The transition from 802.11n to 802.11ac is bringing about a fast and furious stream of new wireless routers, including new flagship models that continue to take advantage of today's streaming landscape. Netgear, a familiar name in the high-end router market, just launched its new Nighthawk X4 AC2350 Smart Wi-Fi Router (R7500) with a quad-stream Wi-Fi architecture (4x4).
4TB SSDs, CrossFire/SLI cross compatibility, and more!
For as much as technology has evolved over the years, there’s still plenty of things we still want. Where are our stock 4GHz Intel processors? Where are massive 4TB SSDs? *Sigh* A tech enthusiast can dream, we suppose.
Netgear today announced what it claims is the industry's first AC3200 tri-band Wi-Fi router, the Nighthawk X6. That claim is born from the fact that this is the only consumer tri-band router that's available to purchase today (in pre-order form, with shipping expected in July) -- Asus has its RT-AC3200 on tap as well, though it doesn't look like it will beat Netgear's newest unit into homes.
This is the fastest rated consumer Wi-Fi router yet
Router makers aren't messing around these days. Taking full advantage of the 802.11ac spec, which incidentally is no longer in draft form, Asus today announced the RT-AC3200 wireless router. Asus is billing the RT-AC3200 as the world's fastest Wi-Fi router, and as far as we're privy to, that's an accurate claim. Of course, like all other high-speed routers, Asus is taking liberties with nomenclature to describe the speed.
You can now install third-party DD-WRT firmware on certain Trendent AC routers
We don't know if a war is brewing between Trendnet and Linksys, but like the latter's WRT1900AC router, Trendnet today announced open source DD-WRT firmware compatibility for its high performance TEW-818DRU (v1.0), TEW-821DRU (v2.0)l, and TEW-811DRU (v1.0) Wireless-AC routers. This is pretty big news for networking gurus who like to tinker but are other otherwise bound by their router's stock firmware.
Six cutting-edge gaming mice. Which one belongs in your paw?
We tend to think of some PC components as having a longer shelf life than others. A video card gets out of date faster than a motherboard, which gets out of date faster than an optical drive, for instance. Some people think that a mouse falls way down at the bottom of that list, somewhere between a power supply and the screwdriver you use to put the whole thing together, but those people have got it all wrong.
Note: This article was originally featured in the January 2014 issue of the magazine.
Both Broadcom and Quantenna are working on chips to dramatically increase 802.11ac Wi-Fi speeds
We hate to be the ones to break it to you, but in the true sense of the term, there's simply no such thing as "future proofing." Take for example the draft 802.11ac standard. You can go out and buy the fastest consumer router avaiable today (a tossup between the Asus RT-AC66U/AC68U and Netgear R7000) and by this time next year, we'll likely have a new speed king. In fact, the efforts of two competing companies -- Broadcom and Quantenna -- all but ensure it. Both companies recently announced new chipsets that will make today's routers look pokey by comparison.
Downloading content from a mile high is going to get a whole lot faster thanks to Gogo, which is working on increasing peak speeds more than seven-fold. Using low-profile, high efficiency Ku-band satellite antennas, Gogo expects in-flight Wi-Fi service to deliver peak speeds of more than 70Mbps by the middle of next year. That's pretty impressive, considering Gogo rolled out technology to increase peak speeds to 9.8Mbps a year ago.
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.