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Clients that support 802.11n can take full advantage of the higher speeds from day one, regardless of whether the network is shared with devices utilizing 802.11a, b, or g.
With laptops shipping with 802.11n built-in, most organizations need no client-side upgrades to take advantage of the new technology. But supporting older clients makes 802.11n's backward compatibility with previous technologies important. Legacy clients will notice no negative change from an upgrade - some may even get a slight performance improvement thanks to the multiple antenna chains at each 802.11n access point.
Wireless LAN Virtualization gives each 802.11 device its own Virtual Port - a private network connection equivalent to a switched Ethernet link. Just like switched Ethernet, the Virtual Port negotiates data rates individually for each client. This lets 802.11n and legacy clients share a network while keeping legacy clients from negatively impacting 802.11n device performance.
It also eliminates the contention for bandwidth found in older, hub-like wireless access points. The Meru controller ensures that every device gets an equal share of the network's airtime, preventing slower clients from consuming too much of the network's capacity.
Compatibility with back-end infrastructure is also assured. Meru 802.11n access points are all capable of using standard 802.3af Power over Ethernet. And for organizations that don't yet need full 802.11n coverage, Meru also offers software-upgradeable access points. These contain 802.11a/b/g radios with 802.11n features that can be activated through a license key. Customers can time the move to 802.11n to fit their budget and client mix. As an added benefit, all Meru software-upgradeable access points can scan for 802.11n rogues right out of the box.