Expandmenu Shrunk

  • Faster Speeds With Tri-Band Wi-Fi Routers? Not Exactly


    You are going to hear a lot in the next few months about tri-band Wi-Fi routers. Netgear just announced its Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router (R8000), which starts shipping on July 11, and other vendors are sure to follow. What’s likely to jump out most for consumers about these routers are the advertised speeds: 3 Gbps and higher.

    Yes, that is crazy fast throughput, far exceeding the 1Gbps wired speed of most consumer networking devices. But don’t get too excited.

    Boosted Speeds Not Entirely the Goal
    Upcoming marketing campaigns from router manufacturers will likely focus heavily on the beyond-Gigabit speeds. However, the real benefit of triple-band routers is to efficiently handle multiple devices connected to a wireless network, not to significantly boost throughput beyond 1300Mbps at 5GHz.

    A dual-band router offers two wireless networks: one operating on the 2.4GHz band and the other on 5GHz. The highest-tiered dual-bands support speeds of up to 450Mbps at 2.4GHz and 1300Gbps at 5GHz.

    Tri-band routers have three wireless signals: one at 2.4GHz and two on the 5GHz band. The Nighthawk X6 supports up to 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band, and 1300Mbps on both 5GHz signals. Hence, the “AC3200” in the product name: 1300+1300+600. That 3200 is the combined speed of the signals, not the potential throughput of a connected client to the router.

    False Expectations
    That’s somewhat sneaky advertising. And Netgear is not the only router manufacturer guilty of it—they all do it. Of course, when a router is cited as supporting up to 1300Mbps or 450Mbps, that is throughput you will never see in your apartment or home. That’s speed clocked by engineers in environments with zero wireless interference; it’s not a real-world figure.

    Then there is the issue of giving customers false expectations. It’s not a stretch of the imagination to think that while browsing at Best Buy, a customer is likely to reach for the router with the package that has “AC3200” over “AC1750,” thinking that means they are getting a better, faster router.

    Not necessarily. First, as Netgear made explicit in its presentation about the X6 (kudos to them): If you connect two devices to a dual-band AC1750 router that supports up to 450Mbps at 2.4GHz and 1300Mbps at 5GHz, and then connect the same two devices to the X6, an AC3200 router, you are unlikely to see any performance gains.

    Second: There will probably be the assumption among a few customers that higher numbers mean faster overall Internet connectivity. No, no, no, no! Remember, your Internet bandwidth is fixed based on your service terms with your provider. That said, I have seen a good router help bump up and optimize an Internet connection. Still, the priciest most tricked-out wireless router will not turn your 10Mbps down Internet speed into 25Mbps.

    Lack of Supported Mobile Devices
    Lastly, there is the issue that there still aren’t wireless clients with sophisticated enough wireless adapters to support the newest 802.11ac routers. Sure, more and more mobile devices are shipping with 802.11ac support. However, these clients have 2×2 wireless adapters. That means their chipsets support double stream transmit and receive signals. These high-end 802.11ac routers, including Netgear’s X6, support 3×3, or triple spatial streams for transmitting and receiving. That means that client-side technology is not yet as evolved as the router-side. The law of computer networking is that your network is only as fast as the slowest link. If you drop hundreds on upgrading to the best routers, switches, and any other networking equipment, your 2×2 wireless clients are still not going to be able to connect at the faster speeds of those devices.

    My sources tell me 3×3 supported wireless clients will start coming to market by end of this year. I for one, want to test how well the first batch of these clients work with the 802.11ac routers already on the market for over a year before getting excited about how they work with tri-beam routers.

    However, don’t let me stop you from eagerly anticipating the latest generation of Wi-Fi routers. We will be getting them in the PC Labs and testing them. Just know what you will or won’t get with these new devices before dropping a couple hundred dollars on them

  • Springfield Police officer being internally investigated for alleged social media comment

    22News will continue to cover this story and bring you any new information

    Published: Updated:



    SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A Springfield Police officer is being internally investigated by the department. That’s according to Police Commissioner John Barbieri.

    According to Barbieri, they are working to determine if a patrolman was responsible for an insensitive comment on social media in response to a news headline about the car that plowed into dozens of protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia.

    Commissioner Barbieri sent the following statement directly to 22News. “I received notification of this Facebook post earlier today via email from a complainant.  The post is purportedly from a Springfield police officer.  I took immediate steps to initiate a prompt and thorough internal investigation. If in fact this post did originate from an officer employed with the Springfield Police Department, this matter will be reviewed by the Community Police Hearings Board for further action.”

    22News will continue to cover this story and bring you any new information.

  • Sleep In Sync With Your Partner

    Couples who go to bed and wake up at the same time report higher levels of satisfaction.




    Avoiding Germs And De-stressing Made Easy

    We all know money is pretty germy and de-stressing isn’t easy…



    We all know money is pretty germy and de-stressing isn’t easy, but John, Connie and Gib explain what else in your wallet is covered with bacteria and how to calm your nerves.
    Sign-up for our newsletter for more great intel: http://tesh.com/#subscribe

  • Find Out If You’re Sabotaging Your Finances

    Most of your spending mistakes can be traced back to random thoughts that might seem harmless – but we explain how they can put a big dent in your wallet.



    Most of the spending mistakes we make can be traced back to random thoughts that didn’t sound dangerous at the time. So, here are four thoughts that can put a big dent in your wallet:

    • Thought #1: “I deserve a treat.” Thinking we deserve a pick-me-up when we’re stressed or depressed can send us down a slippery slope to financial ruin. Because a study in the journal Psychological Science found that we make more impulse buys when we’re feeling blue. We also tend to splurge when we’ve conquered a tough situation – and even after a good workout. We think we’re entitled to a reward.
    • Thought #2: “I’m not really a religious person.” A Duke University study found that non-religious people are more likely to buy expensive name-brand items – like designer handbags – than people who consider themselves religious or spiritual. Why? Because a person who doesn’t identify as religious or spiritual is looking for another way to express their identity. And often, that’s through brand name products.
    • Thought #3: “I’m a good person.” But a study in the Journal of Consumer Research found that when we’re feeling good about ourselves we’re drawn to fancy clothes, watches, and jewelry. Because the bling helps showcase our high self-esteem.
    • Thought #4: “I’m getting a big tax refund!” According to the book The Simple Dollar, it’s easy to mistake a tax refund – or any windfall – as “bonus” money to spend however we like. But it’s really just part of your income. So, we all need to plan ahead and come up with a system for dealing with the extra cash. Say, putting half in a retirement account, one-third in your emergency fund, and using the rest to pay down your credit card debt.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: