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Old 04-16-2011, 05:16 PM   #1
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Default Do we need a BIG wireless router to stream Netflix?

This is a twofer, sort of.

My wife has a Dell D830 laptop, she uses it for work [schoolteacher] and facebook at home. In the last month it has begun to drop the wireless connection at random times. Maybe once or twice a day here at home. Netgear WGT624. I know a little but not enough to figure whether its the router or something in her laptop. Although she says she never drops connections at school, so I suspect the router here. If there were any way to set up an experiment to prove it was the router or not, I would really appreciate any tips.

But it will probably be just a shot in the dark, get a new wireless router and hope that does it.

So question 2 - she does Netflix, and recently learned you can now stream them. That means I have to do some new learning again, and one thing I thought of was - if a movie has to go wireless to her laptop and from there to the TV [I dont want to buy new hardware] should I get a new router that has a real high mbps? The Netgear says it is 108mbps.

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Old 04-16-2011, 05:52 PM   #2
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Well, any streaming would be limited by your internet connection before the network would be under strain.

The dropped signals might be due to either signal strength or interference. Do you see any other networks in wireless range? Which channel(s) are they using? How many bars of connectivity are shown on the laptop?
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Old 04-16-2011, 08:51 PM   #3
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The 624 was never a "Hot stuff" to begin with.

If the Dell has a Wireless -N card get a humble N Router.

It not much better, but might be enough to get you over the "Hump".

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Old 04-17-2011, 08:13 AM   #4
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It's hard to say for sure without doing a lot more troubleshooting, but those Netgear routers have always been very unreliable.

For what it's worth, I've had good luck with the Apple Airport Extreme routers - especially the newer ones.
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Old 04-17-2011, 02:10 PM   #5
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in Network Connections it says

>> Dell 1395 WLAN Mini Card

She usually sits about 20 feet from the router, which is around the corner in another room. Always has 5 out of 5 bars green, and "Excellent signal"

There is another wireless in the house, we have a solar heating system for hot water and the heat exchange unit in the cellar has a wireless that you can connect to and read temp settings and all kinds of cool stuff.

That one is

>> DTT Pro Wifi

and I connect to it with a

>> RangeMax Wireless-N USB Adapter WN111v2

The laptop shows both of course but is clearly connected to the Netgear

But they might interfere? What is meant by "Which channels are they using"? I dont know the term channel for networking

Last edited by sonoferu; 04-17-2011 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 05-06-2011, 10:33 PM   #6
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If you have 802.11g, it is most certainly faster than your internet connection. I stream NetFlix HD to my BlueRay player through 11g wireless with no problems at all, while using my laptop to even view videos.

If I check the bandwidth usage for wireless (graphs on DD-WRT on router), the wireless is not being pushed at all.
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Old 05-07-2011, 09:54 AM   #7
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buffalo wzr/whr series is pretty nice for the money. just flash it with firmware 1.77 from europe and it will hold a 2x mimo all day long (300mbps on 2.4ghz).

most routers will only hold 300 on 5ghz due to channel yielding. not sure how the buffalo does it. it can't do it with the dd-wrt firmware just their own and just 1.74 or 1.77
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Old 05-07-2011, 02:03 PM   #8
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Definitely make sure you get something with MIMO....I've seen MIMO increase throughput on 11g non-MIMO adapters!!!
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Old 05-08-2011, 08:59 AM   #9
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Yeah after about 100ft i drop back to G speed (54mbit) which i guess is not bad. 4MB/s copies that are reliable. 2.4ghz is super saturated in my neighborhood over 15 AP's in site survey.
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Old 05-08-2011, 11:44 AM   #10
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Strangely enough, my internet connection is faster than my internal 802.11g WiFi network.

My internet connection is > 25 Mbps. My "54 Mbps" 802.11g WiFi maxes out at around 22-23 Mbps, and drops below 20 Mbps in the same room but 15 feet away. At a more significant distance it may drop below 10 Mbps. (I don't use "Super G" 108 Mbps since my Macs are not compatible with that, as it's non-standard.)

The good news is that Netflix HD should be less than 10 Mbps, but obviously if your internet connection is only say 6 Mbps to begin with, then your internet connection would be the limiting factor unless you're sitting very far away from the WiFi access point.

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Last edited by Eug; 05-08-2011 at 11:48 AM.
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