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The milestone that is 802.11n

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I sit out on the balcony, enjoying the breeze and the sunshine, a cup of coffee in one hand while the other hand types feverishly on my notebook keyboard as I access live sales data from a server to get the info I need to close the deal I'm negotiating over the cordless Skype phone cradled on my shoulder.  And all this during a coffee break, writes Gustavo Pinto, SMC product manager at Ingram Micro. Who says men can't multitask?

November 2007 saw the approval of Draft 3.0 by the 802.11n Working Group, but despite n wireless still being in draft, there's no reason why you can't take advantage of the multi-streaming modulation techniques that MIMO brings to wireless networking, using spatial beamforming and spatial multiplexing to improve signal and data transfer rates. Say what?
Hype and jargon aside, 802.11n is truly a milestone: simply put, this amendment to the wireless standard provides enough speed and coverage to make a wireless network the most practical networking solution for your home and small business – forget the wires, forget the messy installations, and opt for a virtually "out-of-the-box" solution:
A small business or home network hosting a couple of PC's and/or notebooks could upgrade to a 300mbps wireless network with the addition of SMC's USBS-N wireless USB adapters and the SMCWEB-N access point. If there's an ADSL connection present, instead of the access point an SMCWBRN2 Wireless ADSL router could replace the existing ADSL router.
Take it a step further: The added bandwidth offered by your 802.11n Access Point now means you can add more devices, so why not lower your communications bill by using SMC's wireless Skype Phones over your wireless network? Unlike standard Skype phones which depend on software located on a PC, SMC's Skype Phones operate on internal software, allowing you the freedom of a cordless Skype phone wherever you have access to the internet over wireless, be that at a shopping mall hotspot or over a wireless network.
802.11n is less prone to signal degradation than its predecessors, meaning that you need to spend less on additional bridges or access points to ensure you have coverage – with an indoor range of 70M and an outdoor range of up to 250M (allowing for one wall between the access point and the device), a single access point can supply wireless connectivity for an office or home; in the case of the latter, if there's a cottage or lapa on the property, intelligent placement of the access point will ensure outside areas have good coverage as well – allowing Gran or your eldest to connect from the cottage, or giving you the opportunity to escape your home office while remaining connected at the pool-side.
Have an old 802.11g PDA or printer you're attached to? No problem, backwards compatibility ensures that your older 802.11a/b/g kit is still supported.  Worried about your neighbours sneaking a peak into your wireless network?  WPA2 Wireless encryption has your network covered, AES Preshared Keys allow you to control access, and SMC broadband routers come with a firewall to deter uninvited guests.
For larger companies that want the benefits of fast wireless access to information, SMC's EliteConnect range offers enterprise-class solutions that are simple to integrate into existing wired and VOIP infrastructures – and at a price that won't cost the CFO a few sleepless nights.
The flexibility of wireless networking also makes it the best choice for enterprise where additional connections are required for short-term projects, or where it can serve as an interim solution during periods of expansion.
In conclusion, the investment in 802.11n is one that opens up a secure and reliable channel of benefits that will increase your competitive advantage and offer you that differential technological edge.