The issue of wireless adapters and wireless routers has recently taken centre stage because of the buzz that the new wireless protocol, 802.11ac is creating. With this new protocol a home wireless network will be able to operate at speed up to 1.3 Gbps. This is extremely fast in the wireless networking world.
Wireless protocols can get a little bit complicated and most of the technical details won’t be understood by non-technical people. You don’t need to spend a lot of time learning about wireless protocols in order to connect to your home wireless network. All you really need to know is what type of wireless adapter you are using and what type you really need.
In the world of wireless networking, you really need to remember one thing – your wireless adapter needs to match your wireless router.
Wireless routers will usually be able to provide wireless connections at different protocols. You will see wireless 802.11 b/g routers and the new ones will be 802.11b/g/n. When the new protocol comes out, they will be 802.11 b/g/n/ac.
What all of this means is that if you have a wireless 802.11b adapter, that is the oldest model, you’ll still be able to connect to a wireless router with a higher protocol. As long as your router displays that is able to provide a network connection to 802.11b, then you’ll be able to establish a connection, assuming there is nothing wrong with your adapter.
However, your connection speed will be limited to the wireless adapter you have. For example, if your wireless router is 802.11ac, it is able to provide a wireless network connection at speeds up to 1.3 Gbps. If your wireless adapter is 802.11g, then you will only be able to connect at 30 Mbps. This is a lot slower than what your router is capable of.
If you want to fully utilize the wireless speeds of your router, then you will need a wireless adapter with the same protocol as your router. 802.11ac is not yet out in the market. The fastest protocol so far is 802.11n.
Many home networks have wireless 802.11n routers and subscribing to a high speed internet connection will usually result into the ISP supplying you with an 802.11n router. If your network adapter is not 802.11n capable, then you won’t be able to appreciate the fast wireless speeds of your router.
The best way to match the wireless speed of your router is to purchase a new wireless adapter. You can easily find 802.11n wireless adapters in the market. The prices of these adapters are still a little high, mainly because 802.11n is still fairly new. You can expect to see a drop in these prices when the 802.11ac comes out and many home networks are fitted with routers capable of this new protocol.
For now, it is best to get an 802.11n wireless adapter if you have a high speed internet connection. If not, then an 802.11g wireless adapter will work just fine. You will only need to upgrade once you subscribe to a fast internet connection.
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