The advancement of wireless technology has opened new doors for people who truly require mobility. You can easily access the network without having to deal with the clutter of cables that is required for regular wired connection. The absence of cables also allows you to move from room to room, especially for laptop and PDA users. The popularity of Wi-Fi connection is very evident, especially in coffee shops and airports where they offer free Wi-Fi access.
The current standard that is in use today is 802.11g. This standard provides a raw data rate of up to 54Mb/s. That speed has proven to be quite sufficient since the usual purpose of connecting via Wi-Fi is to connect to the Internet. But development cannot be stopped. Thus, the members of the Wi-Fi alliance have promoted the standardization of Wi-Fi 802.11n. This would provide a very large raw data rate of 600 Mb/s, which is a huge improvement over the 802.11g standard.
Another amazing feature of the 802.11n standard is the use of multiple antennas to help rebuild the signal; This feature is called MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output). Simply put, antennas capture multipath signals that arrive much later than the LOS (Line of Sight) signal. These signals provide the hardware with the ability to correctly recover the original signal. Using three antennas also has a drawback in that it also requires three radios to work. This translates to a much higher cost of 802.11n routers compared to others.
Most of today’s technologies have backwards compatibility to allow devices that were built before them to still work with them. In this aspect, 802.11n also has another improvement.
The products that are available now are only based on drafts of the 802.11n standard, because the actual standard has not yet been finalized.
Technology is always evolving as long as there is a demand for it. The evolution of the Wi-Fi standard from 802.11g to 802.11n is testament to this. With the new standard it offers much better service than its predecessor along with some nifty improvements that make it more reliable and easier to use. Despite all the features that 802.11n offers, it too will become obsolete in due time; giving way to another faster, better and stronger standard.