Asus first to guarantee free upgrade of draft-802.11n products

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Fremont (CA) - Being the first to buy new tech isn't always the best strategy and this may be especially true for wireless networking products. Jump on the train of non-standardized products - such as draft-n devices - too quickly and you may end up with a router that is incompatible with final products. However, Asus breaks away from the industry by offering a guarantee for a free upgrade.

If you weren't sure if it was the right time to upgrade your wireless network at home, because of the limited value of so-called draft-n products and the uncertainties surrounding the 802.11n standardization process, Asus may deliver the most compelling reason to go "n" yet: The company is the first manufacturer to actually promise buyers a free firmware or hardware upgrade, if necessary, once the final 802.11n standard has been approved.

The guarantee is limited at this time to Asus' WL-500W Super Speed N wireless router and WL-100W Super Speed N wireless adapter, which, the manufacturer claims, reach data transfer speeds of more than 100 Mb/s by leveraging the current draft-802.11n specification.

According to Asus, firmware upgrades will be made available on the company's website for free download. If hardware upgrades are required, users can return the units to Asus service centers, while Asus will be paying for the cost of shipping upgraded products back to users.

While further details of the upgrade program - which will last three months from the time of 802.11n ratification - and Asus' ability to satisfy customer's upgrade needs remain to be seen, it's a move into the right direction that could prompt other manufacturers to follow and make a similar offer. Asus said that only products purchased before the end of this year are covered under the guarantee.