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Topic # 71787 17-Nov-2010 01:54 Send private message

If I had 100Mbps cable internet and I connected an 802.11g wifi ap to the cable modem, then 802.11g only supports wifi at 54Mbps, so what would happen if I was downloading a file at 100Mbps but the file could only be transferred to my computer over wifi at 54Mbps? The cable modem can't store my download and pass it onto me at the slower rate so what would happen?

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  Reply # 405644 17-Nov-2010 03:46 Send private message

If you are downloading a file off the internet then you are most likely making use of a protocol called TCP. This protocol starts transferring data between the sender and receiver (your pc) slowly and then ramps up the speed quickly, all the while checking to see if any data was lost on the way.

If data was lost then the sender assumes that somewhere along the line there is network congestion or some other limiting factor preventing it sending as fast as it could, such as your slower WiFi connection, and slows the rate at which it is sending until a balance is struck so you are receiving as fast as the network between the the sender and yourself supports at that time.

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  Reply # 405652 17-Nov-2010 06:25 Send private message

tombrownzz: If I had 100Mbps cable internet and I connected an 802.11g wifi ap to the cable modem, then 802.11g only supports wifi at 54Mbps, so what would happen if I was downloading a file at 100Mbps but the file could only be transferred to my computer over wifi at 54Mbps? The cable modem can't store my download and pass it onto me at the slower rate so what would happen?


TCP over IP has a mechanism built-in so that both sides can agree on how fast to transfer data; this is why it's a good protocol across lots of different access technologies.

54g has an air-side maximum speed of 54mbps, which is NOT the yield that you will get for your computer. When you put in error correction, retries, stopping for coffee and all the other stuff that goes into transmission, the YIELD you get is about 22mbps, and more closer to 20mbps.

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  Reply # 405654 17-Nov-2010 06:47 Send private message

Over a typical consumer grade 802.11g AP you'll get somewhere in the vicinity of ~15 - ~20Mbps so it will become a bottleneck in your system.

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