802.11n technology

I was admiring the new switch with my brother and I thought about the 802.11g router that is sitting on top of the switch.  I want to upgrade to 802.11n but I do not want to buy any pre-n devices.  The pre-n devices will never be as compatible with future devices as the true n devices but it seems that I will have to wait until the end of 2006 or the beginning of 2007 for the standard.  Maybe next year I will be connected using an “n” card.

The standard should boast 108Mbps or even as high as 200Mbps.  Here are some other technical details so far.  Technologies present in the 802.11g standard such as Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM), forward error correction (FEC) coding, and quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) will still be used.  When I read that, I wondered what is changing.  Using OFDM should provide for fluid backwards compatibility with “g” cards.  The standard employs the use of two antennas instead of one in a technology known as Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO).  This should reduce interference and increase speed.  More channels will also be used.  This should increase bandwidth but I imagine that it will also reduce the number of non-overlapping channels available to administrators who desire to co-locate their APs.

Another thing I wonder about is what Apple will call their “n” capable cards.  They do not stick to the standard nomenclature.  Their 802.11b card was called the AirPort and their 802.11g card the AirPort Extreme.  My plan is to upgrade the AirPort Extreme card on my laptop and put it in my G4 cube.  The other laptops will get new PCMCIA cards.  I have to make sure the G4 will handle the extreme card.

Here is a good technical overview on some parts of the standard.  http://www.deviceforge.com/articles/AT5096801417.html

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