What Is the Difference Between Internet Modem Router Ranges N, G, B, A?

by Shannon Baraff

Wireless routers and modems allow you to connect several devices to the Internet without having to physically connect them with wires. This means you can operate several computers, laptops or other devices with one router.


Routers are designated by a series of numbers and letters. The numbers correspond to the company's lines of products, and the letters correspond to generation of the technology. A and B routers are among the oldest routers, while G and N are newer and have better range and speed, with N routers being even newer and more advanced than G routers. The range of a router refers to the distance that a device can be from the router and still be able to get a wireless Internet connection from it. The speed is how fast web pages and applications will load while you are connected to the Internet through the router. All routers operate in the 2.4 GHz frequency range

N Routers

These are currently the newest routers on the market as of September 2010. They have a range of 250 feet indoors and 600 feet outdoors, although these ranges can be amplified with antennas. They can reach bit rate speeds of up to 600 megabits per second, far exceeding older routers. N-generation routers are generally the routers that are used to provide Wi-Fi service to college campuses, office buildings, and other large areas. N-generation routers offer more reliable and stable connections than earlier models that would often drop their signal, causing the Internet connection to fail. Dual-band range N-series routers often operate in both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz range. These routers are the ones used to cover large and outdoor areas.

G Routers

These routers have a range of around 150 feet indoors and 300 feet outdoors. The maximum bit rate speed for a G series router is 128 megabits per second. These are generally still considered the best choice for small offices and larger homes because they are slightly older and, therefore, a little cheaper, but still work well in their range. They have a more stable connection than the earlier-generation routers.

A and B Routers

These are the oldest routers available. The offer smaller ranges of about 50 feet indoors and 75 feet outdoors. They offer a stable connection if you stay close to the router, but tend to have increasingly inconsistent signal strength when you move further away. Because they are now the cheapest routers on the market, they are still popular with people who need wireless Internet in small apartments or are looking to connect several computers in close range to one router.

About the Author

Shannon Baraff began her career as a copywriter in 2008 and started technical writing in 2009. She has a Master of Arts in writing and publishing from Portland State University. She has written for Ooligan Press and RainTown Press.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera wlan router 02 image by pmphoto from Fotolia.com