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Wi-Fi to the Power of N Goes Official

Wi-Fi to the Power of N Goes OfficialThis summer, officially certified 'Draft N' Wi-Fi products will begin appearing on store shelves. 'Draft N' refers to 802.11n, which is the newest, fastest and most powerful incarnation yet of 802.11 (or as it's more commonly known, 'Wi-Fi'). Earlier versions were named A, B and G.

N is backward compatible with the older wireless standards while boosting speeds to up to 240 megabits per second -- fast enough to stream a high-def movie from your PC to your TV. It also delivers twice the range of its predecessor, G.

The Wi-Fi Alliance, the technology's official gatekeeper, will begin putting its official seal on wireless routers, networking cards and microchips beginning in June. The seal ensures that new and future N products will play nicely with each other, not to mention your existing Wi-Fi products.

But, hey, aren't there already products out there claiming to be 802.11n, like Apple's new AirPort Extreme Base Station? Yup. Those products that brought the technology to the people sooner are based on earlier drafts of the 802.11n. And though they're the Real Deal 802.11n Holyfield, they've yet to get the official thumbs up from the Wi-Fi Alliance. So don't worry, the $179 you dropped on the Airport Extreme Base Station won't be lost to obsolescence.


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Tags: standards, wi-fi, wifi, wireless

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