Belkin release draft 802.11n gear

May 1st, 2006

Today [tag]Belkin[/tag] have entered the uncertain waters of draft-[tag]802.11n[/tag] gear and announced their [tag]N1[/tag] wireless line of equipment. 

The N1 range currently consists of:

  • Router (F5D8231-4)
    Router (F5D8231-4)
  • Notebook card (F5D8011)
    Notebook Card (F5D8011)
  • Desktop card (F5D8001)
    Desktop Card (F5D8001)

To come in Q3 of this year is a USB adaptor card (F5D8051).

On paper this gear sounds great (up to 300Mbps, increased coverage, backward compatible with 802.11b/g) but none of it makes up for the gear being based on a draft specification.  Like Ed Bott said last week, networks are complicated enough without adding in gear that is based on a draft.  I have no doubt that this gear will sell, and sell well (after all, everyone wants more speed and coverage) but I can see a lot of trouble ahead for early adopters. 

If you do want to experience 802.11n, then my recommendation is that:

  • You buy all your gear (router, desktop cards and notebook cards) from the same manufacturer.  This will help minimize compatibility issues
  • You upgrade your firmware and drivers regularly to patch up bugs and security issues
  • Don't deploy a draft 802.11n network anywhere that's mission-critical, because you might be without a network
  • You remember that backward-compatibility on paper is different to real-life backward-compatibility
  • Expect trouble.  Lots of trouble!

This entry was posted on Monday, May 1st, 2006 at 13:47 and is filed under Kit!. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.