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Rolling the dice on Belkin's pre-N 802.11n wireless gear

Peter Rojas
Belkin 802.11n Pre-N Wireless CardSo this past weekend Engadget reader Dimitrios Gazis decided to take a risk and try out Belkin's pre-N wireless router and laptop card even though it uses a version of new 802.11n wireless protocol that hasn't been officially ratified yet (if that previous sentence doesn't make any sense to you, don't sweat it—all you need to know is that 802.11n is more or less the next-generation of WiFi).

Living in the heart of NYU territory, I've found it impossible to keep a stable WiFi connection between the laptop and router in my apartment. Even with a signal strength of better than 90% signal, the interference from over a dozen other wireless networks that are in range, plus countless cordless phones, has meant restarting the WiFi router every few minutes.

I upgraded from D-Link?s 802.11b gear to their Extreme-G 802.11g router and card?same crappy behavior. Last weekend, I got fed up with this, and so I went to J&R and bought the new Belkin pre-N router and laptop card. I?ve had the laptop running on WiFi for two days now without losing my Internet connection once. Setting up with the Belkin router was simple and automated - a non-techie can have it up and running in under 10 minutes. The only extra effort is security (WEP/WPA, MAC filtering), and that is made as simple as possible (the manual explains it very well).

With both of my D-Link setups I had to use an AP in repeater mode in the living room just to get the signal from my bedroom to work. The pre-N router in the bedroom is strong enough and has good enough range to give me a consistent 95%+ signal in the whole apartment, without a single hiccup in the connection. You might pay a little extra for Belkin?s pre-N gear might be expensive, but for Manhattanites (or anyone else) who have given up on WiFi, this might be the answer.

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