Wireless network reliability and performance for businesses matter more than ever. Today’s mobile business environments with its bigger office documents, richer media content, and exploding applications, and growing diversity of Wi-Fi enabled devices demand faster and more reliable wireless networks. Wi-Fi is evolving to meet the needs for high performance and pervasive connectivity with 802.11n. But not all 802.11n delivers business-class performance and reliability. Unlike predecessor Wi-Fi protocols, there are real differences between product implementations. The result is performance and reliability vary significantly.
What makes 802.11n different is the specification’s support of multiple radios and antennas that can transmit/receive multiple data streams – called spatial streams. In 802.11n vernacular, these send and receive antenna configurations are noted as 1×1, 1×2, 2×2, and 3×3. These numbers indicate how many transmit and receive antennas and radios are in an 802.11n access point (AP) or client. They determine how many spatial streams of data can be sent at one time to improve signal reception.
More antennas and streams mean faster speeds, less dead zones, fewer dropped connections, and better coverage. 802.11n multiband support effectively creates more room for data by bonding two 20MHz channels into a 40MHz channel. The 5GHz band best supports channel bonding.
Make sure you know what 802.11n performance you’re buying:
- Look for embedded Wi-Fi cards with multiple streaming for better performance and more consistent coverage.
- Buy dual-band 802.11n for laptops. Deploy laptops on 5Ghz, reserve 2.4 for legacy devices and handhelds.
- Look closely at the Wi-Fi Alliance logo to determine what 802.11n capabilities the product is supporting.
- Support the same configurations on both the client and the AP to maximize performance and reliability.
Find out why Intel® Centrino® Wi-Fi products are designed for business with these resources:
- Connect with Intel® Centrino® - An Intel program that provides rigorous testing of 802.11n APs to take the guesswork out of buying the right AP to get the most from Intel® Centrino® multistream Wi-Fi adapters.
- Accelerating the Enterprise Network Using 802.11n Wireless - This white paper describes Intel’s IT 802.11n wireless lab testing, proof of concept, and large scale pilot that successfully led to the decision to deploy 802.11n WLANs across Intel.
- Enterprise Class WLAN Solutions - This Intel Web site provides details on Intel’s enterprise class WLAN solutions.