It seems like we had all barely managed to completely move our home networks to the 802.11n standard when suddenly we began hearing about the next big WiFi thing. That is 802.11ac, and plenty of hardware makers are showing it off this week in Las Vegas.
TRENDnet is one of those companies, as it has unveiled a USB adapter for your laptop. The new AC600 High Gain Wireless USB Adapter has an adjustable antenna to zero in on the best possible connection speed. “The adapter’s high gain antenna significantly increases wireless coverage of a connected computer as compared to other Wireless AC adapters. The adjustable antenna rotates and tilts to further improve wireless connectivity. Additionally, the TEW-806UBH maintains much higher connection speeds when located far from the connected wireless router or access point”, the company announces.
TRENDnet promises speeds up to 433 Megabits per second (Mbps) when connecting with an 801.11ac router, or 150 Megabits per second (Mbps) when using that 802.11n that most of us have. The device, which goes under the model name TEW-806UBH will be up for sale in March, retailing for $39.99.
Networking over electrical power lines has come a long way since the first HomePlug specification back in 2008 which was was rated at 14 Mb/s. Today network specialists Trendnet have announced a gigabit class, Powerline 1000, with the launch of the TPL-420E2K adaptors.
Based on the HomePlug AV2 standard and using MIMO techniques originally used in wireless data transmission, Powerline 1000 doubles the speed of the previous implementation.
Zak Wood, director of global marketing of Trendnet said, “Trendnet’s TPL-420E2K is designed to easily handle multi-HD streams in a busy connected home.”
For the first time, Powerline products use all three electrical wires: the live, neutral, and ground (earth) wires. MIMO technology sends information over the fastest two out of the three available electrical wires. If a user lives in an old home which is not cabled with ground wires, the maximum throughput is reduced from 1,000 to 600 Mb/s.
The TPL-420E2K connects over electrical lines for distances of up to 300 m (a little less than 1000 ft), which is roughly the size of 5,000 square foot home. Powerline 1000 is compatible with existing Powerline 500, 200 and HomePlug AV rated products but when connected to a lower speed adapter, speeds are reduced to the lower rated adapter.
As you’d expected, the communication between the adapters is encrypted and to reduce energy consumption, the TPL-420E2K units go into standby mode when not in use.
The MSRP is US$169 but the Powerline 1000 units are not expected until June 2014. I’m looking forward to testing these already, especially if Trendnet produces an adaptor which incorporates a fast wireless access point.
At CES, TRENDnet has launched the world’s smallest 500 Mb/s Powerline adapter with the new TPL-406E model. Look at the picture below to see the difference in size between a standard Powerline adaptor and the new model on the left. When trying to get all the modern gadgets plugged in and networked, this will certainly help where there is limited space or close electrical sockets.
“Consumers are looking for solutions to help connect their TVs to the Internet and TRENDnet Powerline products couldn’t be easier-with no complicated CD installation required,” stated Sonny Su, technology director for TRENDnet. “The TPL-406E defines a new category of ultra-compact high performance 500 Mbps Powerline adapters.”
More and more audio-visual equipment needs to be networked. In my living room, I think there are three ethernet devices (TV, satellite decoder and Bluray player) and I use a 100 Mb/s Powerline device to take the network to them. For this kind of equipment, Powerline is much more convenient than trying to setup a wireless bridge.
Available from April at all good retailers, the TPL-406E will be $60 on its own or $100 in a twin pack, TPL-406E2K.
At CES in Las Vegas today, TRENDnet will be showing off the first concurrent dual band wireless 11n router. This is the first router on the market that can offer full 450 Mb/s by using both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz radio bands.
With advanced MIMO (Multiple In, Multiple Out) antenna technology and three streams per antenna, the concurrent dual band technology can generate a maximum theoretical throughput of 450 Mb/s and much improved coverage.
The router also comes with gigabit Ethernet ports to ensure high performance on the wired connections, making this an ideal partner for high-definition video streaming from NAS.
“A true 450Mbps concurrent router will provide networking enthusiast with another great option,” stated Sonny Su, Technology Director for TRENDnet. “With the proliferation of so many wireless networked devices, performance matters more than ever before.”
Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) also makes connecting wireless devices straightforward. Press the WPS buttons on each device and they connect up securely.
The TEW-692GR will be available this coming April for $249 from online and retail TRENDnet partners.
Side note: the Wifi standards 11b and 11g use the 2.4 GHz frequency and 11a uses the 5 GHz frequency. However the latter never gained widespread adoption. 11n can use both frequencies, though until now most 11n wireless equipment used either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz but not both.