What is 802.11ac? It’s the wireless networking standard that will, hopefully, allow high throughput in the 5GHz band; this is a notable improvement over 802.11n-2009 (a.k.a. Wireless N), because while N does have a 5GHz mode, most people have had only a "fair" experience with that standard. More often than not, most people are only able to achieve a stable "half speed" on N with a maximum connection rate of 150 Mbps. Yes, that’s far better than G, but not all that noticeable concerning download speeds.
How fast is fast concerning 802.11ac? It boasts wireless speeds up to 1300Mbit/s. Whether you can actually acquire that with the hardware is indeterminate, but if you were only able to get half the rate (650Mbit/s), that still blows N out of the water and then some.
So anyway, if you gotta-gotta-gotta have the new 802.11ac standard, there’s the Buffalo WZR-D1800H and that would most likely be the first one you’d buy once it becomes widely available. The price should be under $200.
The PCMech.com weekly newsletter has been running strong for over 8 years. Sign up to get tech news, updates and exclusive content - right in your inbox. Also get (several) free gifts.