New Wi-Fi Draft Ensures Compatibility

More than a year after the first products based on an initial draft of the superfast 802.11n Wi-Fi standard arrived, a second draft--reinforced by Wi-Fi Alliance certification--appears to have solved the interoperability and stability problems we saw in the initial crop. But our informal tests of the first certified products also suggest that prices and performance vary widely as a result of issues that are unrelated to the standard.

We tested Belkin's $90 N (F5D8233-4), Buffalo's $99 AirStation Nfiniti (WZR2-G300N), D-Link's $180 Xtreme N Gigabit (DIR-655), and Netgear's $130 RangeMax Next (WNR834Bv2) first with their own matching PC Cards and then again with PC Cards made by each of the other three vendors. Connection utilities showed that in our tests at a midrange distance of 20 feet, all of them connected at theoretical single-channel draft-n speeds of up to 130 megabits per second (mbps). The Buffalo and the D-Link proved the fastest (see our chart on the next page), and the Buffalo's sub-$100 price makes it a good deal.

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News source: PCWorld

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6 Comments

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I own a DIR-655 and it rocks (till now). Because I had to place it further away from my shuttle and maybe because my fileserver is not very fast, I didn't notice a big improvement in speed, but I did notice an improvement when playing multiplayer games (such as RTCW-ET). I haven't experienced any lag, while lagging occurred quite often with my Linksys WAP54G, MSI PC54G and El-Cheapo D-Link wired router.

Who cares about a future compatibilit? I'm end-to-end compatible, if a day comes I'm not any longer I will simply replace my DIR-655 (I won't keep it until the warranty expires I assume -Warranty lasts 11, right that's eleven, years).

I configured the device to handle 802.11n connections only, My 802.11b/g devices still connect to the Linksys WAP54G. Possibly these devices are too close to each other...

Ok so that's an Intel 4965 AGN card, it doesn't connect to your router at N speeds based on what Windows says or the card's connection manager. Is there any firmware upgrades available for the devices?

wouldnt mind a proper review like tomshardware do with routers. wonder if draft 1.0 and 2.0 routers are firmware upgradable to 802.11n final as there are lots of rumours draft 1.0 wont, which would be extremely annoying.