Apple is all about the user experience, right? What better way to enhance that than with the latest Wi-Fi gear that shreds the competition while improving speed and experience with the latest devices.
Airport Is Not Just Wi-Fi
TekRevue does a nice job of comparing Apple’s latest Airport Wi-Fi devices to those of major competitors. The end result? Apple wins. Apple customers win even more.
Apple released the new Airport Extreme and Airport Time Capsule Wi-Fi routers last month, each of which includes the not-yet-certified 802.11ac standard which means much higher Wi-Fi speeds.
At about the same time, Apple released the new line of MacBook Air models, also with 802.11 ac Wi-Fi support (notably faster than the MacBook Pro, or iMac line, which has yet to receive the 802.11 ac standard).
You can’t really have faster Wi-Fi without a faster Wi-Fi device. The two– MacBook Air, and Airport– go hand in hand. That displays exactly how Apple layers in new technology, in this case the much faster Wi-Fi standard, 802.11 ac.
How much faster? Tests already show speeds five times faster– as much as 550-megabits per second– than the older 802.11n standard.
What does that mean? Apple continues to move the technology bar forward in incremental layers. The faster Wi-Fi capability in the MacBook Air doesn’t mean much if it’s not connected to a router that can handle the speed increase.
These faster networking speeds over Wi-Fi have also increased the heat generated by Wi-Fi routers, and Apple responded by creating an entirely new case design, with a fan for better cooling.
What’s important about the introduction of 802.11ac Wi-Fi into Apple’s lineup is how it is delivered. It’s both Wi-Fi router and notebook. For the optimal user experience you can’t have one without the other. Other notebook manufacturers have to rely on third party Wi-Fi makers while Apple prefers to control as much of that part of the user experience as possible, notebook and Wi-Fi.
The 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard is great for a home or small office network with a number of new Macs with Airport that also use the standard. Unfortunately, Apple can’t control every aspect of the user experience.
My own online usage through the years indicates that general internet speeds in the U.S. seem to top out at about 7Mbps. Your mileage may vary, of course. You may have a faster service and find some sites with greater bandwidth and faster downloads, but, in general, the internet isn’t as fast as our connections to the internet service provider, and certainly not anywhere near as fast as Apple’s new 802.11ac devices.