High Speed Wireless N in the home

19 08 2008

I was looking to setup a high speed network in my new home but I don’t want to run cables.  My office is in an upstairs room above the garage, this is where the cable modem is located.  My XP MCE computer is in the family room, ground floor and at the far end of the house.

While living in my apartment (we moved a week and a half ago) I tried using 802.11g wireless to pull files from one MCE computer to watch on another.  The transfer rate was so poor that the video would be choppy and the sound out of sync. To resolve this issue I started looking for a high speed connection solution.

I did my research through online reviews/articles as well as consumer reviews on sites like Amazon and Newegg.  I looked at Ethernet over Powerline devices, they didn’t provide the throughput I was looking for.  After several weeks of browsing I happened across the Netgear Wireless N HD/Gaming solution.

This solution provides two wireless nodes, an AP (access point) and a bridge.  The AP sits near and plugs into your Internet Router, the bridge goes whereever you want access.  In my case the AP sits in my office and the bridge goes downstairs in the family room next to the XP MCE computer.  Both the AP and the bridge have two ethernet ports, this allows me to either plug in two devices to the bridge or plug in a switch/hub off the bridge and plug in more than two devices to the switch/hub.

wnhdeb111 at Amazon.com

wnhdeb111 at Amazon.com

I’ve had this up and running for a full day now and am loving it.  The Netgear boxes (the kit has model number WNHDEB111) report that they are talking to each other at 300 mbs.  I copied a file from my XP MCE computer connected to the bridge to a laptop connected to the AP and got a throughput averaging 50 mbs.  I believe that the difference between the routers reporting communications at 300 mbs and my throughput at 50 mbs leaves plenty of room for multiple computers to be talking over the routers.

With a cost of ~$175 this is not the cheapest wireless solution available but I hope it to be fast and stable.

I’ll try some streaming video soon and report back with the results.

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