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02-26-2009 12:27 PM
Good posts y’all,
the wireless protocol (the “nuts & bolts” that carry the traffic between the computer and the router) is an encapsulating protocol that puts a wrapper around the standard TCP/IP traffic and carries it over a radio frequency to the next “wire”. It has speed limitations, packet size limitations and all manor of transport protocol specifics as would any other good protocol. But the actual TCP & UDP packets do not travel unmolested across the air, they need a wire to do that. It’s kinda like they have to get on an airplane to fly across the room, the airplane having it’s own time schedule.
Granted, that’s an over-simplification, but it illustrates the issue well, this forum serves a wide spectrum of technical aptitudes.
Also factors like the number of packets dropped in mid-air (knocked down by a wireless mouse, your neighbors garage door opener or your cordless phone for example) account too for differences in wireless speeds encountered in different homes. Each lost packet has to be acknowledged and then re-sent.
The strength of the wireless broadcast from the router is strictly regulated by the FCC. The D-Link, LinkSys, Actiontec, all the same strength. BUT! The antennae and other subtle proprietary & patented differences account for different performance levels. For example a Dell laptop with a built-in D-Link wireless card connecting to a D-Link wireless router might connect far better and faster than a Toshiba with a LinkSys built in wireless card connecting to a Westel wireless router.
The ideas of greatest value posted above are: The alteration of wireless chan. (11 works good for me). And the addition of another wireless router. But the wireless connection should generally not be expected to have the same speed as a hard wired one, a wireless N router coupled with an N compatible computer would produce the best/fastest result probably, but even that is subject to wireless radio interference that could lower speed.