What's the difference between 802.11b and 802.11g?

Posted on 2005-04-26
Last Modified: 2013-11-09
Which should I use - I want to have a wireless network with a desktop, my laptop from work, and two Tivo DVRs?  I'm totally confused as to which standard  is better and why
Question by:barbarac
    LVL 95

    Accepted Solution

    b is older and slower - 11Mb/sec
    g is newer and faster - 54Mb/sec (roughly 5x faster)
    n is not final yet, but a few companies are selling n routers which are capable of 600+ Mb/sec and greater range.

    Everything should be backward compatible with each other, but frankly, I'd go with g - n is way too new and upgrading it to the final standard later might be more difficult.  And few devices support n speeds so it would likely just waste money paying for n.
    LVL 95

    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    For transferring large files (from TiVo for example), you definitely want g, but keep in mind, the speeds provided are best case (some offer technologies that claim to double speeds, b to 22Mb/sec; g to 108Mb/sec, but even these are subject to distance limitations, interference from things like cordless phones (that operate on the 2.4GHz range) and every wall seperating your router from your other devices will slow things down further.
    LVL 3

    Assisted Solution

    G is faster and offers better encryption.
    LVL 95

    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    Encryption is WEP or WPA and doesn't really matter on g or b.  But WPA is newer as well and therefore usually found in g routers.
    LVL 4

    Assisted Solution

    One small point to keep in mind- if you go with 802.11g, make sure that ALL of your wireless clients use the same (and not 802.11b). If even one client connects to the Access Point using 802.11b, the AP will scale down to match the 11Mbps and everyone will be at that speed. I chose to go with dual radio AP's, and used 802.11b and 802.11a cards in them- that way, the A clients got 54Mbps (theoretically of course...don't flame me), and the B clients got 11Mbps, and neither impacted the speed of the other.

    Author Comment

    Thanks all.


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