For those not intimately familiar with the nuances of the Wi-Fi wireless Internet standard (i.e. for most normal people), you may not know that it’s transitioning from an older version (dubbed 802.11g) to a newer, faster version (dubbed 802.11n). The previous “g” standard was fine for some basic wireless activities – web browsing or moving photos across a network – but it wasn’t so great at more bandwidth-intensive activities, such as streaming high definition video.
However, just buying a new 802.11n router won’t get you those faster speeds. The other devices in your network – your media player, laptop, Blu-ray disc player, etc. – all have to work with “n” networks – and many older ones may not. (Note: this doesn’t mean they won’t work at all, older “g” devices will work just fine on an “n” router – they just won’t work at the faster speeds supported by “n.”)
If you’re not interested in replacing those devices when you purchase an “n” router, you can take advantage of Iogear’s newest adapter. This $50 device connects to other Wi-Fi gadgets running the older, “g” standard via an Ethernet cable and gives them the faster speeds of “n” networks. This is particularly helpful if you either have a lot of high definition video files on your desktop that you’d like to stream to your television via Wi-Fi, or if you use services like Netflix or Vudu to stream movies from the web over game systems, Blu-ray players or media players.