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Is more MBPS in Your Home Network Router Worth the Extra Money?

Updated on February 14, 2011

Most homes have a wireless router so to allow home computers access to a single Internet connection. Basically, the DSL cable connects to the DSL modem then this is connected to a wireless router.

There are a many routers out there and when shopping for one there is a consumer myth that is you buy a router that can download 300 mbps (mega bite per second) then you will see your Internet speed increase. Not so at all.

Example, if you DSL speed is 100 mbps from your Internet provider, that is all it is ever going to be even if you spend more money for a wireless router with a capability of 300 mpbs. The faster router will increase it because you are getting what you pay for from the IP. The router is connected to your cable modem via ethernet. This connection is 100Mbps. The feed from the cable company to your cable modem is typically 100-300 Mbps. (Comcast just started to offer high speed at 12Mbps). So what does this tell you? The slowest link is the feed from the cable company. No matter how fast the rest of your network gear is, you can't go faster than your feed from the cable company.

The only people who can really utilize the bandwidth of wireless 'N' are those people that have a network of multiple PC's within their home. However, you’d be able to take advantage of the additional speed N provides when doing things not related to the internet, such as streaming movies from your Mac\PC to your TV with AppleTV, or transferring files between two computers.

The only benefit of buying a router with 300 mbps is for networking between wireless computers within the house for file transfers. It has NO impact on Internet speed. You can only get the speed of internet you pay for.  If you pay for 150 mbps down, you'll only get 150 mbps down, even if your router can handle 300 mbps.

In most cases, buying a router that can handle 150 mbps is all you need, unless you have the much faster Internet connections.


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      Ron 5 years ago

      One other thing to be careful of...

      While its true a 300Mbps wireless router on a say 100Mbps internet connection won't make the 100Mbps speed any faster, the higher wireless rates help out with wireless overhead and any rebroadcast of packets due to signal loss or another error introducing issue (including multi path signals)

      So using a 54Mbps wireless router with a 50Mbps internet speed is a bad idea if you want to maximize your rates. If you have two wirelesses devices, with overhead and other losses and delays, the max combined wireless speed of both devices will actually be under 50Mbps. (You have to remember the router is also going to send who has? packets and other broadcasts which also will eat up some of the WLAN transmissions)

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      Ron 5 years ago

      You need to be careful in your writing. MBPS isn't the same as Mbps, and is different than mbps.

      MBPS is just an incorrect writing all around. MBps is Mega Bytes per second.

      Mbps is Mega bits per second. 8 bits in a byte, so this number will be 8 time larger than MBps.

      mbps would be micro bits per second... the other error in your article is bites per second (?! Do you use your mouth?!?)