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Netgear scores 802.11ac basestation first

Router 1, Clients 0

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Networking hardware maker Netgear will have its next-gen Wi-Fi machine, the R6300 router, out next month.

Not only Netgear's first 802.11ac product - it's the first 802.11ac router there is, the company claimed.

The so-called "Gigabit Wi-Fi" delivers speeds of up to 1.3Gbps, way faster than three-antenna 802.11n can manage, which peaks at 450Mbps.

Netgear R6300 802.11ac router

AKA "5G Wi-Fi", 802.11ac uses up to three antennae too and operates in the 5GHz band, as can 802.11n. The R6300 works at 2.4GHz too, for backwards compatibility.

Unfortunately, if you buy the R6300, chances are you'll be connecting at a lot less than that. Why? The R6300 may be the first 802.11ac router, but where are the 802.11ac clients?

Answer: there aren't any, so you'll be connecting using 802.11n or 802.11g - please don't tell us you're still on 802.11b… - and getting speeds rather less the a gigabit.

Adaptor are on their way of course. But who wants to go back to plugging USB dongles into their laptops? Any the dongles we've seen top out at 900Mbps. Again, not gigabit, though better than 802.11n, for sure.

Want to upgrade anyway? We'd wait until computer makers start building it in, but the Netgear R6300 goes on sale in May for $200 (£123). ®

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