Drafts of the IEEE 802.11n High Throughput amendment to the 802.11 Wireless LAN standard have already been implemented by many products, including well over 200 devices certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance.
Most early implementations were "pre-n" products targeted to consumers for home WLANs. Performance varied a lot, especially when pairing products from different vendors. However, today there are many business-grade products that implement Draft 2.0 of the 802.11n standard. Not only is Draft 2.0 technically mature, but it is backed by Wi-Fi Alliance testing to promote multi-vendor interoperability.
Some businesses are comfortable deploying products based on Draft 2.0, because they assume that changes made to the final standard will be minor and implemented as firmware rather than hardware upgrades. Other businesses prefer to wait for the 802.11n standard to be ratified. The right answer for you depends on your aversion to risk, how badly you need new 802.11n capabilities, and your organization's timeline for deployment. The IEEE task group working on 802.11n plans to circulate Draft 4.0 for ballot this month (March 2008). Working group approval is expected by July, with formal ratification by December. For "TGn" status updates, see the IEEE 802.11 website.
Products that 802.11n have better speed, distance, sensitivity, and reliability than older 802.11a/b/g products. To learn more about 802.11n, how it accomplishes those improvements, and how they will affect WLAN design and deployment, check out my recent webcast on building high-performance WLANs.
Dig Deeper on Network protocols and standards
Related Q&A from Lisa Phifer
Is there a difference between a wireless access point vs. a router? Yes -- while the two wireless devices are related, they meet different needs in a... Continue Reading
Learn the differences between site-to-site VPNs vs. remote-access VPNs and find out about the protocols, benefits and the data security methods used ... Continue Reading
Need to send an email, check your flight's status or get ready for a presentation? You can do it all on your smartwatch, thanks to a slew of Apple ... Continue Reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.