- Internet & the Web
The Fast Wi-Fi Network: How to Get It
Obtaining a fast wi-fi speed remains a problem for a variety of reasons. The main reason today is that your main cable connector that connects to the Wi-Fi router and provides the Internet averages only 30 MBS (megabits per second), while that does sound fast, today's 802.11b router, if you try to download a two hour movie of 5 GB, it will take 23 minutes, assuming the connection is stable. The speed is also because of the cable that connects your home to the Internet, most are not fiber optic.
Coming out this year (2013), is the new wireless standard, 802.11ac, which can triple this speed. This will be the standard to look for on the box when buying a wireless router for the home. In comparison, the new router is capable of 1GB (Gigabit per second). so the same movie would take only 40 seconds to download! The most common router used today is the 802.11n. This is capable of 300 MBPS if the cable is fiber optic, in this case, the movie would take two minutes.
Even if your cables to your home are not fiber optic (most are not, BTW), upgrading to the new standard still has benefits. The new router uses a different bandwidth that is not crowded with other devices using radio signals, such as, baby monitors, microwave ovens etc. Even if you ISP link is 25 MPS for the Internet, you should upgrade to the new spec.
By the end of 2013, nearly all new cell phones and computers will have the new wireless specification. The new spec will provide a much cleaner and stable connection than the older version even if the speed is not improved. In ideal settings, the new spec is capable of about 7 GBS, but this number is seldom achieved by normal use and consumers. The only cell phones with the new spec available now are Samsung's Galaxy S4 and HTC One. Qualcomm will offer a new router with it also by June. Apple iphones will not have it until the next version comes out, this includes Mac computers.