New adapter among the first to provide AC connectivity to OS X
Networking company Amped Wireless announced today the launch of the ACA1 High Power 500mW Dual Band AC Wi-Fi USB Adapter. The ACA1 is one of the first long-range 802.11ac adapter on the market that is compatible with Mac laptops and desktops in addition to Windows computers. The ACA1 works with all Wi-Fi networks, and has been optimized for use with the recently-launched Amped Wireless RTA15 High Power 700mW Dual Band AC Wi-Fi Router.
Issue affects 802.11ac network speed in new MacBook Airs
After test results from a number of new MacBook Air units that feature built-in 802.11ac support showed that speeds did not improve over 802.11n, Apple has allegedly invited some buyers to help test a Wi-Fi specific update for the machine that should eliminate what some have suggested was a hard-wired data cap on speed. While the problem does not affect all units, even a MacNN researcher experienced the issue. Apple has been swapping out new Airs at its retail stores in order to study the units that have the problem.
Service technicians advised to replace troubled gear, send defectives back
Apple's 802.11ac wireless launch has been somewhat less than perfect. In an effort to diagnose problems reported in some new Apple devices sporting 802.11ac compatibility, the Cupertino manufacturer has instructed its service centers to "capture" customers' computers if they are suffering from Wi-Fi connectivity issues. Additionally, technical research has been published noting that Apple uses a sub-optimal network setting built into the wireless protocol, limiting the connectivity speed of the new standard at least temporarily.
iFixit's tear down reveals one of Apple's most repairable products
Tech site iFixit has uploaded a new teardown for the latest AirPort Extreme, Apple's first 802.11ac wireless base station. Opening the device revealed an interior space to allow for a hard drive to be installed, however hopes of at-home storage upgrades were dashed by no available plug-in options on the logic board. The AirPort Extreme offers a Delta Electronics 12V, 5A power supply, much akin to Mac Mini technology. Thanks to a simply disassembly iFixit staff have categorized the wireless base station, along with Apple TV and Mac Mini, as the most repairable Apple product in recent history.
Compatible with 802.11n, does not add 'ac' capabilities
Apple has issued updates for the AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule, releasing minor upgrades for the firmware (now at version 7.7.1) and AirPort Utility software (now at version 6.3) to add compatibility for the newly-announced, redesigned AirPort hardware that supports the forthcoming 802.11ac standard. The new standard, which uses the 5GHz bandwidth of 802.11n, is backward-compatible with earlier Wi-Fi but supports faster speed and greater range. The new MacBook Air is the first model to feature 802.11ac.
Beamforming to improve performance for specified devices
Phil Schiller has revealed updated versions of its AirPort base stations at WWDC, made to accommodate the improved Wi-Fi in the revised MacBook Air, confirming earlier rumors. The new AirPort Extreme and Time Capsules can now connect wirelessly over three-stream 802.11ac, which will provide up to 40-percent faster file transfers compared to previous versions the networking performance of 802.11n connections.
Possibly compatible with previous models, facilitating third-party upgrades
A new Broadcom chipset spotted on a Chinese website may be a component of future Mac updates, bringing 802.11ac (known as "Gigabit Wi-Fi") and Bluetooth 4.0 to new models on a single chipset. Not only will the chip handle all wireless communication for future Mac models, but the new chip appears -- at first glance -- to be backward compatible with similar parts in recent models, opening up the possibility of aftermarket upgrades.
SharePort Mobile app allows attached drives to share stored files to cloud
D-Link has put the Wireless AC1200 Dual Band Gigabit Cloud Router on sale in the United States. Last shown at CES in January, the AC1200 offers dual-band speeds on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands of up to 300Mbps and 867Mbps for 802.11a, b, g, n, and ac devices, and can be remotely managed from a mobile device using an accompanying app.
Move aims to reduce hotspot congestion
The Federal Communications Commission is currently pushing to allocate additional spectrum for Wi-Fi devices, in an attempt to decrease hotspot congestion and improve performance. The proposal also aims to help accelerate the growth of the latest Wi-Fi technology that is capable of achieving wireless speeds in excess of one gigabit per second, likely referring to 802.11ac equipment that has begun to arrive on the market.
Handles Bluetooth 4.0, FM radio, more on 40nm chip
Broadcom over the weekend introduced its latest consolidated multi-wireless chips, a combination of Bluetooth 4.0 and the forthcoming 802.11ac, which offers more than twice the speed of existing 802.11n technology and yet is up to six times more power-efficient handling the same amount of data. The new chips can also handle FM and conventional 802.11 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, and are expected to debut in early 2013 for use in smartphones and tablets.
Fifth-generation Wi-Fi standard finally reaching consumers
Asus has unveiled its ROG G74VW gaming notebook, which will be the first consumer-oriented notebook to be fully compliant with 802.11ac, the fifth-generation Wi-Fi standard. The notebook is the result of a collaborative effort between Asus and Broadcom. The announcement of the new Asus notebook was followed by the debut of a new Asus dual-band router that also supports the Wi-Fi standard.
Netgear announces new router and Wi-Fi adatpter using new standards
Netgear has released its first 802.11ac router using the new Wi-Fi specification. The R6300 router, which is said to be capable of combined Wi-Fi speeds of up to 1750Mbps, ships at the same time as announcements for a more budget-conscious R6200 router and the A6200 Wi-Fi dongle, aiming to be the first 802.11ac dual-band USB adapter to market.
Buffalo releases new-gen 802.11ac wireless router, media bridge
Buffalo has announced that its 802.11ac next-generation Wi-Fi solution is now on the market. It has jointly made available its AirStation WZR-D1800H wireless router and its WLI-H4-D1300 wireless media bridge available so users can hook straight up to Wi-Fi speeds 3 times faster than 802.11n and 30 percent faster than Gigabit Ethernet. The new router is also dual-band capable and will support older Wi-Fi devices.
Qualcomm Atheros whets appetite with 802.11ac
Qualcomm Atheros has announced its plans for a full product ecosystem to support Wi-Fi 802.11ac, the gigabit successor to 802.11n. Heading the lineup is its new WCN3680 Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/FM module that OEM’s can pair with devices shipping with Qualcomm’s next-generation Snapdragon S4 dual- and quad-core mobile processors. The new Wi-Fi standard can achieve speeds of up to 433Mbps in mobile phones, and up 1.3Gbps in tablets and PCs. This snap-in module will sit alongside the already built-in Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n capabilities of the S4 SoC, offering users compatibility with both the older standards and the latest simultaneously.