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Netgear Introduces First 802.11ac Wi-Fi Router

Netgear has announced the launch of the first 802.11ac Wi-Fi router which uses a Broadcom solution and is capable of delivery speeds three times that of 802.11n.

The R3600 is what Netgear calls a fifth generation Wi-Fi solution and provides backwards compatibility with existing leacy devices. It offers speeds of up to 1.3Gbps on 5GHz and 450Mbps on 2.5GHz bands without any jump in power consumption.

The router which costs $200 and will go on sale in May offers a number of Netgear-specific features like a Genie app which allows users to control, monitor, repair, and manage their home networks through their desktop, laptops, smartphones and tablets for free.

There's also a ReadySHARE feature that connects any USB printer into a networked one, Live Parental controls which allows parents to control content being transmitted by the router plus automatic Wi-Fi security and two USB ports.

Expect other routers to follow suit soon with some using a solution from Qualcomm's Atheros. It's worth noting that like 802.11n in its early days, 802.11ac is still not standardised and users will need 802.11ac-compatible devices in order to make the most of the standard.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.