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A local cafe has an 802.11g wireless router attached to either an 8- or 12Mbs broadband connection. Although many customers still have -g devices, an increasing number are showing up with 802.11n devices (e.g. Mac laptops, iPads). The cafe owner is content with his router's area coverage, but he would like for his customers to be able to take advantage of the higher -n download speeds.

He could simply replace the -g router with a -n router, but reportedly -n routers slow down considerably when servicing both -g and -n connections. Another option would be to buy the -n router, run an Ethernet cable between the two routers, and (of course) hook up the broadband connection to one of the two routers. Still another option would be to attach an ordinary, wired switch to the broadband connection and then attach both routers to the switch.

Aside from the cost issue, what are the tradeoffs of those approaches? Which would you recommend, and why? Is there a better option than the ones I mentioned?

Thank you in advance for your advice.

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1 Answer 1

Assuming it doesn't matter what IP addresses cafe users get, you can nest your networks quite happily. You'd have something like

[internet] <---- [wireless n router 192.168.0.1] <----[wireless g router 192.168.1.1]

You'd run a network cable from a LAN port on the n router into the WAN port on the g router.

Note that running n isn't going to affect internet access much, as the bottleneck is the 8-12mb internet connection.

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Also note that G takes up 1/3 of the bandwidth available in the 2.4GHz spectrum. N takes up the whole spectrum, so the two will overlap, and cause performance issues if you have quite a few devices on both at the same time. –  Chris S Apr 25 '10 at 3:47
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You could address that by running the N router over the 5 Ghz bsnd, couldn't you? –  Anonymous Apr 25 '10 at 12:20

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