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Room for Improvement

Want to Take your Wi-Fi network to the next level? Try a draft-n wireless router.

This story appears in the October 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The latest Wi-Fi flavor--802.11n--kicks out some blazing wireless speeds, but official ratification of the standard is dragging. We've at least moved on from the pre-n gear that was part of an early mad rush to market. Draft-n gear is the latest in wireless networking, and it should be pretty close to matching the final specification. Some pre-n devices didn't play well together, but don't be too wary about jumping the gun on buying the new draft-n gear: The Wi-Fi Alliance is conducting certification tests that will guarantee interoperability and backward compatibility with other manufacturers. Look for the "Wi-Fi certified 802.11n draft 2.0" designation on packaging.

Wireless equipment doesn't always top the charts when it comes to ease of use, but there have been some welcome improvements. The Belkin N1 Vision sports an informative LCD screen that makes it easy to see what's going on with your router. It displays the number of connected computers, a guest key for guest access, speeds and trouble-shooting information. If you've already invested in gear from Buffalo, then you'll enjoy the setup convenience of its Air-Station One-Touch Secure Sys-tem, or AOSS. The Wireless-N Nfiniti Router (WZR2-G300N) comes equipped with AOSS so that secure connections with other AOSS devices are a button-push away. The tradeoff for this router's attractive price point ($100) is that it comes with 10/100 Ethernet rather than gigabit.

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