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Faster Wi-Fi up and running

802.11g products go on sale ahead of summer sanction

PC Advisor readers are girding their wireless home networking loins in the face of yet another Wi-Fi standard.

Vendors are set to unleash access points and cards based on the new 802.11g networking standard, which will bring with it a dramatic increase in speed — some five times faster than the current Wi-Fi standard, 802.11b.

What's more, the price premium on kit supporting 802.11g is barely 20 percent more than its slower, older sibling.

Belkin, for example, is flogging an access point for £99.99 and a notebook network card for £54.99. The network vendor has teamed up with DSG's PC World and Dixons high street chains for in-store promotion of the benefits of the faster standard, especially when combined with a broadband connection.

The downside?

Well this latest version of Wi-Fi hasn’t officially been ratified yet, so there's no guarantee that you'll be able to mix-and-match your home networking hardware with devices from other vendors.

As such, Belkin's archrival US Robotics is warning punters not to buy until the standard is officially approved — a move which is expected at the end of June or during July.

Not entirely coincidentally, US Robotics has chosen the month of July to unveil its own 802.11g range of products which, because of their launch date, are guaranteed to be 100 percent compliant.

What's more, the modem veteran is claiming maximum network speeds of 100Mbps (megabits per second) — theoretically twice the speed offered by other vendors of 802.11g-based products and equivalent to fast ethernet.

USR access points will start at £99.99 and a notebook card will set you back £59.99.

The upside of buying now? Belkin is guaranteeing customers that if there are compliance issues with its products, goods will be replaced free of charge.

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