I've searched all over the internet for an answer to this and I can't find one. If I purchase a wireless N router, with greater range than my current G router will the range of the wireless G signal go as far as the wireless N signal? I say this because Wireless N routers are supposed to be compatible with wireless G devices. Is the wireless G a lesser signal coming out of the router?

Sorry if I confused you, I am a little confused myself.

2 Answers 2


The greater range for N protocol routers and WNICs is when you are using them together. Thus an N router with a G Nic won't have any greater range than a G router with a G Nic. As always, different routers will provide different ranges... some are just better than others (dual antennae, internal antennae, etc.)

You can think back to when G was new and people were still using B protocol devices. It was the same deal. So, in order to get an increased range using an N router, you would have to purchase N Nics for all the devices you were connecting to it... unless you wanted to move your N router somewhere more centrally located, or swap any antenna with high gain units. So, either you replace all your networking hardware, or rework your network setup.

  • Might stay on G and try high gain. Speed isnt really a priority, our internet will never full saturate the entire bandwidth anyway. I do some file transfers between house computers, but they're never too big.
    – Sam
    Mar 24, 2012 at 22:29
  • most people are paying for 10-15mbs internet, which means that most people could still be using B routers/nics. There are some nice +7db antennae out there tho to help with the range. I found that running cat5 cabling for the machines I'd be transferring from the most took care of my home speed issues.
    – Bon Gart
    Mar 24, 2012 at 23:43
  • What about a 9db antenna? Would that extend the range by much? My primary router just reaches ~3 metres away from where I am sitting
    – Sam
    Mar 25, 2012 at 1:40
  • You are only getting 3 meters of usable range currently? That is not normal at all. You should consider changing the wireless channel (probably set at 6 or 11), as neighbors might be using the same, creating interference. The antenna on your router might be physically broken. Is there an abundance of metal between you and the router? You should be getting much more than 3 meters (10 feet) of usable range. Yes, a 7 or 9db boost should add considerable range, all things considered.
    – Bon Gart
    Mar 25, 2012 at 16:23
  • The first router is reaching to 3 metres from my room, thats probably a 10-20 metre distance through walls. The second router( repeater) gives me wireless throughout my entire room.
    – Sam
    Mar 25, 2012 at 17:55

What makes it confusing, is the term N wireless refers both to the protocol 802.11N and less accurately to the new devices that may have implemented that protocol at a particular frequency. So depending on the device pair you are using (router and wireless card) may support both protocols (G and N). Typically routers that support 802.11N have 5ghz signal options that help N but don't support G.

  • Well, I have a G card in my Laptop and Desktop. I need a 2 Wireless G routers to get the signal to my desktop computer. I was hoping that I could use 1 Wireless N router. I see a lot of devices with DRAFT N. Is that not a finalized standard?
    – Sam
    Mar 24, 2012 at 22:03
  • Yes, any name brand modern router will support G with backwards compatibility. For N routers, look for draft 2. See previous question - superuser.com/questions/150150/802-11n-vs-802-11n-draft
    – jdh
    Mar 25, 2012 at 1:56

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