Like most editors at CNET, I often receive questions from CNET readers about specific problems. Here are a few that were brought up to me in the last month.
Q: My laptop's Wireless-N adapter only caps at 130Mbps even though my D-Link DIR-855 can offer 300Mbps speeds. What can I do to boost the wireless speed of the laptop?
A: That might already be the best you can get. Wireless-N (802.11n) comes in different "tiers" with different amounts of streams (also referred to as antennae). Each stream offers a throughput speed up to 150Mbps.
While most routers are dual-stream and cap at 300Mbps (future ones can even support multistream, offering speeds up to 450Mbps or even 600Mbps), a lot of adapters built in to laptop and notebook computers to conserve the battery life use the single-stream standard. This means they cap at 150Mbps (which translates into something around 130Mbps, which is plenty fast, by the way). Also note that the throughput decreases as you increase the range. Generally the optimal range for the Wireless-N is between 15 feet and 70 feet away.
A: No, it doesn't matter how many bands an adapter supports; wireless networking devices only connect to one another in one band at a time.… Read more