Apparently we can expect 802.11ac wi-fi products coming from Apple soon. Hints of the protocol were found in the latest beta of Mountain Lion. While not unexpected, it would be great news to see 802.11ac this year. For low-end hardware, the protocol starts at 433 Mb/sec. Since this is Apple, we’ll probably be getting higher-end hardware supporting close to 1 Gb/sec. While most of us aren’t blessed with an Internet connection anywhere near that speed, you’ll still get several benefits using the 802.11ac protocol:
- More wireless bandwidth for all the devices connected to your access point (Airport), allowing more clients at greater connection speeds.
- There will be less of a battery drain on your portable devices, since the data transmission is quicker.
- Faster speeds at greater distances from the access point. (I.e. You’ll get better wireless range.)
Even if you can’t take advantage of greater Internet speeds with 802.11ac, you’ll still get much faster file sharing. You’ll also get blazing fast iOS device syncing. iOS devices currently only support USB 2.0 for wired syncing. This maxes out at about 280 Mb/sec. (802.11n on the iPhone 5 is slower, at about 150 Mb/sec.) Imagine syncing your iPhone or iPad at 1 Gb/sec!