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802.11n vs 802.11ax-Difference between 802.11n and 802.11ax

This page compares WLAN 802.11n vs 802.11ax and mentions difference between 802.11n and 802.11ax.

WLAN 802.11n

• It is a 802.11 family of standard which is developed to deliver high data rate and it extends capability of 11a/b/g standards.
• It is referred as HT(High Throughput) specification.
• Frequency range : 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
• Backward compatibility: It supports legacy fallbacks of 11a,11b,11g systems
• Modulation Scheme OFDM and DSSS/CCK
• Data modulation:Supports BPSK,QPSK,16QAM,64 QAM
• Channel Bandwidth: 20MHz and 40MHz
• OFDM data subcarriers/pilots : 48/4 ,108/6
• OFDM coding rate: 5/6
• Short guard interval : 400 ns
• Spatial streams : 4
• Max. Data rate: 600 Mbps with 40 MHz bandwidth and 4 streams
• Distance covered(appox.)- 70m (indoor),250m(outdoor)
• MIMO configuration -Most of the devices uses 2T3R(2 antennas in transmit and 3 antennas in receive),
Maximum configuration goes upto 4T4R.
• Supports many type of explicit beamforming
• Supports single user transmission
• PHY layer frame(in HT mixed mode) consists of L-STF,L-LTF,L-SIG,HT-STF,HT-LTFs and Data
• Refer WLAN 802.11n Physical layer >>.

WLAN 802.11ax

• IEEE 802.11ax technology is 6th generation of WiFi and hence it is known as Wifi-6. Due to its high efficiency performance, it is also known as HEW (High Efficiency WLAN).
• It is developed to overcome limitations of 802.11ac such as contention based uplink access etc.
• 802.11ax offers better efficiency, network capacity, performance and user experience at reduced latency.
• Higher modulation scheme such as 1024-QAM
• More number of OFDM subcarriers in a symbol or long OFDM symbol
• Multiplexing users using MU-MIMO concept both in the uplink and downlink
• Beamforming and OFDMA technique
• 8 simultaneous MU-MIMO streams
• Uplink scheduling without any contention
• BSS color codes
• Use of both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands
• Refer advantages and disadvantages of 802.11ax >>

Difference between 802.11n and 802.11ax

Following table mentions difference between 802.11n and 802.11ax.


Specifications 802.11n 802.11ax
Channel Size (MHz) 20, 40 20, 40, 80, 80+80, 160
Subcarrier Spacing (KHz) 312.5 78.125
Symbol time (µs) 3.2 12.8
Modulation BPSK, QPSK, 16QAM, 64QAM BPSK, 16QAM, 64QAM, 256QAM, 1024QAM
MU-MIMO Not available Implemented in the Downlink and Uplink
OFDMA Not available Implemented in the Downlink and Uplink
Data rates 600 Mbps 10 Gbps (using 160MHz BW, MCS11, 8x SS)

WLAN 802.11n, 802.11ac and 802.11ax related links

advantages and disadvantages of 802.11ac
advantages and disadvantages of 802.11ax
Difference between 802.11ac Wave1 and Wave2
Difference between 802.11n,11ac,11ad
WLAN 802.11ac tutorial
WLAN 802.11ax tutorial
WLAN 802.11ac frame structure
WLAN 802.11ac Physical Layer
802.11ac MAC Layer
802.11ax basics
WLAN 11a,11b,11n,11ac frame structures

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RF and Wireless Terminologies

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