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Right now I have a BT Voyager 2110 wireless router for the past 6 years or so. I recently bought a new Western Digital NAS but I'm only able to transfer data wirelessly at 2.5 MBps. If I physically plug into the router I get about 10 MBps, but that's still very slow, because I want to be transferring hundreds of gigabytes of data.

My wifi card is a Dell 1397 WLAN Mini-Card which appears (according to the device properties) to be 802.11h+d.

If I get a gigabit wireless router will this help? I don't want to spend more than 30 or 40 euro (or gbp or usd or whatever) on the device. At this price range could I expect to see a noticeable improvement?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

10 MB/s is about the limit of fast Ethernet. So a Gigabit router will most likely help a lot in the wired case -- if both devices support Gigabit Ethernet.

As for the wireless case, it will depend on the capabilities of the particular router and the particular wireless interface on the other end. If 802.11n is supported on both ends, you should be able to get 10 MB/s wireless -- perhaps a bit more.

I've had very good luck with refurbished E3000s. Gigabit, dual-band, 802.11n, multiple streams. They're available for $50-60 US.

Update: Your Dell 1397 does not support 802.11n and you won't get more than about 3MB/s from it. You may be able to swap out the card, and 802.11n cards are available for $30 or so.

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I don't think that will really help much though, because the Dell 1397 WLAN Mini-Card only supports 802.11g (and b but that's even slower). – imtheman Jul 7 '12 at 19:30
@PeterMaxwell: Thanks. Updated. – David Schwartz Jul 7 '12 at 19:36

Probable answer: No

The long answer is comes in three parts:

  1. When you used a wired connection your speeds is about 10 MBps. That roughly equals 100mbit wire speeds. Getting a faster wired connection will probably help.
  2. A gigabit wireless router probably means a router with wired gigabit connections and much slower wireless. Wireless is much less efficient. You might get a higher speeds with both your new router and the laptop support 3:3:3 wireless N. In practise I expect it to be slower. Ignore that '300mbit wireless' or even '450 mbit wireless' sound faster than '100mbit wired. Wired usually is faster.
  3. If you do want to go for a faster wireless solution: Check that both the card and the wireless access point support multiple spatial streams
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Unfortunately, item number 2 is precisely correct. Wireless and wired bit rates can't be directly compared for a variety of reasons, all of which favor wired. – David Schwartz Jul 7 '12 at 19:38

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