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3 benefits of 802.11n


802.11n is a newer standard of WiFi LAN, or wireless
local area network technology. For context, preceding standards have equally
“exciting” names including 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g. Joking aside, in what
seems to be consistent in the world of technology, the hype
around 80211.n in the trades and blogosphere outpace current realities and
deployments.

 

In fact, while not yet mainstream – to date it has not
been ratified as a standard by the Wi-Fi Alliance
– 802.11n has been mentioned in
articles and blogs more than 1,000 times in the past six months according
to ITDatabase
.

 

Beyond the general appeal of 802.11n being the latest
and the fastest WiFi LAN, there are certainly benefits with 802.11n – three
worth mentioning in particular.

  

1) Better range

 

While users can expect a variance of capabilities in
client devices using 802.11n depending on a host of variables, 802.11n products
for consumers and small businesses deliver at least twice the range of 802.11g
products. If you add in enterprise Access Points (AP), the range can grow well
beyond that.

 

2) Runs on 5-gigahertz spectrum

 

802.11n runs on the 5-gigahertz spectrum, which is
beneficial because there are fewer devices in that spectrum. By comparison,
802.11b and g run at 2.4- gigahertz. Many have had to move from b and g just to
avoid interference with microwave ovens, cordless phones, Bluetooth, etc. Their
environments were too noisy yielding too much interference. They literally had
to change technology – to 802.11a, which also runs on 5-gigahertz spectrum – to
fix their issues.

 

3) Backwards compatibility

 

As mentioned above, 802.11a runs on the 5-gigahertz
spectrum while b and g runs at 2.4- gigahertz. Here’s the cool part – n also
runs on 2.4 and 5. What’s the significance? Backward compatibility. Prior,
802.11a was not backwards compatible with b or g. It was a cost benefit issue
on changing technologies. Now, those who have invested in either spectrum have
an option to start upgrading to n. They simply take parts of their environment
as necessary to the 5-gigahertz spectrum, which removes a lot of their
interference while at the same time having complete backwards compatibility
with all their b and g technology.

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