Are you using 802.11n wireless technology to power your home Wi-Fi network? If not, you really should. Recently, I upgraded my home Wi-Fi network and the devices I have attached to it. I bought a Linksys WRT105N router for under $100, and a few inexpensive adapters […]

Are you using 802.11n wireless technology to power your home Wi-Fi network? If not, you really should. Recently, I upgraded my home Wi-Fi network and the devices I have attached to it. I bought a Linksys WRT105N router for under $100, and a few inexpensive adapters for connected devices. The performance is outstanding, and the price is right.

The issue with 802.11n Wi-Fi, of course, is that it’s not ratified technology yet, although ratification is expected this year. The router I’m using is Draft-n Wi-Fi, and the first generation of Draft-n routers had problems. At this point, though, the performance boost you get from the Draft-n technology makes it irrelevant whether 802.11n ratification comes this year or not.

Many readers here use Macs, and if you do and have a home Wi-Fi network you’re probably already using Draft-N technology, because you probably have Apple’s AirPort Extreme router, which has Draft-N. However, many PC-based users, especially those used to years of Linksys and D-Link wireless routers, have not gone to 802.11n just because of the ratification issue. Also, many PC users have bought computers and laptops that don’t come with 802.11n technology built in.

Now that the prices have fallen dramatically on the Draft-N routers, access points and adapters, though, it’s a no-brainer to make this upgrade. In addition, many people are confident that there will be firmware updates with the eventual ratified 802.11n hardware that will keep your Draft-N products compatible.

For many web workers, Wi-Fi at home is an essential part of staying efficient and productive. With 802.11n technology, and the built-in MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) antennas, you not only get better performance but I’ve found that I get much better wireless range around the house. I can’t think of a more worthwhile upgrade if you haven’t gone for it yet.

Have you been considering upgrading to 802.11n?

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  1. Unless you’re moving huge files around your internal network, what’s the point?
    Very few people have an Internet connection that even comes close to saturating a ‘G’ router.
    Buy a G router for half the price and get more RAM with the savings.

  2. I’ve been thinking about upgrading to draft-n, (I’m having range issues, in my house). I have a mac and would like to get a time capsule, (cheaper than an Airport Extreme + 500GB HD), however, I’m waiting for Apple to introduce an SPI firewall on their products. I run dd-wrt now, and am comfortable with the extra security if the SPI firewall, and don’t want to go back to NAT.

  3. I just replaced a netgear g router with an airport extreme and couldn’t be happier. I have no emperical data but range is hugely increased and wifi seems noticably “snappier”. So far, well worth the cash.

  4. I second Peter’s comment.

    Assuming a typical reader of this blog is mainly working on the web, why upgrade?

    Just wait for 802.11n to become mainstream in PCs as well. By that time, you may notice the difference with faster internet connections.

  5. If you are looking to by a Wireless ROuter, or even a simple Wired ROuter go for one of the new 802.11n systems. No reason to go back to older 802.11b or g systems when you can have a system that will allow you to address all your future bandwidth needs-and you will need to be able to provide 100Mbps+ in the next few years so why spend twice.
    The ideal solution is one of the new 802.11n radios with both 2.4 & 5.8Ghz radios which will allow you to deal with all interference issues and provide very big pipes to grow into.
    The other option is to look at the new Ruckus Wireless routers that work with a single 2.4Ghz radio and allows one to avoid most interference and deliver very high speeds as well. ($150)
    You will not save much money buying the older 802.11g radios and will eventually run into interference issues and bandwitdh limitations.
    Wait until you try and move movies or audio across the wireless network to view on your TV etc.

    Jim A

  6. I totally agree with beckley.

    My Airport was decent with my old “G” laptop, but it lights up with my new Macbook Pro.

  7. I had endless problems with my MacBook Pro dropping connections while using “n.” Apple forums are filled with posts about this. I switched my router to “g” and haven’t had any problems since that time.

  8. Web Worker Daily » Archive More on Why 802.11n is Essential for Your Home Wi-Fi « Wednesday, April 23, 2008

    [...] 23rd, 2008 (4:00pm) Samuel Dean No Comments In a post I did the other day titled The Time is Now to Go to 802.11n Wi-Fi, I made the point that many people who aren’t switching to Draft-N Wi-Fi because the standard [...]

  9. Web Worker Daily » Archive Interop: A Glimpse at the 802.11n Future « Tuesday, April 29, 2008

    [...] 29th, 2008 (4:00pm) Samuel Dean No Comments In a similar vein to a post I put recently titled The Time is Now to Go to 802.11n several 802.11n-related inititiatives are taking shape this week that should be of interest to web [...]

  10. Web Worker Daily » Archive Four Ways to Get More Out of Your 802.11n Wi-Fi Network « Wednesday, June 11, 2008

    [...] 11th, 2008 (4:00pm) Samuel Dean No Comments In a recent post, I made the argument that even though the 802.11n Wi-Fi standard is draft technology, it’s [...]

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