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802.11n Wireless Router Primer

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I plan to expand this but there is a lot of confusion about 802.11n routers. If you have any buzzword questions, let me know what to add.

* The term "router" here only include consumer wireless access points and residential gateways.


Antennas and Data Streams
a x b: c
a = number of transmit antennas
b = number of recieve antennas
c = number of data streams

A single data stream is capable of up to 150Mbps. Most N routers today are advertised as 150Mbps or 300Mbps. This means they support either 1 or 2 streams. However, there are a few 450Mbps routers which obviously means it supports 3 data stream. You need to also ensure your adapter is capable of supporting multiple streams. Currently, only the Intel 5300 and 6300 mini-PCI adapters support 450Mbps.

4x4:4 is the maximum defined configuration but the best conmmon router you will find is 3x3:3. However, there are companies that exceed this since they used beamforming. Beamforming is a technology that boost the wireless range and strength by focusing the signals.

Frequencies
Wifi operates in unlicense frequencies ranges. This means any device is allowed to operate at these ranges.
2.4GHz = Supported by all 802.11b/g/n routers. The frequency provides the best object penetration (i.e. it can go farthest through walls). Unfortunately, this frequencies must compete with microwaves, cordless phones, baby moniters, and other unlicensed wireless devices.
5GHz = Supported by some N routers. This frequency is much less congested.
60GHz = New spec for in-room and short-range wireless since it is poor at object penetration.

Dual-Band: Router supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz.
Simutaneous Dual-Band: Router supports 2.4GHz and 5GHz at the same time. These will allow you to run a N network at 5GHz and independent b/g/n network at 2.4GHz. Routers that support this feature tend to be over $100.
Edited by DuckieHo - 1/19/11 at 11:16am
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post #2 of 6
Nice write up. Great explanation.

I saw you scored the Intel mod job too, Congrats.

Oh, BTW...

You said Object Penetration.
    
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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayzer76 View Post
You said Object Penetration.
I was wondering how long it would take someone to notice.... 1st response....
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post #4 of 6
It was a closing statement, lol....
    
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post #5 of 6
nice post... in the market for a new n router and you've answered some of my questions... thanks!
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post #6 of 6
i'm just waiting for someone to release a router that has the specs of asus rt-n16 but with Simutaneous Dual-Band it would some much win.
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