Netgear ushers in Gigabit Wi-Fi with first 802.11ac router

The networking company looks poised to be the first with a next-generation router on the market with speeds up to three times faster than 802.11n.

Netgear has introduced the R6300 WiFi Router, which is the first 802.11ac dual-band gigabit Wi-Fi router capable of speeds over 1Gbps on a wireless network.

Netgear R6300 Dual Band Gigabit WiFi Router

The next-generation router is backwards-compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n technology and operates in dual band, with speeds potentially reaching 1300Mbps over 5Ghz, and 450Mbps over 2.4Ghz. The R6300 runs on a Wi-Fi chip from Broadcom.

The sleekly designed router is designed to deliver gigabit wireless speeds that are three times faster than today’s 802.11n routers, allowing users to send multiple streams of HD video across a wireless network.

The 802.11ac standard, which is headed toward finalization by the IEEE later this year, is capable of the high throughput because it extends the techniques used in 802.11n to provide wider channel bandwidth, more MIMO spatial streams, multi-user MIMO, and additional modulation modes.

The R6300, marketed as "5G Wi-Fi" will be priced at $199.99; Netgear plans to begin shipping it in May.

D-Link and other competitors also plan to follow suit with 802.11ac products slated for release in 2012.