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Old 08-17-2008, 06:41 PM   #1
sox
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how to tell if WiFi is N or G/B

I have a home netowrk with some computers with Wifi-N and some with wifi G and B. I'm trying to make sure I don't connect to the network with the Wifi-G/B computers so that I can run at the full wifi-N speed. Since I'm not seeing the speeds I was hoping for over the wifi-N (it looks like G). I am wondering how I tell what mode the Wireless is actually using? Are there settings I have to set somewhere (e.g. is there someplace to set "use wifi-N" only--never connect at G).

if it's not connecting at N then how do I set things up so it will.

I don't know what the rules of engagement here are. For example if I have G computer connecting to the network then I close the connection, will the netowrk revert to N by itself or is it stuck? if the G computer is broadcasting but has not connected to the N network is the N-network degraded?
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Old 08-18-2008, 02:22 AM   #2
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If I remember correctly, 802.11n will auto-default to the best available option. Make sure the router isn't set to 802.11a/b/g only. Set it to mixed mode, or 802.11n only.

What router are you using? that might help out.

Also. I believe that Wireless-G and N do not operate on the same frequency. Therefore, they shouldn't interfere with eachother.
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Old 08-19-2008, 03:20 PM   #3
sox
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130 Mbs

Let me be more specific.

when I look in network utility it shows the maximum speed is 130kbs for the interface. Obviously this is faster than G or B but not the full speed possible for N.

But as a test I connected a B wifi to the network then re-checked the network utility speed. it still showed 130kbs, which is not correct since while the b-unit was networked we know the speed is downgraded. Thus this number being shown means something else.

When I remove the B-wifi and then try to do some data intensive file transfer I see a speed of 50 to 64 so I'm not even getting the 130.

So I'm trying to figure out how I can tell what mode it's really working in as the comuters connected vary and why it's limiting the bandwidth to 130.

I do know my neighbor has a network as I can occasionally see it listed on my avaialble networks. But I'm not joining that and as far as I know he can't join mine. So the only impact there should be simply some bandwidth reduction if some channels are not free. But I want a way to monior what it's really doing.
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Old 08-19-2008, 03:25 PM   #4
sox
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more info:

the network is an apple imac to and apple imac. there is no wireless router. The first imac is sharing it's ethernet connection. However the speed tests I'm doing are mac-to-mac file transfers (rsync) and mac-to-mac disk mounts (AFP) and playing a movie.

I have two macs with N and one with a B (and occasionally one with a G comes home). I deliberately don't connect the B or G, except as needed to try not degrade the N-to-N bandwidth. But it seems my bandwidth sucks anyhow.

I can keep the two computers as close or as far as I like in my house and I see no difference in the band width. I don't use wireless phones in that band or a microwave and there is only one wifi network at a neigbor's house.
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Old 08-19-2008, 03:27 PM   #5
sox
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So how do I set the mac's N router to N-only or to Mixed mode or tweak it. Back when I had tiger and an airport base station there used to be a way to pick channels and set interferrence robustness. But I can't find this in the new preferences. Not is there any way to tell what mode it is autoselecting that I can see.
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Old 08-22-2008, 07:58 PM   #6
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how?

I don't know the answer to your question, but you should wonder how good a wireless access point your Mac is.

This video by David Pogue finds that most routers that claim to deliver 802.11n _don't_. It also finds that only the AirPort Extreme n actually did deliver the bandwidth. He did not test a set up like yours. I don't know if the command line tools he is shown using would help you. You might want to take a look.

Good luck.
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Old 08-25-2008, 01:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anti
I believe that Wireless-G and N do not operate on the same frequency. Therefore, they shouldn't interfere with eachother.

This is incorrect. 802.11g and 802.11n can interfere with eachother. 802.11g is single band (2.4GHz) while 802.11n is dual band (2.4GHz and 5GHz). If the 802.11n device is set to use 2.4GHz, then it can receive interference from other 2.4GHz devices (including 802.11g). On the other hand, if the 802.11n device is set to use 5GHz, then you don't have to worry about interference from 2.4GHz devices.

I believe (unconfirmed) that most vendors ship their 802.11n routers with the default settings to operate at 2.4GHz in order to support older devices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sox
Let me be more specific.

when I look in network utility it shows the maximum speed is 130Mbs for the interface. Obviously this is faster than G or B but not the full speed possible for N.

But as a test I connected a B wifi to the network then re-checked the network utility speed. it still showed 130Mbs, which is not correct since while the b-unit was networked we know the speed is downgraded. Thus this number being shown means something else.

When I remove the B-wifi and then try to do some data intensive file transfer I see a speed of 50 to 64 so I'm not even getting the 130.

So I'm trying to figure out how I can tell what mode it's really working in as the comuters connected vary and why it's limiting the bandwidth to 130.

It seems that Apple defaults to using the 2.4GHz band for ad hoc wireless networks over 802.11n. As a result, you are limited to using 2 22MHz channels in the 2.4GHz band as opposed to 2 40MHz channels in the 5GHz band. This is why the data rate shown in the Network Utility is not 300Mbps as you might have been expecting. Also note that 130 Mbps is a raw data rate, which does not take into account overhead, packet loss, interference, etc. Thus, your real world rate of 50 to 64 Mbps is probably on the mark.

Last edited by wdympcf; 08-25-2008 at 01:15 PM.
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