Monday, August 04, 2008

Wireless-N

A critic from a known tech. magazine said it best “If most routers look like Volvos, the new routers from Linksys look like Ferrari’s”. Choosing the right wireless router is just like choosing a car to purchase. You want it fast, with sleek design, and will cover more distance. If you’re just new with wireless networking and you’re thinking what kind of wireless router suits you best, then you may take a moment to look at the table for comparison of different protocols.


Protocol

Frequency (GHz)

Indoor Coverage Radius (m)

Outdoor Coverage Radius(m)

802.11a

2.4

~35

~120

802.11b

5

~38

~140

802.11g

2.4

~38

~140

802.11n

2.4,5

~70

~250








Table information from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/802.11n

Speed and Range

Basically, speed and range is really what you should look for in choosing the right wireless device. If budget is not the problem, obviously, based on the given table you should go for 802.11n. In terms of range, which can be defined as the distance between the wireless access point (AP) and the wireless client (laptop or desktop), 802.11n covers a wider range in comparison with the old 802.11 b and g. With the right devices and depending on the environment, the statement “up to 12 times faster than wireless-G” might be true for wireless-N routers. You also don’t have to worry if your laptop came with a built-in legacy 802.11 b or g card since wireless-N routers are backward compatible with it except for 802.11a.

MIMO (multiple in, multiple out)
The most significant new feature of 802.11n is MIMO (multiple in, multiple out) , which transmits multiple streams of data on different antennas in the same channel at the same time and then recombines the streams at a receiver that also has multiple antennas and radios. This new feature of wireless-N router helps it increase the wireless range and effectively decrease dead spot. Provided that all devices are running on 802.11n, you don’t have to worry of purchasing a range expander, a wireless repeater or a high gain antenna.

Choosing the right router
Almost all router manufacturers came up with their own versions of wireless-N routers in the market. Since the author is currently familiar and has hands-on experience with Linksys, I might as well just provide a few suggestions from the said brand like these models seen below: (WRT160N, WRT150N, WRT330N, WRT300N, WRT350N).










Images from Linksys website.

How about for my PC/laptop?
To get the advantage of wireless-N technology, it will be ideal to equip your laptop with adapters which also runs on the same 802.11n standard.


Images from Linksys website.

As mentioned earlier, other wireless router manufacturer has came up with their own wireless-N models. In the end, it will be up to you which brand you will choose. (D-Link, Netgear, Belkin, Apple, Buffalo, Zyxel etc.,). It is always recommended to go to their support site for more information and visit forum for reviews before picking the model number that you think will provide the best wireless networking experience.

1 comment:

tee24 said...

nice