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Fastest wireless access point – fastest N wireless router – fastest N wireless access point – strongest wireless access point – best office WAP – best wireless access point – how fast is 802.11n

You have the router, the switch, the computers, and the printers.  But, what should you purchase to make your office lit up for wireless?  You don’t need a wireless router since you already have a heavy-duty router that takes care of the hard-wired desktop computers.  Now, you need a wireless piece of equipment to allow laptops, iPads, iPhones, and other devices to connect easily.

You can go out to buy a sophisticated wireless access point (WAP) that will throw your IT support budget into a frenzy.  But, there’s really no need.  At the best, the most expensive WAP is still limited to the fastest wireless frequency available.  Currently, it’s at 802.11n.

Yes, there are lots of flavors of the current n speed, including:

  • Dual band connectivity
  • Multiple extender antennas for better throughput
  • Fancy airplane-looking equipment

But, and this is a big but, the device is still limited to the speed of between 2.4 – 5 GHz at which 802.11 n is based at.  So, you can augment it to accept more connections, throughput, limit static, etc, but all 802.11 n are pretty much created equal at the speed of 2.4 (130 Mbps) – 5GHZ (300Mbps).  This is essentially double that of the older G wireless network speeds.  That being said, the speed range is pretty vast and you should drill down on the wireless access point to see that 5GHZ , or up to 300Mbps is being used or available as an option.

Keep in mind that these speed numbers are based in theory, and typically come close to 20 – 40% of these theoretical speeds due to several limiting factors including:

  • Slow Internet connection via DSL, Cable, FIOS, or T1
  • Older non-gigabit switches, hubs, and routers
  • Slower CAT5 network cables to computers and equipment
  • Slower non-gigabit network cards on desktops and servers

In regard to the best wireless access point, I like the Airport Express for its easy wireless setup and strong signal.  But the Linksys, Cisco, Netgear wireless access points are solid IT service options as well, given that they range up to 5GHZ on their specs’ sheets.

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