Should You Buy 802.11ac Wireless Home Router?

  • Posted on: 19 November 2012
  • By: Patrick Oliphant

A new 802.11ac wireless communication standard is now going through the rounds to be certified, but already you can see wireless home router in shops and online saying that they are 802.11ac ready. Currently most of the well-known brands (Netgear, D-Link, Buffalo, etc.) have released their 802.11ac home router. Based on the proposed changes for 802.11ac it will take wireless communication to a next level one that offers better quality, faster speed, and more bandwidth; but should you buy one?

The 802.11 wireless standard has been around for some time and has gone through many revisions and version changes.  First, it was just 802.11 from 1997 then 802.11b, 802.11a/g and finally 802.11n. 802.11ac promises to offers Gigabit speeds of up to three times faster than the current 802.11n and as a 5-generation standard, the increase speed promises to work better with mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets.

To be frank the 802.11ac standard is still going through revision and is not fully certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance, which might be a little problem. Nevertheless, do not let this be the only thing that stops you from buying one of these routers but if you already have an 802.11ac based router then keep it and upgrade later.

The standard has gone through it third draft and according the Cisco they believed that the Wi-Fi Alliance will use the third draft submitted in May as the baseline for issuing certification to current devices.

If haven’t got a home router and is planning on getting one then I would suggest you get one that is 802.11ac compatible. Reason being they are backward compatible (with 802.11a/b/g/n) so they will work with other wireless devices in your home. The high performance of the 802.11ac home router means that you will be able to stream HD sound and videos between devices around your home.

PCworld has done a review on most of what available.