The most common wireless local area network (LAN) protocols today are contained in the 802.11 wireless standards series. These protocols are the basis behind the design of the wireless routers and wireless cards that are provided to customers worldwide. The two most common wireless standards in use currently are 802.11g and 802.11n, also known as wireless G and wireless N. The wireless G standard has been around for several years, while wireless N was ratified as a standard in October 2009.
In comparing Wireless G vs Wireless N, the most obvious update to the wireless standard is network speed. Wireless G provides a network speed of 54 Megabits per second (Mbps) while wireless N can provide a network speed of up to 300 Mbps, which is faster even than some wired networks. This makes wireless N ideal for high throughput applications such as HD video and PC gaming. Wireless N and Wireless G support the currently available security standards such as WPA and WPA2, which can help prevent unauthorized access to the wireless network. Wireless N is also capable of operating in a dual-band mode, where it uses portions of the 5 GHz radio frequency spectrum.
This can help to cut down on interference from 2.4 GHz devices such as cordless phones, microwaves, and other devices. Wireless N also uses a technology called MIMO (Multiple In Multiple Out) that allows multiple antennas to be used in the router. This MIMO technology means that routers can intelligently select the best antennas for transmit and receive and provide greater signal range.
Wireless G vs Wireless N is almost not a question anymore. Almost all commercial equipment produced after 2009 should include Wireless N. Mobile devices are also implementing it. Having a Wireless N router does not mean that Wireless G products are left out; Wireless N routers are capable of supporting both standards.
When selecting right wireless router, one that supports wireless N or one that supports wireless G, it is important to take into account the application.
- Will the wireless network be supporting HD video, gaming, or large file transfers?
- What is the speed of the wired network that will support this wireless network?
- What equipment will be in use on the network a year from now?
These things must be taken into consideration. If growth and heavier wireless use is expected, then it is probably a good choice to select a wireless N router.
If network traffic is light, and perhaps the use temporary, cost savings can be had by selecting a wireless G router. Router application and use patterns are indeed the most important things to evaluate when selecting right wireless router.