Another high performance router option in the 802.11ac space
If you've been putting off upgrading your home network, now is a good time to finally upgrade your hardware, starting with your router. Wireless-AC is here (still in Draft form, but we've run into very few quirks with the routers we've tested to date) and it can make a world of difference in your home network, even if you own a Wireless-N router. You have a growing number of options to choose from, including Trendnet's new TEW-818DRU dual-band router, which is the company's new flagship consumer model.
Cable companies and tech firms like Microsoft share a common goal
A coalition of cable companies and well known technology firms has been formed to address the "Wi-Fi spectrum crunch" and to lobby Washington to free up unlicensed spectrum. The coaltion is called WifiForward and it includes cable companies like Comcast, Time Warner Cable (which Comcast is trying to acquire), and Charter Communications, along with technology firms like Microsoft, Google, and Broadcom.
Belkin has big plans for its Linksys acquisition, and it includes positioning the brand as an enthusiast name. More than just lip service, Linksys announced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas that it's bringing back one of the best selling routers of all time, the WRT54G, and giving it a makeover for the modern day Internet. Now known as the WRT1900AC, this dual-band wireless router wields a dual-core 1.2GHz ARM-based processor inside its familiar blue and black stackable chassis.
U.S. District Judge Susan Illston denied Asus' request to dismiss a lawsuit brought on by Netgear accusing the company of reporting misleading information related to the signal strength of its wireless routers, which if true would be in violation of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations. Asus' motion to dismiss was scheduled for a hearing, but Judge Illston denied the motion last Thursday.
Gogo is the leading provider of in-flight Wi-Fi service when you're traveling by plane, but depending on how many people are saturating the connection, you may have found speed to be less than ideal. Get ready for an upgrade. Gogo today announced a new service called Gogo GTO, or Ground to Orbit, which is a proprietary technology that will ultimately result in an increase in speed by more than six times the current performance.
Netgear is making some pretty serious accusations against rival Asus in regards to two of the company's wireless routers, the RT-N65U and RT-AC66U. According to a complaint filed with the FCC and subsequent lawsuit, Netgear says the aforementioned routers that sit on store shelves and are available to purchase online emit higher wireless signals than what the FCC allows. Netgear further alleges that Asus conspired with QuieTek Corporation, an independent testing laboratory, to submit false test results to the FCC to ensure certification as part of a grand plan to eliminate Asus' competitors from the wireless market.
Way back in January of this year, D-Link unveiled a cylinder shaped "Gaming Router" featuring Qualcomm StreamBoost technology (DGL-5500) with the promise of shipping it sometime in the spring. We're now heading towards the end of summer and are happy to report that if you've been patiently awaiting the retail release of this 802.11ac router, it's now available direct from D-Link and several other online retailers.
Google catches a lot of flak over privacy issues for its various services, but at the same time, the company knows how to create some goodwill for itself, too. Apparently in a giving mood as of late, Google is footing the $600,000 bill to bring free Wi-Fi hotspots to at least 31 city parks, plazas, and open spaces across San Francisco. The installation of free Wi-Fi service will kick off in December 2013 and is expected to be complete by Spring 2014.
Now might not be the best time to upgrade your home networking equipment to 802.11ac since a final standard has yet to be ratified, but if you're gung-ho to make the leap anyway, there are plenty of companies that will oblige. Count Netgear among them. Not only is Netgear offering an upgrade path to 802.11ac, it's new R6100 dual-band router is $100, a relatively cheap price tag considering it's a next-generation router.
If Jerry Seinfield worked at Maximum PC reviewing overpriced gadgets, we’re pretty sure he’d be saying: “And what’s the deal with getting charged so much for so little RAM? You know, the 16GB version of the HTC Galaxy 5s costs $199 but the 32GB costs $299? And, what? No expansion slot for additional RAM?”
Note: This review originally appeared in the January 2013 issue of the magazine.