Tired of your wireless router that takes forever to render content? Well, cheer up because better days are coming! The IEEE Standards Association that develops international standards in information technology, telecommunication and a host of several other industries, has developed prototypes for new Wi-Fi technology: the IEEE 802.11ac. It has also been referred to as “5G Wi-Fi” or “Gigabit Wi-Fi”.
802.11ac Wi-Fi offers faster speeds and more coverage than the current 4th generation Wi-Fi standard: 802.11n. You may have heard of 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, which also represent recent Wi-Fi standards. In fact, if you have a laptop or smartphone, it’s very likely to be compatible with b and g. If your computer device was released within the past few years, then it is very likely that it also supports the current standard, 802.11n.
The fifth generation 802.11ac is also the first to take wireless data into the gigabit range. This will prove to be much better for streaming HD video, gaming and more. Talk about better days!
A little 802.11ac trivia
Work on developing the fifth gen Wi-Fi standard began in 2011, but it was only in January 2014 the standard won approval from regulatory bodies.
Like other standards of the 802.11 range, the 802.11ac operates on the 5 GHz frequency band, but it would provide higher throughput (the speed of data transfer) – a minimum of 500 megabits per second for single link WLAN throughput and at least one gigabit per second for multistation throughput.
What is all the frenzy about 802.11ac, exactly?
Let’s put 802.11ac specifications in perspective by comparing the fifth generation to the fourth generation wireless-networking protocol – the 802.11n.
- The 802.11ac works only on the 5 GHz frequency band, as compared to 802.11n which works on 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz as well.
- 802.11ac supports channel width of up to 80 MHz. 802.11n supports only up to 20 MHz.
- 802.11ac-compatible routers will be able to run the fourth generation Wi-Fi on the 2.4 GHz band while simultaneously running the fifth generation Wi-Fi on its 5GHz band.
- You can instantly stream four different HD movies (1080p) on four different HDTVs, wirelessly, using the fifth-gen Wi-Fi. You cannot do so using 802.11n. It can neither support multiple inputs and multiple outputs nor does it have data transfer rates high enough to instantly stream four 1080p videos.
- 802.11ac will provide higher battery life (less energy usage) to its users since it can transfer data in about one-third the time needed by 802.11n users for the same amount of data.
Is the 802.11ac Wi-Fi available in Malaysia?
Even though the 802.11 ac routers are already available in the market, they are still very expensive and there are very few supporting devices. So, don’t expect the the coffee shops and restaurants in Malaysia to be sporting these Wi-Fi routers. This is not to say you can’t buy these faster Wi-Fi supporting devices at all. They are available in Malaysia, in addition to a few 802.11ac Wi-Fi adapters. You can simply plug a 802.11ac Wi-Fi adapter into your USB port and discover high data transfer speeds from related Wi-Fi routers.
802.11ac Wi-Fi routers in Malaysia:
- ASUS RT-AC66U Wireless Home Router Black (Price: RM 729)
- Asus RT-AC68U Dual-Band Wireless-AC1900 Gigabit Router (Price: RM 899)
802.11ac Wi-Fi adapters in Malaysia:
- Asus USB-AC56 Dual-band Wireless-AC1200 USB 3.0 Wi-Fi Adapter (Price: RM 339)
- Asus USB-AC53 Dual-Band Wireless-AC 1200 USB Adapter (Price: RM 289)
- D-Link DWA-182 Wireless AC 1200Mbps Dual-Band USB Adapter with Cradle Extension (Price: RM149)
A good idea is to wait for the technology to be adopted by smartphone, PC and tablet manufacturers. They will be able to trigger the mainstream acceptance of 802.11ac and bring prices down. Rumor has it that Apple has already begun hiring engineers for building its products with 802.11ac adapters and the Macs to be rolled out later this year feature the same. Once the big manufacturers adopt it, consider it apt time to go out and get yourself an 802.11ac router. May the speed be with you!
MORE WI-FI STORIES:
- How to Stay Safe on Public WiFi Networks in Malaysia
- 5 Great Wi-Fi Boosters in Malaysia to Improve Your Signal
- MiFi in Malaysia: An Overview of Portable Wi-Fi Services
- 5 Ways to Get Free Wi-Fi in Malaysia
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