802.11n


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802.11n

An IEEE 802.11 Wi-Fi standard that increases transmission speeds to 600 Mbps and works in both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands (see dual-band router). Although newer 802.11ac devices began to proliferate in 2013, 802.11n is expected to exist for some time because 11n speed is more than adequate for most purposes when only one or two users are transmitting at the same time.

Multiple Antennas (MIMO)
The 802.11n technology brought the use of multiple antennas, improving distance, reliability and speed. Up to four data streams can be sent simultaneously using 20MHz or 40MHz channels, providing a theoretical maximum data rate of 600 Mbps. See MIMO.

"Wi-Fi CERTIFIED n" and Draft-2.0
The official "Wi-fi CERTIFIED n" standard was ratified in 2009; however, the Wi-Fi Alliance released a preliminary "Draft-2.0" specification in 2007, also called "Draft-N," to promote interoperability among early equipment. Even before Draft-N, vendors offered "Pre-N" products. See MIMO, 802.11 and 802.11ac.

Pre-N Equipment
Prior to Draft 2.0, Belkin released this wireless router with two transmitters and three receivers to deliver up to 108 Mbps. As non-certified devices, both sides of the transmission had to be Belkin equipment. (Image courtesy of Belkin Corporation, www.belkin.com)
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