Ready for Gigabit WiFi? Starting in May you’ll be able to purchase a Netgear router that supports speeds three times that of your current 802.11n wifi router.
Wifi capable of 1.3Gbps coming in May
Starting in May Netgear will begin selling the worlds first 802.11ac router. This 5GHz “next gen” router is reported to be three times faster than existing 802.11n WiFi routers and will be able capable of speeds up to 1.3Gbps.
Netgear’s R6300 router will be the first running Broadcom’s new WiFi chip. The new chip only transmits in the 5GHz band, which is a lot less crowded than the 2.4GHz band most WiFi devices run on today. It can also combine it’s channels so that it has up to 80 MHz of bandwidth available to it at once. The 802.11ac standard also improves range, using a technology called Beamforming that directs data directly at a receiving device. While 802.11n also is capable of Beamforming, different manufacturers use different technologies, so it doesn’t always work as well as it should. With 802.11ac, the process is supposed be more standardized.
Keep in mind that in order to achieve those speeds you’ll need your devices to be running 802.11ac hardware as well. Currently, there aren’t any but companies like Broadcom, Qualcomm, and Quantenna are manufacturing chips to make devices 802.11ac-compatible by the beginning of next year, when the IEEE expects to ratify the new WiFi standard’s specifications.
1.3 Gbps is a lot faster than most home and business Internet connections. In fact, current 802.11n routers, with speeds in the 300-600 megabits per second range, are also faster than most Internet connections. You might then ask why we need this faster WiFi?! More and more often we’re connecting more and more devices in our homes. Heck we can even manage our Android’s over WiFi. We’re also streaming media throughout our houses and this level of bandwidth would help with that. It should also future-proof our WiFi as broadband continues to provide faster speeds.
Keep in mind that just like with early 802.11n equipment, Netgear’s router is based on a draft of the 802.11ac standard. Final approval by the IEEE isn’t expected until sometime in 2013. The spec could change between now and then and those changes might not make it out to this hardware.
The router will be available for consumer purchase in May, at a price of $199.99. You can read Netgear’s full press release for more details.