The IEEE 802.11n standard provides increased user-level throughput – by addressing both PHY layer data rates but also MAC layer efficiency. These mechanisms result in over 50% increase in throughput for a similar single antenna configuration.
Higher Network Capacity
The presence of legacy 802.11a/b/g nodes in an 802.11n network forces the 11n nodes to resort to protection mechanisms, which are non-productive packet exchanges. The loss in overall throughput because of this a significant 30% or more, and avoided by ensuring 11n compatibility even in low traffic nodes.
The use of more than one antenna at the transmitter or receiver, in compliance with provisions in the 802.11n standard, provides longer operational range.
Longer Battery Life
Longer range also implies higher throughput at a given range. For a given location of transmitter and receiver, 802.11n compliant devices would be able to transfer data at a higher rate. This, coupled with the higher efficiency of 11n that provides higher throughput, reduces the time taken to transfer a given amount of information – thereby reducing the drain on the device’s battery.