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You are here: Home > Networking > Wireless Networking > Wireless N Guide / Review (802.11n) > Wireless G vs. Wireless N
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Wireless G vs. Wireless N:
A Real-World Performance Comparison by Alvin C.
 
Wireless G High-Power Access Point (503082)
 
VS
 
Wireless 300N PoE Access Point (524735)
 
 

Ever since its introduction in the year 2006, the INTELLINET Wireless G High-Power Access Point 503082 has been the performance yardstick in the Wireless G segment.

Its unmatched 23 dBm output power rating, even by today’s standards, meant one thing: When regular Access Points had long given up, the High-Power G Access Point was still broadcasting strong. Further signal boost could be achieved by connecting a High-Gain antenna. In addition, PoE (Power over Ethernet) support, Bridge and Repeater modes, combined with the aforementioned strong output power, made the High-Power G Access Point the device to have for any Wireless Network Installer.

Unsurprisingly, the High-Power G Access Point became the top-selling Access Point in the INTELLINET NETWORK SOLUTIONS product range.

The demise of Wireless G technology, which had begun in the year 2007, picked up considerable pace in 2008.
Now, in the year 2009, Wireless G technology has been all but replaced by Wireless N.

On paper it is easy to see why:
Wireless N goes further and faster than Wireless G ever could. Wireless N also offers a technology called WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup), which allows the user to create a WPA2 encrypted secure wireless connection by the push of a button. This makes manually typing in complicated encryption keys a thing of the past.

Many end-users struggled with this crucial part of the setup and as a result, tech support hotlines received many calls and many wireless networks were set up with poor (if any) wireless security.

INTELLINET has introduced the replacement of the High-Power G Access Point in summer 2009. The Wireless 300N PoE Access Point (model 524735) is equipped with 2T2R MIMO Technology, PoE Support, WPS, an integrated Radius Server and support for multiple Wireless Networks that can be linked to individual VLANs. It is also much easier to set up than the old product.


The bottom line is: Wireless N is easier, faster and reaches further than Wireless G.

The real-world comparison test was conducted in a typical residential neighborhood in Florida, which features obstacles such as bushes, trees, homes, cars and outdoor air compression units that generate plenty of electric interference.


The measurements were taken at 7 different locations (see no. 1 to 7 in the map below).
 

 

AP: Location of Access Point.
Location 1: Indoor, clear line of sight to Access Point. Distance: 6 ft. / 1 m.
Location 2: Outdoor, Porch. Distance about 30 ft / 10 m.
Location 3: Outdoor. Distance approx. 60 ft. /20 m.
Location 4: Outdoor. Distance approx. 80 ft. / 25 m. Obstacle: Tree

Location 5: Outdoor. Distance approx. 150 ft. / 50 m. Obstacles: Residential home, trees.

Location 6: Outdoor. Distance approx. 180 ft. / 60 m. Obstacles: Residential home, trees.

Location 7: Outdoor. Distance approx. 250 ft. / 80 m. Obstacles: Residential homes, trees.


Hardware used:
- DELL D620 Notebook, 2GB RAM, INTEL Centrino DUO CPU
- Windows XP SP3
- INTELLINET Wireless G PCMCIA card
- INTELLINET Wireless N PCMCIA card
- INTELLINET High-Power G and Wireless N Access Points.


Test Procedure:
Large files (1 GB) were being read from a shared network drive, which was connected at 100 Mbps to the Wireless Access Point.

 
Each test was repeated three times and the average was taken from the measurements. The application ‘Freemeter’ was used as the measuring tool.
 

 
  • Wireless N achieves about three times the throughput of Wireless G, despite the fact that the Wireless G Access Point has an output power rating of 23 dBm while the Wireless N Access Point only manages 17 dBm.

  • Wireless N doubles the range of Wireless G.

  • In location 3 (and to some degree location 4) the Wireless N speed was high enough for HD-video streaming whereas Wireless G was slower than most residential Internet connection in Europe and the US, effectively becoming a bottleneck for the online connection.


Conclusions:

  1. Power isn’t everything. Wireless N outperforms Wireless G despite being down on nominal power.

  2. As test series 2 (Wireless G network adapter connected to Wireless N Access Point) shows, even users with Wireless G cards benefit from the presence of Wireless N. This is of particular importance, because many users still use Wireless G network adapters. Often Wireless G adapters are integrated in Notebooks and cannot easily be replaced (if at all). By swapping out the High-Power G Access Point with the new Wireless N units, all users benefit instantaneously.

  3. The INTELLINET Wireless 300N PoE Access Point offers better features and performance (even when you have older wireless G users/adapters).