Buying any piece of wireless networking equipment needs a careful study of its basic features. When you have a plan to set up a high speed wireless network, what you need is a router, that can deliver high data transfer speeds. To choose the fastest wireless router, you need to know what determines the transmission speeds of these routers. In this Buzzle article, you will find wireless router speeds explained. By the time you are through this article, you will know how to choose routers with high data transmission speeds.
Wireless routers are based on radio communication technology to make wireless Internet access possible. Every router is basically a transreceiver, that receives information from an ISP through a modem, modulates the data onto a carrier wave and transmits it over the air waves. The security features enabled in a router provided restricted access to terminals which have a valid login name and password to gain entry into the network. Let us see what are the factors that affect the data transmission speeds of any wireless router.
What Determines Wireless Router Speed?
The most detailed answer to this question will take us deep into electronic communication technology. Without swamping you with technological jargon, let me provide a basic explanation of factors that decide transmission speed. The way data is modulated on to carrier radio waves and the share of frequency bandwidth used for the transmission of these waves affects the data transmission speeds. The antenna technology used and the number of transmission antennas used in routers also affect their transmission speeds. A combination of all these factors decide the actual throughput or raw data transmission speed of the router. Dual band routers, with modulation techniques that make a smarter use of the available frequency bandwidth provide greater data transmission speeds. The wireless router technology has been evolving for more than two decades under the watchful eye of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The speed of wireless routers are essentially determined by the generation or standard of IEEE 802.11 wireless networking technology, on which its based upon.
Wireless Router Speeds Explained
To get an idea about what is the maximum transmission speed offered by any router, you need to know the wireless networking standard on which the router is based. Through periodic modifications four prime wireless networking standard have been released till date – 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, each based on a slightly different set of features. Here is a table providing information about wireless networking standards, along with their associated maximum data transfer speeds.
|Wireless Networking Standard||Data Transmission Speed|
|802.11a||Up to 54 Mb/sec|
|802.11b||Up to 11 Mb/sec|
|802.11g||Up to 54 Mb/sec|
|802.11n||Up to 600 Mb/sec|
As you can see in the above table, the highest data transmission speed is offered by the 802.11n wireless networking standard released in 2009. With a combination of MIMO (multiple in multiple out) antenna technology and Orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM), this technology has broken the data transmission barrier, pushing the data transfer speed limit to 600 Mbps. Routers based on this standard are backward compatible with other devices based on the earlier released standards. Not surprisingly, the latest wireless router reviews focus on the best 802.11n routers.
With the knowledge of factors which affect wireless router speeds, you are now in a better position to judge which router will offers high transmission speeds from a study of its specifications. Go for 802.11n wireless networking standard based routers, which offer the highest transmission speeds. As mentioned before, the best 802.11n routers can provide a theoretical maximum of 600 Mbps in transmission speeds. Dual band transmission, MIMO technology, along with OFDM make them the fastest wireless routers till date.