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Old 02-23-2011, 08:13 PM   #16
snipenekkid
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wifi vs. 3G is not a direct comparison. Technically no 3G can ever be as fast as your wifi connection to your router. Best 3G speeds I ever had over Sprint was about 2Mbs/2Mbs symmetric. Best I ever had with Version where I live was 5Mbs/4Mbs but that was several years ago when nobody had smart phones and the towers were not even close to oversold/oversaturated as they are today. The more saturated a tower the more throttling and congestion there will be and the slower your individual connection will be. Today it is criminal the degree of over saturation that these WISP's and Wireless Telco's are being allowed to get away with. Hell, even DSL providers are now far over saturating their DSL service which was ALWAYS supposed to be guaranteed bandwidth unlike cable with is a shared bandwidth situation. So if you have an oddly fluctuating DSL connection then the chances are nothing is wrong with your service beyond the telco servicing those lines overselling their capacity and not upgrading the service or hardware to accommodate the growing user-base.

Basically a mobile broadband (MBB) tower is a central communication point akin to your wifi router. This tower has one or more fiber optic connections coming into the tower. These fiber connections determine the maximum bandwidth (size of the pipe to carry information like pipes in your home). Some towers are as basic as a single T1 class line which has a max bandwidth of just 1.5Mbs but there can also be several T1 lines. The problem with a T1 line is it's OLD technology dating back as far as the 1960s. But bundling several T1's is not uncommon in areas without the ability to add T3 lines. Problem is these lines get expensive and today almost none of the service towers are actually owned and maintained by the MBB/Cellular provider. They are actually owned and maintained by smaller local or regional companies. Major towers (nodes) in a providers network are, in general, the only parts of a network which the CellCo owns and maintains. But I seem to remember even that is changing. But basically today CellCo's own very little of the hardware infrastructure, instead they lease it from the smaller tower providers. it really can be more efficient but the down side is every time a new player is introduced into the mix they tend to look for more ways to provide the MINIMUM the contract calls for rather than build out for the future.

Other towers can be served by one or more of the vastly faster T3 (also called DS3) lines with max bandwidth of ~45Mbs. After than there is OC-1 at around 52Mps and then the OC-3 (~155 Mbs). After that is OC-768 which is in the ~40Gbs range. What this gives is the ability to scale any tower's service, however none of the providers are actually doing this because, well they don't have to legally do so even if there are a zillion users on a tower resulting in mobile 'broadband' speeds that are far below dialup during peak periods. But that is a discussion for another thread. I just point them out to show it is in no way true that there is any equivalency between MBB (in this case 3G) and wifi apples and oranges.

Your wifi is not intended as a true about town or traveling mobile networking solution. It is intended for a controlled environment or even a campus environment like a business complex or, well, a college or high school campus. In theory right now the fasted you can get on your wifi network is 1Gb/s speed which is 1000Mb/s or around 750x faster than a T1 line. BUT the actual speed you connect to the web will always be the slowest segment of your connection, or your broadband connection. So while you might have a 54Mbps/100Mbps or even 1Gbps wifi network your connection to the web will ALWAYS be limited to the max speed of your actual connection to the web. So it does not matter how fast your wifi is.

So don't be mislead into thinking that going with a wifi device will always give you any faster a connection. As in a 3G router which connects to the web and you connect to the router via wifi won't give you any faster a connection than using 3G directly. This is because the rate limit is that 3G connection. It's why 54Mb/s speed is far more than 99% of people need for now. But as FIOS and other fiber to the home solutions grow a faster router might eventually be of use but even today it's highly unlikely that same 99% will benefit from a gigabit or even 100Mb/s router in our lifetime, at least here in the US anywhere outside some test cities or even big cities.

As a last example I offer our small town which built out a Muni Wifi that has bombed completely because they simply put out enough nodes to get paid (3rd party contractor did the design and install so they did the minimum to get paid). I recently tested it again after trying to for several months a few years back and the fastest connection i was able to achieve was about 100Kb/s symmetric. This is an example of the fact Wifi does not have anything to do with your connection speed to the web. Now our local library is closer to a true FIOS level service at around 20Mb/s down and 10Mb/s upload speeds. Of course we can't get that level of service to our homes, another reason I sold my place and am out of here after 40yrs of this sort of crap.

sorry this was long but it's a complicated issue worthy of an explanation.

Last edited by snipenekkid; 02-23-2011 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:16 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by FF2 View Post
I believe the 2.xxxx mhz cordless phones interfere with some wireless routers - I had that problem and converted to 5.xxx cordless phones. That is CORDLESS and not cellphones.
yeah, sometimes there can be some interference, same for microwaves. However I have yet to enounter the issue in real life. In my place I had my wifi router in the same cabinet as both my phone base station as well as above my microwave. No interference, dropped packets or any such issue. I think it's the older routers, 2.4Mhz phones as well as cheap microwaves that have the issue of buggering the2.4Mhz spectrum. If there is interference just change to a different channel on the phone and/or the router.
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:40 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by snipenekkid View Post
yeah, sometimes there can be some interference, same for microwaves. However I have yet to enounter the issue in real life. In my place I had my wifi router in the same cabinet as both my phone base station as well as above my microwave. No interference, dropped packets or any such issue. I think it's the older routers, 2.4Mhz phones as well as cheap microwaves that have the issue of buggering the2.4Mhz spectrum. If there is interference just change to a different channel on the phone and/or the router.
I remember the problems too well. I was on the cordless phone with tech support and using my laptop. I would lose the wireless on the laptop driving me and the techie crazy. At first I did not realize the issue. Replaced the phones as noted above.
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Old 02-24-2011, 06:50 AM   #19
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I've used D-Link NICs and routers before with good results. How would the unit you've mentioned compare to this one. Is there any advantage of the latter? Would a faster model benefit me any more than a basic unit?
As others have already mentioned, Kindle do not support advanced standards so there is no gain in using them.

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What is the typical range of these routers? I live in a 3-bedroom home + full basement. My house isn't all that big. Are there any devices (cordless phone, appliances, etc) that could possibly interfere with the signal?
The range is limited by maximum signal strength allowed by regulations for these devices therefore the router model has little impact on the range. The location of the router and type of walls are the biggest factors.

Kindle will not use much bandwidth (hint: it does not display video). If you need Wi-Fi only for Kindle, I would recommend to configure it running in b/g mode only if possible. It limits the speed but works better in poor signal conditions as it does not try to deliver the bandwidth that the Kindle does not need.
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