Back in December 2011, Broadcom was already promoting WiFi-AC, the next-generation WiFi home wireless network, and in January, Buffalo was demonstrating its WiFi-AC prototypes (based on a Broadcom chip) at CES. Today, Buffalo has just announced two WiFi-AC products: the AirStation WZR-D1800H Router and the WLI-H4-D1300 Bridge. Both are among the very first WiFi-AC products to hit the market, which is not completely surprising, given that Buffalo has a long string of “firsts” behind it.
On the paper, the Buffalo WiFi-AC AirStation WZR-D1800H Router offers 3X the effective speed when compared to WiFi-N routers. Additionally, Buffalo it is also completely backwards-compatible with existing networks. In practical terms, this means that you should be able to transfer files at a maximum theoretical 1.3Gbps – however, real-world numbers should be well below that. Still, WiFi-AC runs on the 5GHz frequency, which is much less crowded than the 2.4GHz used by a lot of electronic devices.
Buffalo actually goes beyond the WiFi-AC specs, and uses the 5GHz (1.3Gbps) and 2.4GHz (0.45Mbps) bands simultaneously to achieve a aggregate 1.75Gbps of theoretical throughput. This dual-setup may also prove useful for quality-of-service (QoS) protocols if exploited properly. In the meantime, keep in mind that just like any early WiFi product, those have been built based on a draft of the WiFi-AC specs, and may or may not fully interact properly with WiFi-AC products from other vendors. Both products are available immediately for $179.99.
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