Wireless 11n net becomes a high-bandwidth way of life

An American university has 720 access points supporting 3,000 users on its high-throughput wireless LAN

In the US, Morrisville State College's deployment of 802.11n WLAN has been covered in an attempt to study the challenges facing early enterprise adopters of 11n.

Patrick King, a student at Morrisville State College, remembers the exact moment when he discovered the impact of the college's change-over to a 802.11n WLAN.

This small state college, is the first fully-deployed, large-scale 802.11n deployment. The WLAN, based on gear from Meru Networks, covers 44 buildings, outlying horse barns and a working dairy, and a satellite campus 48 kilometres away. It serves about 3,000 total users, with an average of 1,000-1,500 logged on.

So far, IT staff, students such as King and faculty agree the college is getting what it paid for: in many cases, noticeably better throughput compared to 802.11abg, better signal quality and range, and higher throughput over longer distances. The Meru access points have two 802.11n radios, one in the 2.4GHz band, one in the 5GHz band. In theory, the available bandwidth is 300Mbps per radio, though actual throughput may be one-half to two-thirds of that, shared by the number of clients associated with a given radio.

The school needed to replace an obsolete pre-802.11 Raylink WLAN, which had a date rate of 1Mbps to 2Mbps at best, and was limited to the dorms and a few other buildings and wanted to extend it to cover the entire campus. Given the costs and work involved, MSC decided to take an additional step: to jump to 11n, with its promise of greater bandwidth, range, and reliability, as soon as those devices became available in late 2007. It chose Meru in part because the Meru access points can all be set to use one channel, instead of a checkerboard of different channel assignments. Meru touts the benefits as being simpler management, faster hand-offs, and greater scalability.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Cox

Network World
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?