Basing any piece of technology on draft specification is risky, particularly when it's not due for final ratification until the summer of 2007.
But Buffalo isn't worried, and has bundled an interpretation of the 802.11n wireless standard into its new Nfiniti kit. While offering only half the ten-fold increase that's theoretically going to be available from 802.11n over 802.11g, the Nfiniti's 270Mbps data rate is impressive and streaming video throughout your home is much, much improved.
The three antennas that enable the MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) capabilities almost induced us to trespass into our neighbour's garden, having easily reached the boundary of ours without a single blackspot or dropped connection.
You will need the obligatory Draft-N NIC in your PC; while the Nfiniti router is backwards compatible with older 802.11b/g kit, you're still limited to the prior standard's spec if you rely on it.
You're also unable to take advantage of the router's other gimmicks (the cynics among you could argue the entire thing is one big gimmick) such as the one-click set-up for encryption, where you press a button on the router and then click on an icon your Draft-N enabled PC, bypassing passwords and hexadecimal codes altogether.
It's a smart feature but we wonder, really, if anyone who buys the Nfiniti router will use it. After all, if you're desperate enough for wireless bandwidth to get an 802.11n router before the standard's even been finalised and with just half the potential connection speed, odds are you're grown-up enough to not rely on a hardware manufacturer's default security settings.
But still, that 270Mbps data rate is hard to ignore, especially at this price and the three antennas mean you get better reception than its Belkin Pre-N rival. Mike Abolins