Netgear adds cheaper router, USB adapter to 802.11ac lineup

By on May 16, 2012, 4:30 PM

Earlier this week Buffalo beat Netgear to market with the first commercially available 802.11ac router, but it didn’t take long for the latter to respond by launching its own R6300 Wi-Fi router and adding a couple more products into the mix: a cheaper 802.11ac router and a 802.11ac Wi-Fi USB adapter.

As previously reported, the $200 R6300 Wi-Fi Router can hit speeds up to 1.3Gbps on 5GHz and 450Mbps on 2.4GHz. Like Buffalo’s offering, simultaneous dual band operation is also possible on the R6300 from Netgear for a theoretical maximum throughput of 1750Mbps across both bands over 802.11ac.

There are a couple of USB 2.0 ports to access and share a USB hard drive or a printer. On the software side, you can expect to find features like Netgear Genie for configuring and monitoring the network from a PC or smartphone, MyMedia with DLNA support to stream video and photos, AirPrint and ReadyShare Printer to turn any printer into a fully functional networked, parental controls and pre-configured wireless security.

Netgear’s R6300 wireless router is available for pre-order online and should start shipping soon. Its more affordable variant is being announced today but won’t ship until the third quarter of 2012. The R6200 is limited to 900Mbps speeds on 5GHz and 300Mbps speeds on 2.4GHz (up to 1200Mbit/s across both bands over 802.11ac) and drops one USB port to cut the price down to $180.

Lastly, the $70 USB adapter is also scheduled to arrive in Q3 and should help customers easily upgrade existing PCs or laptops to support the 802.11ac pre-standard. The press release doesn’t mention if the adapter will be based on USB 3.0 technology but it seems like the only sensible option, since going with the older standard would limit transfer speeds to a theoretical 480Mbps.

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