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For instance, the ASUS (RT-N16) says "IEEE802.11n Draft" and can run DD-WRT. Can a firmware upgrade convert it to IEEE802.11n Final, or does that require hardware changes?

If you are purchasing a new router, be it single or dual band—go with an 802.11n router. And not 802.11n draft, which is an older standard.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2347539,00.asp

Instead of products based on a final standard--which should appear by early 2008 and will be Wi-Fi Alliance-certified for interoperability--what we have now is a flood of "draft" 802.11n products based on a preliminary and incomplete version of the standard. These products might be--but are not guaranteed to be--firmware upgradable to the final spec.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/126821/article.html

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It definitely does not require hardware changes. I'm not even sure it requires firmware changes. I don't remember there ever being any interop problems between draft N and final N devices that were caused by changes to the spec.

If the latest firmware for your AP came out after .11n was ratified (mid 2007 maybe?), then it's probably already as final N compliant as it needs to be.

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