Items tagged with 802.11ac

Most of us have had a love-hate relationship with wireless networking. It’s a wonderful technology when all your devices remain connected and perform well in every room of your house, but that’s not always the case. When your devices intermittently drop off or can't find a strong enough signal strength for reliable web browsing, or even if you're suffering through endless video buffering, there isn’t much you can do in that moment, but accept you’re at the mercy of your wireless router. Networking companies sought to fix that with wireless network extenders, but most of those early devices were a messy affair that required separate network names and manually selecting... Read more...
Updated: 2/10/2017 -  Since we initially launched this article, Netgear assisted with resolving a technical issue we were experiencing with 802.11ad connectivity and performance with the Nighthawk X10 router we had in for testing. As such, we have updated this review with both fresh 60GHz 802.11ad performance data, and we've upgraded our rating to HotHardware Recommended in the conclusion as well. We’ve reviewed all kinds of 802.11 routers here at Hothardware, including audacious tri-band routers that look like spaceships, and more pedestrian dual-band routers too. The recently released Netgear Nighthawk X10 is something different though, as it’s the industry’s first 802.11ad router. You... Read more...
Consumer WiFi router products are generally classified by three major performance characteristics: overall throughput or bandwidth, multi-client performance, and range. Although throughput and multi-client bandwidth has scaled-up nicely over the years, range perhaps hasn't improved quite as robustly and even the most powerful WiFi routers, like Netgear's own beastly Nighthawk X8, with its active antennas, can still leave dead spots in large home or office installations. That's where the recent crop of mesh router technologies, that startups like Eero and Google with Google WiFi, are making significant advancements. By spreading out multiple, interconnected router access points (as well as their... Read more...
At this point we've reviewed quite a few high-end AC routers, including tri-band routers, flagship dual-band models, and even the latest MU-MIMO devices too. However, the one portion of the market we haven't covered much is the one that exists on the more affordable end of the pricing spectrum. We all know there are quantifiable differences between a $100 GPU and a $300 GPU, but is that also true for 802.11ac routers as well? After all, they're all branded as AC routers, and have similar features and specifications.  This time around, we'll be taking a look at the $75 Tenda AC15 AC1900 router. Tenda is a lesser known brand in the US, but its AC router looks the part and is less than half... Read more...
The second wave of 802.11ac routers are now shipping, and they offer a tantalizing performance benefit over the previous routers we’ve reviewed (at least with their older firmware) — the ability to broadcast multiple data streams to several clients at once. This technology, named MU-MIMO, which stands for Multiple User: Multiple Input, Multiple Output, is just now starting to roll out, and is different in one obvious way to the previous technology, named simply MIMO. The previous solution was only able to broadcast multiple streams of data, but could only transmit to one client at a time, whereas this new MU-MIMO technology can send multiple data streams to multiple users at the same time, so... Read more...
You read the headline correctly – this is not a review of a Synology NAS, but instead a wireless router. If this sounds unusual to you, you are not alone. Synology is a Network-Attached Storage (NAS) company, or at least it used to be, as it's now taking all its networking expertise and jumping into the router market, and the black beauty you see below is its maiden attempt. Plainly named, the Synology RT1900ac Router, the company’s fledgling entry into this crowded market, is a dual-band AC unit. As you might have guessed, it’s capable of 1,900Mb/s of bandwidth across its 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, offering up to 600Mb/s on the 2.4GHz spectrum, 1,300Mb/s on the 5GHz spectrum and is 802.11ac compatible... Read more...
The router game is heating up once again, after being dormant for what seemed like an eternity, thanks to new iterations of the Broadcom XStream platform. We first examined this platform for 802.11 AC routers back in October when we rounded up four AC3200 routers from Netgear, D-Link, TrendNet, and Asus. We then added one router to the mix with our analysis of the Linksys EA9200, but all five of those routers were based on the first gen of Broadcom’s technology, which allows for up to 3.2Gb/s spread across three channels. This translates to (1,300Mb/s on dual 5GHz channels, and 600Mb/s on the lone 2.4GHz channels). As we’ve stated previously, most home users will probably never need this much... Read more...
Shortly after we published our AC3200 router roundup, Linksys contacted us and wanted to throw one of its routers into the ring. We agreed, and the company sent us its Linksys EA9200 Tri-band Smart Wi-Fi router, which like the others in the roundup is a tri-band router that uses the Broadcom XStream 5GHz platform, throwing out dual 5GHz networks along with a 2.4GHz network for older devices. Like the other routers, it's capable of pushing data at 1,300Mbp/s on its 5GHz bands, and 600Mb/s on the 2.4GHz band. It is also able to pair both 5GHz channels together using Smart Connect technology, or you can run them as two separate networks if you prefer. This router was one of the first to appear on... Read more...
Wireless routers are going through somewhat of a renaissance right now, thanks to the arrival of the 802.11ac standard that is "three times as fast as wireless-N" and the proliferation of Internet-connected devices in our homes and pockets. Whereas before we merely had a handful of laptops and PCs connected to the internet at various times, we now have homes with many devices connected all the time, including our phones, tablets, computers, smart televisions, game consoles, and smart home devices. Though wireless N wasn't bad at the time, it's simply not ideal when dozens of devices are connected at the same time, and certainly not in a larger home or office. That's where 802.11ac comes in, as... Read more...
Today, Qualcomm is announcing full support for a new wireless transmission method that could significantly boost performance on crowded networks. The new standard, MU-MIMO (Multiple User - Multiple Input and Multiple Output) has a clunky name -- but could make a significant difference to home network speeds and make gigabit WiFi a practical reality. MU-MIMO is part of the 802.11ac Release 2 standard, so this isn't just a custom, Qualcomm-only feature -- though we don't know exactly what other implementations will look like, or the degree of cross-compatibility we'll see in market. In order to explain what makes MIMO special, let's first talk about the current system, dubbed SU (Single User)... Read more...
While sometimes rewarding, being an early adopter also carries its share of risks and pitfalls, and not just for the consumer. Manufacturers are prone to buyer's remorse as well, and Apple may feel that way if it can't come up with a fix for its 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology baked into its newest MacBook Air models introduced at the Worldwide Developer's Conference (WWDC) earlier this month. We'll get to that in just a moment, but first a primer. The new 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard offers up to three times the wireless speed of 802.11n, paving the way for streaming Ultra HD content and faster transfers at longer ranges. However, the 802.11ac is still in Draft form, as the IEEE (Institute of Electrical... Read more...
It’s router time, baby. D-Link has a new quartet of them, and they all sport 802.11ac technology, which is the next generation of WiFi speed, which will enable more flexible options for streaming movies, gaming online, and other activities. "Today's average home now has more than 15 devices, oftentimes with multiple iPads, iPhones, as well as Android phones and tablets," said Daniel Kelley, vice president of marketing, D-Link Systems, Inc. That’s a lot of devices fighting for bandwidth. D-Link's AC router family D-Link’s AC routers feature advanced remote network management and sharing capabilities, a USB port for streaming and sharing, dual-band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) technology,... Read more...
The first wave of devices supporting the 802.11ac standard is still coming, and Western Digital is now part of it with its announcement of the My Net AC1300 router and My Net AC WiFi Bridge. As you might expect, the routers offers both 802.11ac on the 5GHz band and 802.11n on the 2.4GHz bands, and the My Net AC1300 is further bolstered by WD’s FasTrack technology, which prioritizes network traffic to deliver optimal performance for applications such as streaming video. The router has four Gigabit Ethernet ports and two USB 2.0 ports, which are ideal for connecting external storage, and the bridge can convert up to four devices from wired to wireless. WD is also proud of its setup process,... Read more...
Here come the 802.11ac routers, and a little ahead of schedule at that. Networking manufacturers were talking up the new wireless standard at CES in January, promising to have product ready by the fall. Asus is the latest to join the still-small club of companies to release a router that uses the new 802.11ac standard. The sharp-looking Asus RT-AC66U is available now at the usual retail suspects for about $200. As an 802.11ac router, the RT-AC66U broadcasts on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, providing theoretical speeds of 450Mbps and 1.3Gbps, respectively. And just as you did with your Wireless N router, you're going to see slower speeds than the max. Even so, the new technology is certainly... Read more...
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