Since 802.11 AC Wi-Fi standard has been released recently, Gigabit Wi-Fi connections have finally become a reality. But, to take advantage of the latest Wi-Fi standard in your 802.11 AC router/access point, you need a 802.11 AC USB wireless client adapter /Wi-Fi dongle.
Most built-in wireless adapters in notebooks/workstations are still 802.11 N. The Netgear A6200 is the popular choice for 802.11 AC Wi-Fi dongle. The only issue being, one USB port will be occupied by it.
Advantages of Netgear A6200 802.11 AC Wireless USB Client Adapter/Wi-Fi Dongle
- Bandwidth/speeds (up to 1.3 Gbps) are higher than the best ‘N’ adapters out there. It maybe as much as 3 – 5 times more, especially if you use the 5 Ghz channel.
- Increased range (coverage distance), when compared with 802.11 N.
- Dual band – Works in both 5 GHz & 2.4 GHz.
- Adjustable antenna for better performance.
- Compatible with Windows 7 & Windows 8.
- Best performance with 802.11 AC router/access point. While they may be slightly more expensive, the cost difference is not that high and the increased speed, distance, performance, more than compensates for it.
- The A6200 Wi-Fi dongle is backward compatible with the earlier Wi-Fi standard – 802.11 N. So, you can use it with older access points as well, but at reduced speeds.
- Excellent choice for demanding applications over wireless like large HD movie transfers/streaming, gaming, backup, etc.
- Gigabit Wi-Fi (802.11 AC) is the fastest wireless connectivity standard available till date. They can equal the performance of Gigabit wired ports.
- Works with USB 2.0 ports, but at reduced speeds. For best performance, connect the device to USB 3.0 ports.
- Good option for streaming large files to multiple AC compatible devices, quickly.
- Netgear Genie GUI dashboard to connect Wi-Fi device with home network easily.
- Push-button for WPS Wi-Fi connections.
Video Introduction to 802.11 AC
Further Information/Manufacturer’s website: Netgear A6200 Wi-Fi Adapter.
Limitations for Netgear 802.11 AC USB WI-FI Dongle:
- More expensive than 802.11 N adapter. Not yet widely available as built-in option in PC’s and Notebooks.
- Right now, there is support only for Windows 7 & Windows 8 PC’s. Support expected in future for Linux, Mac OSx.
- External adapter, occupies one USB port.
Price (USD)/ Buy from (USA): Amazon link –
Netgear WiFi USB Adapter – AC Dual Band (A6200)
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