WiFi as we know it is about to become obsolete. It’s been a good ride, but it will be blown out of the water with the new standard, known as 802.11ac.
The current standard (802.11n) can stream at speeds over 100 Mbps at close range, but that falls off rapidly with distance and obstacles within the home or office. This means that WiFi sometimes just isn’t good enough for high bandwidth applications, like streaming TV. These applications sometimes require going to Powerline Network Adapters to deliver a wired connection over household wiring. But the new standard in WiFi is reported to outstrip even direct cable connection in terms of speed.
The new protocol is expected to hit the streets sometime in the last half of 2012. To take advantage of it, you will need a new router. OK, routers don’t cost too much. But then you’ll need a new laptop with the 802.11ac chipset that can send and receive in the new standard. Want to take advantage of the new speed to stream video to your TV? Now you need a new smart television or other streaming TV receiver that can work with the new standard.
Hmm? It’s starting to get expensive, huh? But that’s the way it is with technology. When it advances, we get new performance and capabilities, and we open our pocket books to be able to use it.