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To B or not to B

Given the fact my temporary D-Link router is a bit wonky when it comes to Wireless G, for kicks I purposely set it up to only accept Wireless B connections.

What I noticed was pretty interesting.

On G, the best possible signal I can usually get in the other room where I use my laptop is around 70% no matter what wi-fi router I use. That is 5 bars and strong, but it bugged me that I couldn't eke out any more signal considering I'm so close to the base.

On B, the signal is a solid 100%. This makes no sense considering B and G both use the same 2.4GHz freq, yet I have full-green across the board.

On top of that, I also noticed that B really isn't that bad at all concerning speed. I mean, yeah, it's notably slower compared to G, but the only thing I really couldn't do well was stream YouTube videos. Other than that I was able to mosey along just fine. The only time I really noticed I was on B is when downloading large images.

To give you an idea of how much wi-fi network traffic is around me, at any time there are usually at least four to five other routers aside from myself in range:


Mine is the red one.

A main reason why I cannot get anything over 70% signal strength on G is because I'm always fighting a crapload of other 2.4GHz G routers.

You probably noticed a couple of the routers above are completely open and have no security on them. Those are from neighboring apartment complexes that offer free wi-fi, and in fact I can connect to them even from inside my own apartment. It's a very weak signal, but I can do it and surf the 'net successfully. It's cool I can do that just in case my primary Internet goes out for whatever reason. The drawback however is that those super-powerful routers mess up my signal from my own router.

This brings me back to B. Why is it that I can magically get 100% signal strength on B and not G? Remember, it's the same 2.4GHz freq, so it shouldn't happen - yet it does. Is the fact almost nobody uses B a factor here? I have no idea.

The knowledge I'm taking from this is that if I'm ever in a situation where there are so many G routers that I simply can't connect, I can purposely force B-only connections and it should work.

On a final note that has nothing to do with the above, if you do have a bunch of wi-fi routers near you where you know people will periodically see your SSID, you can have some fun with that. Change it to something like "PARTY OVER HERE", "ZOMBIE ATTACK - HELP ME", "I AM READING YOUR EMAIL" and so on. An SSID can be up to 32 characters long (including spaces), so if you have the audience, so to speak, go for it. 🙂

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