Linksys wap300n - Dual band but you have to choose one or the other

review from Amazon

A couple of minor drawbacks to be aware of:

- Although the device is dual-band (it can use the 2.4Ghz range, which is compatible with nearly all wifi equipment, as well as the 5GHz band, which is less congested but supported by less devices), it cannot do both at the same time.
- Although it claims "up to 300Mbps speed" on the packaging, it only has a 100Mbps Ethernet port to link to the rest of your network - so if a wireless client was actually capable of reaching that advertised speed, it would be limited by the Ethernet port speed anyway!


> Is this a big problem? 2.4 - compatible with new and old but not fast.
or  5GHz > Fast but not compatible with old kit.

Are you forced to choose 2.4 or 5 on most Access points or do some broadcast on both at the same time?
fcekAsked:
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dec0mpileCommented:
> Is this a big problem? 2.4 - compatible with new and old but not fast.
or  5GHz > Fast but not compatible with old kit.

You will find that this is a problem. Many devices (including many new devices, not just old) do not support 5GHz. Make sure the device you are planning to use will support it before you buy.

Are you forced to choose 2.4 or 5 on most Access points or do some broadcast on both at the same time?
Yes. Most affordable access points will force you to choose from one frequency. You know that is the case because the are called "Dual Band". If you want a device that support both at the same time you should look for "Simultaneous Dual Band" access point (which are more expensive).
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north_Commented:
The Ghz number doesn't not mean direct speed increase. It is the length of the signal waves being sent out of the device.

If the device has wireless-N with a gigbit switch built into the router, then you will see maximum connection speeds.

It definitely should be able to broadcast both channels at the same time, that is why it is dual band.

Most devices will not see the 5Ghz network; so that is where you see a lack of compatibility.

It seems to me that the review that was left on amazon was written by someone who really doesn't understand networking or the hardware built into it.
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fcekAuthor Commented:
north_

It definitely should be able to broadcast both channels at the same time, that is why it is dual band.

> I have seen this router config page and from a drop down menu you choose one or the other.  Its "dual" alright by choice,  but not both at the same time.

This prompted me to ask the question here .
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Craig BeckCommented:
As said previously, some APs and routers tout themselves as dual-band.  Technically they are in that they do have a 2.4GHz and 5GHz radio, but again as others have said, they don't always work simultaneously.  Some do though, but they're usually more expensive than ones that don't.

300Mbps WLAN isn't always slower than 100Mbps FastEthernet though.  Generally the rule of thumb is to divide the radio throughput by 2, then subtract 10% of whatever you have left.  On that principle you could achieve up-to 135Mbps throughput in optimal RF and environmental conditions.

In my opinion the review of the device was actually technically very accurate.
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fcekAuthor Commented:
For the purposes of youtube etc (not high speed HD streaming) is 2.4 usually OK?
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Craig BeckCommented:
Yes the frequency itself is fine.  Whether you're in a congested 2.4GHz area is the problem and if there's lots of other 2.4GHz devices in the area all transmitting at the same time this will have a negative effect on the experience.
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davorinCommented:
This comment is a little bit out of topics.
I you want find out in what WLAN environment you are located you can use a tool like InSSIDer. http://www.metageek.net/products/inssider/
It is useful at least to decide on what channel it is best to set your router. It supports both bands (if your WLAN NIC supports them).
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north_Commented:
For the purposes of youtube etc (not high speed HD streaming) is 2.4 usually OK?

Again the frequency number does not necessarily determine the speed of that network.

For example, if your WiFi card on your laptop can only handle 54-Mbit/s, then that is what it will run at. If you have 100Mbit wifi card, then you will be able to receive that locally.

There is a difference between internal, local network speed and External/ WAN speed.
They do not necessarily coordinate.

To answer your question though, it should be fine so long as you are not getting Dial-up type speeds from your ISP.
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