Fifth generation WiFi arrives thanks to Broadcom's new silicon - expect many more to follow.

Netgear launches first 802.11ac router

Netgear has introduced what the firm claims is the world’s first next-generation WiFi router offering the yet-to-be-ratified 802.11AC wireless standard.

The Netgear R6300 WiFi Router offers up dual-band 5th generation 802.11ac WiFi at gigabit speeds gigabit speeds. As you’d expect, the drive is also backwards compatible with elder standards including 802.11n.

Netgear claims the router offers speeds of up to 1.3Gbps on the 5Ghz band and 450Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. The Netgear R6300 also has two USB ports for hosting USB storage and a USB printer and ‘guest network access’ which sets up a WiFi zone that doesn’t need log in information but will deny access to the secure home network such as PC shares and printers.

The R6300 is based on chipmaker Broadcom’s new 802.11ac chips, which we reckon will shortly turn up in all sorts of gear from rival networking vendors.

As for the Netgear R6300, the device is set to go on sale the he US in May priced around US$200. There’s no word on availability in these parts but as indicated earlier, since Broadcom are kicking out 802.11ac chips, we’d expect to see quite a few devices offering 5th generation WiFi in the coming months.

More info on Netgear’s offering can be found on their web site.

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