Connecting 802.11n wireless access point to 802.11g router

Posted on 2009-02-13
Last Modified: 2012-08-14
User has a home network using a Verizon Actiontec MI424-WR FIOS router, which includes an 802.11g wireless connection and four wired ports.  They have two computers in the house that connect using 802.11g wireless cards.  However, they need better coverage and signal strength, so I'm wondering if I can easily connect an 802.11n wireless access point to one of the wired ports, and put 802.11n wireless cards in the two computers to solve the problem.  


1) Do I need to disable the wireless 802.11g connection in the router?

2) I have set up several Linksys 802.11g APs in the past, typically where all they had was a non-wireless router.  Should I be able to easily configure an 802.11n AP in the above configurarion just as easily?

3) Since the LInksys WAP54G was so easy in the past, does it make sense to go with the Linksys WAP4410N in this case?  Or, is there a better one for the money?

4) No matter what AP I go with, is there a recommendation on the computer wireless cards?

Question by:sasllc
    LVL 2

    Assisted Solution

    you don't have to do nothing in the router, just be sure that when you buy the access point it works with 802.11g/n and when setting up the access point in the options chose mixed mode (g/n) and you don't have to change the cards on the computers and users with either g cards or n cards wil have access.
    LVL 5

    Accepted Solution

    There should be no problem hooking the 11n AP into the router. I have run several different wireless units on the same network. I would give the 11n a different SSID (wireless Network Name) this way you'll know which one you are connecting to. The 11n will definately increase speed. The coverage might not be that much better. I have a Lynksys G Router and a Netgear N router. The signal was marginally stronger. If the 11N device you purchase is also a router you need to plug a LAN port (not the WAN or Internet Port) into a LAN port on the existing router. You'll probably have to configure that LAN port with an IP addres etc. Most AP and definately router will have DHCP servers so you'll want to disable the DHCP server on the device. Your clients will pull IP's from the Linksys.
    LVL 23

    Assisted Solution

    (1) It's not strictly necessary, but it is highly recommended, as it will eliminate confusion, and a major possible  source of harmful interference.

    (2) This should be trivial.  If you disable the wireless radio interface on the 802.11g router, it should be the same.  

    (3) The WAP4410N seems like a decent choice

    (4) Given the draft standard status of Wireless N technology;  I suggest getting corresponding  AP and wireless cards made by the same manufacturer.
    LVL 3

    Author Comment

    But in order to get the better range and signal strength on the computers, I WILL need to upgrade them to 802.11n cards, right?  It is my understanding that I will not get any better range or signal strength in this environment if I keep using the 802.11g cards currently in the computers.  True?
    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    Mysidia makes a good point about the draft standards. Going with same manufacturer would be a good move. I only connected to the 11N AP I had with G but until the standard is the standard you might as well play it safe. You don't want a multi vendor issue.
    LVL 23

    Expert Comment

    802.11n will provide some interoperability with 802.11g, but it essentually means the G protocol is used, when using G cards, so yes, it's true, you won't get the performance advantages of 802.11n while using 802.11g cards.

    However, 802.11n does have higher CPU requirements, and you may find in practice that your draft N  AP  has better performance while running 802.11g  with many clients connected

    Nothing to do with the 802.11n protocol, just that network devices are generally built with as little CPU power as possible, for their intended usage, which can sometimes hurt power uses (esp. on cheap APs), and with N, the 'minimum amount of CPU power needed'  is a higher number.


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