Gigabit Wi-Fi: 802.11ac

It’s been about 5 years since 802.11n wireless routers and devices hit the market. I remember the first N draft routers. The performance was wonky. Unstable speeds and lost connections.

Even though 802.11ac specification won’t be finalized until sometime in 2013, Netgear will be selling an 802.11ac Wi-Fi router, the R6300, which will debut in May. Netgear boasts that it will be 3 times faster than 802.11n, backwards compatible and allow HD streaming goodness throughout your home.

802.11ac will run on the 5Ghz channel and uses wider channels to move more data. And there’s some question as to whether residential users will get very much at all out of .11ac, as home Internet connections (to say nothing of residential-class Ethernet switches and router ports) top out well below the 1.3Gbps that a three-stream, 40-MHz. .11ac product can nominally reach.

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