The New Times reports that Wi-Fi networks already seem a bit overcrowded and slow. The emergence of online streaming video and web sites such as YouTube has only served to underscore this problem. Naturally, Wi-Fi manufacturers would normally want to solve this problem with a new Wi-Fi standard. However, they are doing the next best thing. Under the technological rubric of 802.11n, new Wi-Fi routers and adapters are built not on an existing specification, but on a draft version of a specification before the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers standards body. This new standard is not expected to go into effect until 2008. However, impatient consumers and by extension, companies have already started to manufacture and distribute “Draft N” equipment. As such, Draft N might become the de facto standard. The problem is: Should consumers purchase this equipment in the absence of a final specification? The Times reports that using these new devices does offer concrete advantages. The N standard is capable of a top speed of 300 megabits per second, while the current standard is only capable of 54 megabits per second. In addition, under ideal conditions an 802.11g network can stretch for 300 feet without losing a signal. An N network can increase this distance to 1,400 feet under similar circumstances… (Note: This site requires free registration.)