802.11ac is the fifth generation of wireless to come along since Wi-Fi was introduced in 1997. Over the next three to four years, virtually all Wi-Fi products are expected to contain 802.11ac in the same way that nearly all Wi-Fi products today contain 802.11n, the current Wi-Fi standard.
5G WiFi is the next generation in Wi-Fi networking, and will bring fast high-quality video and nearly instantaneous data synching and back-up to the notebooks, tablets and mobile phones that have become our everyday companions.
Improvements in transmission speeds will be dramatic. Entry-level 5G WiFi products will support 450 megabits per second, which is at least three times faster than the most common devices using the current wireless system, 802.11n. Some high-speed 802.11ac devices will offer transmission in excess of a gigabit per second -- remarkable speeds that wired networks attained only recently. In addition, there will be dramatic improvements in wireless reliability, range and coverage. Faster file transfer also leads to longer battery life in mobile phones.
* Products using 5G WiFi will be fully backwards-compatible with current Wi-Fi devices, though older devices won't be able to take advantage of the improved speeds of 802.11ac.
See our FAQ for answers to common questions about 802.11ac technology and more.