There is a new revision of WiFi coming out, and its name is 802.11ac. This new version is far faster than 802.11n. The channels will be twice or four times wider, allowing for more data to move at the same time. It goes from the 40Mhz and 20Mhz to 80 and 160 Mhz; this is quite a bit wider: up to 8 times wider. What that means is that the actual speed doesn’t have to be as fast; if its faster, the data transfer speeds will be far higher.

There is also something called QAM, Quadature Amplitude Modulation, which is a way of  transferring even more data at a time in a fashion not unlike AC. You can find out more about it in Wikipedia.

Combined, this makes the transfer speeds far faster, up to a theoretical 7 gbps, or 7 gigabits per second, when using 8 antennae; with one, you can still get about 450 mbps – still very fast. This is faster than a single Ethernet cable, which is about 1 Gbps at the faster variety.

One of the best parts is that it is backwards compatible with 802.11n and g. The only drawback aside from its currently high price is that it only comes in 5Ghz as opposed to both 5Ghz and 2.4 Ghz. While 5 Ghz has less interference from everyday appliances like microwaves, 5 Ghz has a shorter range and does not deal too well with walls.

The routers should be hitting the market very soon; since the adapters are not as easy to change, the major benefit at the moment would be that many users can use the same internet from 802.11n or g. They are in the high 100s range, about 180 – 200. Just remember that that doesn’t cover internet from your ISP (Internet Service Provider).

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