IEEE 802.11n

What Does IEEE 802.11n Mean?

IEEE 802.11n is an IEEE 802.11 amendment that modifies the physical and media access control (MAC) layer specifications to increase overall throughput for local area networks (LAN), metropolitan area networks (MAN) and wireless local area networks (WLAN).


IEEE 802.11n is also known as IEEE 802.11n-2009 or draft n.

Techopedia Explains IEEE 802.11n

The following are the primary IEEE 802.11n objectives:

  • Specifies the technique used to increase maximum throughput for transmitting devices up to 600 Mbps, versus 54 Mbps in the preceding standard
  • Introduces multiple-in/multiple-out (MIMO) technology, frame aggregation at the physical layer and data encoding services

MIMO facilitates the use of multiple source transmitters and receiver node antennae, reduces communication errors and increases data transmission speed, while frame aggregation provisions the simultaneous transmission of multiple frames and reduces communication time.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…