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Pre-802.11n Standard Wi-Fi Problems
By: MarkJ - 25 April, 2006 (1:48 PM)

Tests of pre-standard (IEEE draft) based 802.11n Wi-Fi kit (the next generation after 802.11g [54Mbps] and capable of 100Mbps+) have found the hardware to suffer compatibility and speed problems:

On Monday, the Fairpoint Group and the technology trade publication eWeek released results of tests conducted on new products using draft versions of the 802.11n standard. While eWeek's assessment is not nearly as negative as the analysis of the testing from the Fairpoint Group, both groups said they felt it was still too soon for consumers to buy products using 802.11n.

The new 802.11n standard, which is expected to be finalised later this year, will allow notebook users to connect to wireless access points at much faster speeds than currently available with 802.11g technology. 802.11n will use a technology called MIMO (multiple-in, multiple-out) , which should improve the range and throughput of 802.11n products so that it can be used as a replacement for Ethernet cabling in an office and as a way to transmit video around a house without interrupted playback.

The report also indicated that the "draft compliant" products did not connect at any faster speed or across any greater distance than existing 802.11g products, which typically transmit data between 20 and 24 mbps.

Unfortunately this is often what happens when hardware based on an unfinished design is released early, although typically most consumers are not aware of this.

The message for now is to simply stick with 802.11g until n has been completed and proper hardware released, by which time any issues with compatibility and speed should have been ironed out. More @ ZDNet.

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