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Wireless Reviews

Closing Thoughts

The Buffalo nFiniti is the first simultaneous dual-band draft 11n router on the market and with two radios, its ~$250 street price will be an obstacle for some. But as I said earlier, if you're looking to be able to reach channel-bonded speeds, you're going to need the option of moving to the 5 GHz band, since you're unlikely to be the only person in your neighborhood with a wireless LAN.

That being said, since the nFiniti doesn't have the ability to downshift from 40 to 20 Mhz modes at lower signal levels, you're probably better off using the default 20 MHz mode setting in the 2.4 GHz band and switching the 5 GHz radio also to 20 MHz mode if you use it. My tests show you'll sacrifice little throughput, but gain a lot in range.

However, despite the wireless performance and decent, although not outstanding, routing features and performance, I'm still maintaining my "do not buy" stance on draft 11n products, so the nFiniti falls under that umbrella. While some of my reviewing brethren are saying soothing things about taking the step to buying draft 11n products, I maintain that there still are plenty of bumps in the road ahead.

Implementation of the new protection modes mandated by Draft 1.10/2.0 is sure to be fun and will take a lot of work (and time) to get right. And tuning performance for mixed client networks is sure to be a ton of fun for vendors—not to mention frustrating for buyers who will wonder why their notebook with built-in 11g radio runs so slowly when connected to their whizzy new 11n router.

So while the Buffalo nFiniti is a significant step forward in the march toward draft 11n, it's not time to take the leap yet. My advice is to wait until after the Wi-Fi certification program is in place and Draft 2.0 compliant products start appearing. In the meantime, your options will only increase and prices will start to come down. And the Back to School sales are a good a time as any to treat yourself to a long awaited WLAN upgrade.

Check out the slideshow Check out the slideshow for a router admin interface tour.

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