4. Does the MI424-WR support over 10 mbs already?
08-12-2011 09:30 PM - edited 08-12-2011 09:39 PM
1: A 35Mbps/35Mbps connection will not max out a Fast Ethernet (100Mbps Full Duplex) connection. If you get a Gigabit NIC, it helps with internal transfers provided the Ethernet switch the NIC is connected to supports Gigabit speeds. In the case of the Verizon router, Gigabit is not supported except on the Rev. G so your NIC will still connect at 100Mbps.
2: The laptop will benefit from it, however expect to see no more than a few megabits gained on the Wireless connection. The FiOS routers do not have Wireless N support but instead supports Wireless G (typically maxes at 25Mbps on a clean singal) with two exceptions. The Rev. F ActionTec router may be capable of achieving 35Mbps upload and download over Wireless since it is a Draft N specification router, but there are no guarantees and WPA2 is required to even use Wireless N. The Rev. G ActionTec which is a fully compliant N router will have no problem achieving 35Mbps wirelessly, though again, WPA2 is required to take advantage of Wireless N. The laptop can use Ethernet for the higher speeds or a Wireless N access point can be ordered to hang off of the ActionTec. A recommended cheap Access Point would be something like this below:
3: The only upgrade Verizon will offer that is guaranteed to get a Gigabit Ethernet router with full Wireless N support is for those upgrading or purchasing the 150Mbps FiOS package. It's around $200 a month for that speed (talk about steep, more expensive than a datacenter unmetered Gigabit connection), so it isn't really something that is affordable or worth it just to get an upgraded router. Anything else is either begging Verizon to send you one (very hard to do since the Rev. G units are in limited supply) or a luck of the draw if you get something such as a Rev. F.
4: The MI424WRs starting with Rev. A (way back when FiOS first began) all supported 100Mbps Internet connections under the hood due to the hardware provided with them (Intel IXP clocked at 533Mhz, single core and more than plenty for 100Mbps connections). You have nothing to worry about since the ActionTec is plenty fast to handle it. If you have a GEN2 ActionTec starting with the Rev. E, the hardware is overkill enough to actually support some insane amounts of bandwidth (64-bit Dual Core CPU) but the limiting factors on those is of course, the Ethernet port speeds, Wireless radio capabilities and the MoCa interface speed.
08-19-2012 04:17 PM
So.... if you would be so kind, can you tell me in plain language whether I will gain a reasonably percievable improvement by buying a Gig-E router from Verizon to replace my ancient Verizon-supplied Actintec M1424-WR?
My desktop is plugged directly into the router,
and my laptop has an 11b/g/n wireless LAN Mini-PCI Express Adapter II (dunno what that means, sorry to say) and an Intel(R) 82577LM Gigabit Network Connection (which I guess is for using a cable rather than wireless?) and a Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter (ditto the dunno)
Thanks for any insight that a non-techie can use, if you have the time and inclination.
08-20-2012 05:39 AM
In short, unless you have a need for the two computers in the house to talk to one another, not really.
Without getting into the weeds to much, there is the potential for an "N" capable router to help with speed on your wireless laptop connection, but in most instances this will likely be inperceptable. There will be no improvement for a hardwired computer. The router itself as well as the desktop computer hardware all run at rates which easily exceed the speeds to which you subscribe from Verizon and thus will not be the bottleneck..