Netgear scores 802.11ac basestation first
Router 1, Clients 0
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.
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). ®
Why do they have to make them so massive and shiny. I dont want it to be the focal point of my room. I want it to be almost un-noticed. Its there to serve a purpose, not as a design statement.
That is all.
Who cares what it looks like?
My last router I hung above the back of a cupboard door. Cupboard was central in house and had power, and tucking it all out of sight means I never have to see it or its wiring. It flooded the whole house with strong signal (and even pickupable in the garden as normal), and I put it with LED's facing down so I could see anything wrong by going in the cupboard and looking up.
Wiring it too meant I could admin it remotely but, to be honest, after initial setup I only ever had to reboot it once in 5 years. When I moved, I nearly forget it was still there, it was so out-of-sight and low-maintenance. It's currently in the house still, after a move, but is sitting behind a chest-of-drawers with the rest of the IT gumph because I can't drill holes in this house. Still perfect signal everywhere, still not had a configuration change, still works flawlessly.
Take a fiver off the price and gimme a square plastic box, by all means, but to be honest, I'd probably just go for whatever's cheapest and then stick it in a cupboard.
Re: no need for a dongle
apologies, can't believe I let that one slip through.
Re: no need for a dongle
Yup, their so easy to upgrade, I'd almost feel confident talking my mum through doing it...
er, on second thoughts, maybe not, but on your average Dell, it's one screw to open the little hatch, then five minutes of trying to plug the bloody fiddly antenna cables into the new card.