Will the iPhone support 802.11n wifi soon?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by EddieRebel, Jul 15, 2007.

  1. EddieRebel macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2007
    A couple weeks before I purchased my iPhone, I upgraded from a prehistoric Netgear router to the latest Apple Extreme. I was pretty excited about 802.11n and had set it up to exclusively use that, until I bought the iPhone and realized that it can't find the network unless I make it b/g compatible.

    It's not really a big deal at the moment, because I actually need to buy another wireless card for my old computer that can support 802.11n -- but once I do that I would prefer to just upgrade the entire network. Yet I can't do that with the iPhone holding me back.

    Not really a complaint, I just thought it was odd that Apple wouldn't have included 802.11n functionality yet. Anyone know what may have limited this?
  2. Hmac macrumors 68020

    May 30, 2007
    Midwest USA
    Chip size, power utilization, the fact that N is still draft spec...just guessing.
  3. eye.surgeon macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2007
    I think the reason is that it is completely useless to have 802.11n functionality in an iphone. You are not even approaching the wifi bandwidth capability you currently have in the iphone.
  4. defeated macrumors regular

    Feb 22, 2007
    draft n is overrated, especially on a phone, IMO
  5. Andrmgic macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2007
    I agree.

    The only reason for draft n to exist is for transferring files between network computers. The iPhone can't transfer files to or from other devices on a network, so it would have been pointless for them to include 802.11 n in the iPhone

    Even Verizon's FiOS service offering 30mbps doesn't match the (theoretical) 54mbps throughput of a 802.11g connection
  6. yotaguy macrumors member

    May 22, 2005

    Andrmgic is correct. Without file transfer options, there is ZERO need for 802.11n if and when it ever comes it out. 54mbps is more than enough for most users and is way faster than most internet connections used in-home and in-office
  7. sonictonic macrumors 6502a

    Mar 25, 2006
    Central Coast, California
    I really think G is plenty on the iPhone and I am totally happy with it. However one issue I am thinking of now, is if I go ahead and buy the new Airport router and use 802.11n with it, and my MacBook Pro, won't my n signal be downgraded to G, unless I shut off wifi on my iPhone first? Am I right in the fact that I only have n speeds and range if no other B or G devices are connected to the signal?
  8. EddieRebel thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2007
    See, this is what I was trying to get at.. not transferring files to/from the iPhone etc.

    My point is that the iPhone can't even see the 802.11n network, so the only way I can use wifi at home is to make my network slower. For most people that might not be a problem, but I have 2 400gb external drives hooked up to my Airport Extreme and I'd prefer to have faster xfer speeds between them and my MBP.

    Of course I could always just try to rely on the shaky Edge network at home. And its not like I surf the web at home on the phone. But I do like knowing immediately when emails come in and being able to reply to them instantly on my iPhone.
  9. daveporter macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2006
    Green Cove Springs, FL
    I agree with you completely.

    An 802.11n network should only be run with the radio frequency at 5 GHz and the protocol set to the "n" standard (only) to obtain maximum throughput. This means that there will be no backward compatibility with b and g devices. Therefore if you have an iPhone you need to add a legacy router ("b" works fine for this) to connect your iPhone to your network if you don't want to slow down the whole network.

    You are not alone in your thinking, there are many, many posts on the various forums that discuss this issue.

    Hope this helps,

  10. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    I had the same issue at my house a few months ago, but it was my TiVos that were causing the problem -- no easy 802.11n upgrade path for them.

    What I ended up doing was plugging my "prehistoric" b/g router into one of my Extreme's LAN jacks and setting it (the b/g router) up in bridge mode.

    So if you come over to my house, you'll see two separate wireless networks (1 b/g, 1 n-only), but since the b/g is in bridge mode, it's using the same TCP/IP network as the n-only network, so there are zero issues with devices on either wireless network talking with each other.

    Plus it still lets my friends who have b/g laptops use my network when they come over. :)
  11. Diode macrumors 68020


    Apr 15, 2004
    Washington DC
    What the above post said. Use your old b/g router or buy a new one (you can get a cheap g-router for like $30~$40) and then set it up in bridge mode.
  12. PhatBoyG macrumors regular


    Jun 8, 2007
    Tulsa, OK
    Or have even more fun. Leave your b/g router connected to your cable modem, connect your new n router's wan port to the b/g router LAN port, and setup a second level network. One secure internal n network for you and one open b/g network for your fellow iPhone users. ;)
  13. dashiel macrumors 6502a

    Nov 12, 2003
    of course your iphone can't see a wireless-n only router. that's like saying your macbook pro can't see a wireless-a router. just make your n router support the a/b/g profile -- unlike 802.11g routers, 802.11n routers don't penalize the network when slower protocol devices join

    there is a very slight performance degradation because a pure-n router can take advantage of the 5.4Ghz spectrum while b/g cannot. however considering 802.11g is already faster than the fastest connection you can get to your home (in the united states) it's really irrelevant unless your shipping huge files back and forth all day long. if that's the case though you should be using a wired network anyway.
  14. daveporter macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2006
    Green Cove Springs, FL
    On our home 802.11n network, we have two apple TVs where both are streaming from two different Macs (which are also connected by WiFi). If the airport extreme is not set to the 5.4 GHz "N" only settings, we get dropouts on the apple TVs. So, for us, the option of going to b/g compatibly with the airport extreme was not a good one. The need for a speedy WiFi network is not only related to your connection to your ISP, but also the traffic on your home network.

    Therefore, if you are pushing your WiFi network very hard you should NOT enable b/g downward compatibility on your airport extreme and just use your old b/g router for your iPhone.

  15. whateverandever macrumors 6502a

    Nov 8, 2006

    Dave's back after being reamed in his own 802.11n post so much that the thread was closed.

    Those "many, many" posts in various forums are by similarly dumb people who feel the need to put a power-intensive network protocol on their power-sensitive phone.
  16. sblasl macrumors 6502a


    Apr 25, 2004
    Heber Springs, AR
    Buy a Buffalo nfiniti Dual Band Router. We have the "n" for the AppleTV and my Wife's MacBook and my MacBook Pro. We have the "g" for the iPhone and family & friends who are visiting.

    Best router I have owned.
  17. daveporter macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2006
    Green Cove Springs, FL
    If all you have to offer is useless drivel, why post just to provoke an argument? Your posts are not fair to the person that came here to express a concern, ask a question and hopefully receive some help with their problem. Your time would be better spent offering positive help if you are capable of doing so.
  18. AgentJBOND macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2007
    What gives? Who is right? Or am I reading something wrong? Doesn't "standard" mean b or g or n (not 2 or 5 ghz)?
  19. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    I think you're right -- standard means a, b, g, or n.

    It's been my experience with g that if a b device connects, the g network slows down to b speed.

    I haven't done any file transfer benchmarks on my n network, but I can tell you that when a g device connects to my n network, the connect speed between my n devices and router drops from 300mbps to 160mpbs, as shown by the Network Utility program on my MacBok Pro.
  20. daveporter macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2006
    Green Cove Springs, FL
    Actually with a 802.11n network you take two performance hits if you allow b or g device compatibility.

    The first is that you must operate your "n" network at 2.4 GHz radio frequency if you are to allow b and g compatibility since b and g devices can not operate at 5.4 GHz. "N" networks operate at higher performance rates at 5.4 GHz radio frequency since you can enable "wide channels" which increase throughput. Wide channels can not be enabled if the "n" router is operated at 2.4 GHz radio frequency, therefore, throughput is lower.

    The second hit is the one you report. When b or g devices connect to the "n" router the entire network must slow down to accommodate the slower devices. When the b and g devices disconnect, the "n" router increases speed back to full "n" levels however so the slow down is temporary.

    On my network, as soon as I lowered the radio frequency of my router from 5.4 GHz to 2.4 Ghz I could no longer stream video to two Apple TVs simultaneously without any droplets as I did perviously. In addition, when I connected to the router with my iPhone I experienced even more pronounced video dropouts with my Apple TVs. As soon as I went back to 5.4 GHz radio frequency and no b/g compatibility, I could again stream to two Apple TVs over the WiFi network with no dropouts at all.


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