Wi-Fi Faster than The Flash: 802.11ac Coming in 2012

QCA 802.11ac Intro

I use my wireless Wi-Fi network to stream media and provide Internet connections to my smartphone, tablets, and laptops around the house. My home network includes a router that is 802.11n compatible, meaning that it supports the current fastest available consumer-grade Wi-Fi protocol. But I know that my Internet provider (Comcast) provides much faster connections to my wired desktop computers, and I’d love the benefits of faster speeds on my Wi-Fi-connected devices.

Later this year, vendors will be releasing the first of the “5th Generation” Wi-Fi devices based on the new draft IEEE 802.11ac standard. While this standard is not expected to be final until 2013, Quantenna and Redpine have released chipsets, and Broadcom has announced chips supporting the draft standard. Devices based on these chips are expected to hit consumer shelves later in 2012.

This table, courtesy of Netgear, summarizes the advantages of the new, faster standard.

5G Features

Meanwhile, Trendnet has announced the TEW-811DR, pictured below, expected in late 2012 at an MSRP of “over $200”.



Expect prices to drop as a flood of these products hit in 2013, with over 1 billion devices using the new standard by 2015. So, if you are like me, you’ll want to upgrade your home network before long so you, too, can be faster than The Flash.



  1. Larry Hemmerich

    April 17, 2012 at 7:43 am

    To use the speed of the new routers, will all the iPad etc need to be upgraded also?

    • Adam

      April 17, 2012 at 11:31 am

      Hopefully we will be able to flash them to support the new 802.11AC standard. My guess however is the radio in most hardware today will not function at that new speed but Mike does show that the new radios will be backward compatible which is standard….

      honestly however — the bottleneck is normally the internet pipe and not the local WiFi device. This is especially true in a starbucks or some other free wifi hotspot. in the house however, the new speeds will be very nice when you’re using your iPad or iPhone with the Apple TV sending movies up to your new Plasma or 55″ LCD TV…. Right now it’s WAIT WAIT WAIT…..

  2. Mat Lee

    April 25, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    The way I understand it, you can’t flash it unless the radio was built to have it. Do you think they had enough foresight in building these to include the right hardware to catch up with the flash?

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