Buffalo Technology has wasted no time using the newly approved 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard: The company is now shipping its AirStation router that is capable of pushing wireless bits and bytes at 1.3 Gbps. That theoretical speed for the $179.99 device is roughly three times faster than what an 802.11n router can do. This gigabit Wi-Fi is not only useful for moving large files from one device to another on the same network, but also f0r streaming high-definition files around the house to multiple screens.
With backwards compatiblity for 802.11 b/g/n networks, Buffalo describes the new AirStation, its first “5GWiFi” product using a Broadcom radio solution as:
“[A] dependable, high quality signal for simple syncing between mobile devices, data-heavy streaming of HD movies from online services and everything in between. AirStation WZR-D1800H boasts amazing speeds up to 1300 Mbps on the 5 GHz band, and it integrates a class leading 2.4 GHz 3×3 802.11n radio providing backward compatibility and offering speeds up to 450 Mbps. With a total aggregate wireless throughput up to 1750 Mbps across the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz bands, AirStation WZR-D1800H frees consumers from the conventional networking restrictions of wired Ethernet cables, wireless network bottlenecks and other radio activity….”
Broadcom demonstrated its 802.11ac solution at January’s Consumer Electronics Show, pushing five reasons this faster Wi-Fi standard will matter. Although Buffalo’s AirStation is a speed demon, it doesn’t improve the range of a wireless network. However, devices will still see better speeds at the same range, so it’s a nice boost around the house. As I pointed out in February, smartphones are sure to benefit from the technology over time as 802.11ac chips and support find their way into handsets. That may take some time, but can be a huge help for cellular operators looking to use Wi-Fi for traffic offload.
Note that Netgear announced its own new 802.11ac router last month, but that model — the R6300 — isn’t available just yet, so if you want to embrace gigabit Wi-Fi today, Buffalo has you covered. Netgear said in April that the R6300 would appear in May for $199.99