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Chris G. Williams Beware: I mix tech and personal interests here.

A couple weeks ago I was watching Netflix on the Xbox 360 in my living room and every so often, it would have to take a moment and rebuffer and just generally spoil my television enjoyment. As I thought about this, and thought about how often I was having to cycle the power on my aging Linksys Wireless G router, I decided it might be time for an upgrade. 

This is no small undertaking, mind you. With 8 desktop/laptop computers, 1 Windows Home Server, 4 Xbox 360s, 2 Wiis, 1 mini cell tower, various smart phones and other WiFi aware devices... I knew I was in for a major evolution.

The first step was picking out a router. I decided to go for the Netgear N600 Wireless Dual Band Router. The price was < $100 which was nice, although the lack of Wired Gigabit support did have me considering the next better model.

The N600 also has support for attaching USB storage. This is especially nice if I want to share something locally with a guest without going through the hassle of adding them to my Home Server. I just drag the files to the mapped share and they can grab them.

So... with the router purchased, it was time to gradually move my various devices over. The wired computers were easy enough. That took about a minute. My work laptop had built in support for 5GHz 802.11N, so that was easy. The other laptops didn't but they connected easy enough as G. One of the non-wired desktops had built-in N support, so that was easy. The rest are sporting G adapters, which will need to be upgraded, but at $70 each, I'm not in a big hurry. I can gradually upgrade them oer the next few months. The phones weren't a big deal, nor were the other devices.

Where I really ran into problems was when I started looking at the Xbox 360s. The basement Xbox is one of the new ones, and has Wireless N already. That was easy enough. The Xbox in my office is wired, so no worries there either.

The Living Room and Loft units are both older and need Wireless Adapters. The Loft unit has one that supports G, but I wanted N for the additional range and speed. The Living Room unit was actually using a 3rd party router in slave mode to the old G router and simulating a wired connection to the Xbox. So I knew that had to be replaced.

Unfortunately, almost nobody sells Wireless Network Adapters in stores anymore. Sure, you can find them online but being impatient, I wanted it local and by God, I wanted it NOW. So I went on a hunt. I tried Craigs List, the local classifieds, and searched the websites of every local business that might have carried it. I did manage to find one unit nearly 30 minutes away, with the next closest unit being literally a state over. (I can only surmise that since Microsoft is producing Xbox units with built in wireless, they are discouraging vendors from selling the adapters... so as to get people to upgrade.)

So, I managed to get ONE Wireless N adapter, which I hooked up in the Living Room. The Loft is still on Wireless G until I can find another N adapter locally (or I break down and order one from Amazon.)

So by the time it's all said and done, my $80 router upgrade will end up costing me almost $400 in additional upgrades. Of course, considering I got rid of Satellite and Cable TV and watch pretty much everything over the internet, it's worth it.


Posted on Sunday, March 20, 2011 3:38 PM General Interest | Back to top

Comments on this post: Making the move to Wireless N

# re: Making the move to Wireless N
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Even as you said youll watch thigs over the internet.....AT&T will issue overages on how much GB you use over the internet...SMHHHHH
Left by EjectableCupcakes on Mar 28, 2011 2:56 PM

# re: Making the move to Wireless N
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Left by elmer maliari on May 16, 2011 5:23 AM

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