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802.11n Standard Finalised

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Well. This. Is. Dull.

The IEEE has finally put the rubber stamp on 802.11n at last removing the 'Draft' tag that's been hanging over its head for the last seven years and making absolutely no difference to the public which has been using 802.11g's successor happily since mid 2007.

The WiFi alliance had previously claimed it would "make only small optional additions to coincide with the finalization of the 802.11n standard later this year. The updated test program will preserve interoperability with more than 600 Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 802.11n draft 2.0 products released since June 2007." Thankfully this time the organisations stuck true to their words and the new WiFi standards logo has had that 'draft' cut from its appearance.
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Of course by this stage Draft 802.11n is so widespread that there was little choice to make the final standard anything other than interoperable with it since manufacturers tired waiting for the finalisation many moons ago. In fact, the only products not to predominantly feature Draft N as standard these days are smartphones and netbooks.

Amusingly, we have also reached a point where the newly official standard is already beginning to show its age. 802.11n has a theoretical maximum of 300Mbit, but real world testing places it at well under half that even in ideal conditions. Put some distance and a few thick walls between router and computer and streaming Full HD (1080p) video around a home network becomes a real challenge. Share this connection with other home users streaming media and say goodbye to your High Def hijinks.

Looks like it is time to churn out the draft for the next wireless standard. After all, we're not going to sit around for another seven years while they argue over the minutiae of that one...

Links:
IEEE Standards Association
WiFi Alliance Certified Products

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