updated 01:20 pm EST, Fri February 8, 2008
TRENDnet Easy-N Upgrader
TRENDnet on Friday took the unusual route to adding 802.11n wireless by shipping the Easy-N Upgrader to its device roster. The router plugs into one of the LAN Ethernet jacks on most wired or wireless routers and automatically configures itself to share access to its draft-spec 802.11n Wi-Fi, climbing up to 90Mbps in real-world conditions. With this in place, TRENDnet says, users can either supplement an 802.11a/g network with the added range and speed or else add wireless capabilities to a network, all without tossing aside any existing equipment.
In its basic mode, the Upgrader is effectively setup-free for the involved computers and also sports a one-button security feature that locks down the wireless signal between computers and routers using Wi-Fi Protected Setup. Normal security measures such as WEP or WPA2 encryption are also available, the company adds. The add-on should be available in stores by early next week and will cost roughly have the price of a full-fledged 802.11n router at $64.