Difference between Wireless G and Wireless N Routers

Wireless G and Wireless N are two generations of Wi-Fi technologies that are used in routers to connect devices to the internet wirelessly. Each iteration has a different speed, range, and overall performance. Read this article to find out more about Wireless G and Wireless N Routers and how they are different from each other.

What is Wireless G?

Wireless G, often known as 802.11g, is a Wi-Fi standard launched in 2003 as an enhancement over Wireless B (802.11b). It operates in the 2.4 GHz frequency region, which is commonly used for wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Here are some detailed descriptions of Wireless G's essential features and characteristics −

  • Speed − Wireless G has a potential maximum data throughput of up to 54 Mbps (megabits per second). However, in practice, the actual speed is typically lower due to factors such as signal interference, distance from the router, and the number of connected devices.

  • Modulation and Encoding − Wireless G's principal modulation technology is Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM). For backward compatibility with earlier 802.11b devices, it also supports complementary code keying (CCK) and DBPSK/DQPSK.

  • Backward Compatibility − Backward compatibility with Wireless B devices is one of Wireless G's key features. This indicates that Wireless G routers can connect with devices that support the previous 802.11b standard, but at slower speeds (up to 11 Mbps).

  • Range and Coverage − The range of a Wireless G network is determined by elements such as the router's transmit power, ambient conditions, and interference from other devices. Wireless G routers typically have a range of up to 100 feet indoors and 300 feet outdoors.

  • Channel Width − Wireless G runs on a 20 MHz channel width, which suggests it transmits data across a single channel. This reduces overall data throughput as compared to newer technologies such as Wireless N and Wireless AC, which can use broader channel widths for higher data rates.

  • Security − Wireless G routers offer a variety of security settings to keep the network safe from unauthorized access. Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP), Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), and WPA2 are examples. However, WEP is regarded as weak and vulnerable to hacking; therefore, for better protection, use WPA2 or above.

What is Wireless N Routers?

Wireless N, generally known as 802.11n, is a 2009 Wi-Fi standard that marks a considerable advancement over its predecessors (Wireless B and Wireless G). It runs in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands and is designed to deliver faster data speeds, better coverage, and more dependability than previous standards.

Here are some detailed descriptions of the wireless N router's essential features and characteristics −

  • Speed − Wireless N routers provide much faster speeds than Wireless G routers. Depending on the number of antennas and the exact technology implementation, the standard can allow data rates of up to 600 Mbps or higher. The actual speed in real-world circumstances may vary based on factors such as signal strength, interference, and the capabilities of the connected devices.

  • MIMO Technology − The use of Multiple input, Multiple Output (MIMO) technology is one of the key reasons for Wireless N's improved performance. MIMO utilizes several antennas on both the router and the connected devices to simultaneously send and receive data. This technique improves signal quality, data throughput, and coverage, especially in situations with obstructions or interference.

  • Channel Bonding − Wireless N routers can operate on a channel width of 20 MHz or 40 MHz By connecting nearby channels, the available data bandwidth is practically doubled, resulting in faster data rates. However, using a channel width of 40 MHz can lead to interference in busy Wi-Fi situations.

  • Backward Compatibility − Wireless N routers can communicate with older Wi-Fi protocols like Wireless G and Wireless B. This means that Wireless N routers can handle devices that utilize previous standards, but their data rates will be limited to the capabilities of the corresponding standard.

  • Dual-Band Support − Many Wireless N routers have dual-band capability, allowing them to operate on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands at the same time. The 5 GHz spectrum has better data speeds and fewer interferences than the 2.4 GHz band, making it suitable for bandwidth-intensive operations like HD video streaming and online gaming.

  • Security − Wireless N routers include a variety of security mechanisms to keep the network safe from unauthorized access. These include Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) and WPA2, which provide strong encryption and authentication. The most recent routers may also offer WPA3, which gives even greater protection.

Difference between Wireless G and Wireless N Routers

The following table highlights the major differences between Wireless G and Wireless N Routers −


Wireless G

Wireless N Routers

MIMO Support

Not supported

Supported (MIMO technology improves performance)

Security Protocols


WPA, WPA2 (some routers may support WPA3)

Frequency Bands Supported

2.4 GHz

2.4 GHz and 5 GHz (dual-band support)

Maximum Speed

Up to 54 Mbps

Up to 600 Mbps or more (depending on setup)

Year of Introduction



Channel Width

20 MHz

20 MHz and 40 MHz

Recommended Use

Suitable for basic internet tasks

Suitable for media streaming and gaming

Interference Susceptibility

Prone to interference from other devices

Better resistance to interference with MIMO

Range and Coverage

Limited range and signal penetration

Improved range and coverage with MIMO technology

Backward Compatibility

Compatible with Wireless B devices

Compatible with Wireless G and Wireless B devices

Modulation and Encoding




In conclusion, Wireless N routers are more advanced than Wireless G routers, providing faster speeds, better coverage, and increased security. However, if you have older devices that only support the Wireless G standard, a Wireless G router may still be useful, especially if you don't need high-speed internet connectivity.

Updated on: 17-Aug-2023


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