Wired and Wireless Networks By Jeremy Mayeres
Problem Does a wireless network create a significant difference in internet experience (speed of page download), compared to a wired network?
Hypothesis I do not believe that the Internet experience will be affected
Purpose • The reason why I am doing this project is because I have never found any information about whether a wireless network creates a significant slowdown in your internet experience, compared to a wired network. There are studies that compare wired and wireless networks based on file transfer speed, but not internet experience.
Research Plan • I plan to read my router’s manual, to learn more about how packets are moved through a network and the internet, and to find out if anybody ever did any research on the same topic I chose. • I will go online to find out about the research, find books that describe internet protocols (HTTP) and file transfer protocols (FTP), and I will read the router’s documentation as well as the information on their website.
Materials Used • Laptop with a PCIMCIA port open and a built in Ethernet port. Pentium 3 processor • Linksys Wireless Access Point Router with 4-Port Switch • Linksys Instant Wireless Network PC Card • Belkin Category 5 patch cable • Motorola Surfboard Cable Modem • Mozilla 1.1 Internet browser
Procedures – Page 1 • Connect the laptop computer to the router via the category 5 patch cable • Turn on the computer and make sure the connection works • Open up Mozilla • Go to a web site (e.g. Yahoo.com or google.com) • Write down the website URL and time taken for the amount of KB downloaded • Repeat steps 4 and 5 three times • Go to Bandwidthplace.com and take the Speed Test • Write down the results • Repeat steps 7 and 8 three times
Procedures – Page 2 • Go to Toast.net and run the “All Tests” from the Toast.Net free server • Write down the amount of bytes loaded, the time it took, and the throughput • Repeat steps 10 and 11 three times • Turn off the computer • Disconnect the patch cable • If you can, try to move back 10 feet (if you are already very close to the router) • Put in the wireless PCIMCIA network card into the computer • Clean the browser’s Cache • Repeat steps 2 through 12
Research I did research on the internet, but found little information comparing the two network mediums. I only found in the instruction booklet that the wireless network speed is up to 11 Megabits per second, while the regular wired network is at 100 megabits per second. Speeds are constantly increasing, and there is already the IEEE 802.11a Wireless networking system, which is faster than the current IEEE 802.11b Wireless network.
Data Analysis For low-content websites like google.com and rooseveltmiddle.com, there is very little difference. High-content pages may have a slight difference, but it often goes unnoticed. Mass downloads and uploads do show a difference, but is not ten times different as suggested in the speed differences (11Mbps vs. 100mbps)
Conclusion My hypothesis was correct, there is very little difference in Internet experience.
Bibliography Page 1 • Brain, Marshall. “How Routers Work.” How Stuff Works. 2001 ed. • Jamsa Kris. “Network Operations.” PC Performance Tuning & Upgrading. 2002 ed. • Burgess, John. “Wireless LANs.” Predictive Systems. http://www.predictive.com/publications/articles/article_detail.cfm?Rsc_ID=328 (Nov. 12, 2002)
Bibliography Page 2 • Tyson, Jeff. “How Wireless Networking Works.” How Stuff Works. http://www.howstuffworks.com/wireless-network.htm (Nov. 12, 2002) • Whitehead, Paul. Teach yourself visually networking. 2000 ed.