Google Fiber + 802.11ac + Netgear R6300 = True Gigabit Wireless

802.11ac WiFiFor quite sometime now, the fastest wireless speed commonly available has rested squarely on the shoulders of the 802.11n protocol.  With it’s MIMO (Multiple Input, Multiple Output) technology, network devices transmitting signals using the 802.11n (more commonly referred to as “Wireless N”) protocol possess the ability send and receive data between 300 Mbps and 450 Mbps.  Now that’s pretty fast (much faster than the previous 802.11g protocol which operates at 54 Mbps), but watch out Wireless N … there’s a new sheriff in town.

The IEEE is currently developing the next member of their 802.11 family: the 802.11ac protocol.  This yet-to-be-nicknamed protocol (we propose ACya) promises to deliver blistering wireless speeds of 1 Gbps or more.  Yes, that’s a “G” for gigabit.  The mind boggles when thinking about what one could do with wireless transfer rates of a gigabit per second.  How about transferring a full-length HD movie in just a few minutes?  Or transferring the latest video game in the time it takes you to pop open a can of Mountain Dew and reheat a few slices of pizza.  Not too shabby.

Now, you might have noticed we used the word “transferring” instead of “downloading” in the previous few sentences.   Unfortunately, while these speeds are available to devices communicating on the same physical network, they’re not  available to the common home user wanting to surf the Internet at such a gnarly pace.  And it’s all because of one very big … or should we say small … bottleneck.

Sadly, most broadband Internet service providers have lagged when it comes to increasing the speed of their networks.  Common home user broadband speeds in the USA range from 4 Mbps to 10 Mbps.  If you’re lucky, you might be able to find a provider offering 20 Mbps.  But what good are 450 Mbps routers when all that’s being delivered to them is 10 Mpbs.  Essentially, your router and your Internet service provider are having the following conversation:

Router: “What’s up, Service Provider?  Great to see you.  I’m ready for some 450 Mbps fast balls so me and my home owner can witness the true speed of the Internet.”

Service Provider: “I’m sorry.  I’m ooooold and slooooow.  I wish I could throw you some fast balls, but the best you’re gonna get from me is an underhand lob.”

Well our friends at Google aim to change that.  Thanks to their forthcoming Google Fiber service, residents in the Hanover Heights neighborhood (including the KCSV) who subscribed to their service will soon see a big, fat 1Gbps pipe coming straight into their home.  That means even the speedy Wireless N routers won’t be able to keep up with the supersonic speeds of Google Fiber.

Thankfully, some network hardware manufacturers have seen the light and are already producing and distributing wireless routers which support the new “ACya” protocol.  One such manufacturer is Netgear.  With their new R6300 router and A6200 USB adapter, Google Fiber subscribers who own this awesome combination of networking power will be able to wirelessly surf the Internet at gigabit speeds.

All aboard!  The Google-Netgear-ACya bullet train is about to depart…

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7 comments on “Google Fiber + 802.11ac + Netgear R6300 = True Gigabit Wireless
  1. Neil Steiner says:

    Thanks for this educational piece Matt!

  2. matthewmarcus says:

    Well, I guess it helps to read the small print. The following from Netgear’s website (

    “Data throughput may also be limited by the product’s interface, e.g. to less than 480 Mbps for a USB 2.0 interface.”

    And sure enough, the A6200 doesn’t support USB 3.0. Having a gigabit Internet connection as well as a gigabit 802.11ac router means very little if your wireless 802.11ac USB adapter has a bottleneck of 450Mbps. NOTE: It feels funny to call 450Mbps an internet “bottleneck.” 🙂

    But seriously, this seems like a gross oversight by Netgear. Anyone else agree?

    • Aaron Deacon says:

      I think part of the envisioned usage of 1 Gbps is to support multiple device streaming. So, supporting 3 or 4 users each consuming 200-300 Mbps is likelier a nearer term reality (and broader opportunity) than 1 user consuming a whole symmetrical gig.

  3. Jose Ortiz says:

    Kansas?!!?!?!?!? Are you kidding me?!?!? They have tornado’s!!! What about SoCal, Google? You remember, it’s your own backyard!!! We like fiber, tooooo.

  4. Tekky says:

    I have a symetrical gigabit fiber connection right to my home. I have the R6300 and the A6200. Very modern equipment, perfect line of sight and no competing wireless networks to be concerned with. Best case scenario, I see 250Mbs of throughput when online. Internally of course, I see the 866.5 that is advertised, but seems a bit misleading. 250Mbs is fast, no doubt, but I want more…..I know Netgear can do it if anyone can. Wired through the R6300 is flawless, 940Mbs up and down….so lets make this “gigabit wireless” a surfing, downloading and uploading reality – —-Chattanoooga, TN Gig City

    • Yea, I think this Wireless AC being “gigabit wireless” is a farse. I’ve yet to see anyone getting close to 1Gbps speeds wirelessly. Even using the latest technology by Apple, ASUS or Netgear.

      Like you said, 250 Mbps is fast. Definitely. But 1Gbps is the hot diggity! 🙂

  5. Benjamin Stroud says:

    well one thing if you don’t have an 802.11 ac card in your computer and only have one that only supports 802.11 n thin your not going to get much faster then 300mbps on 5.0 ghz and 150mbps on 2.4 ghz i have two laptops that have 802.11ac cards in them that are gigabit wifi ready

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  1. […] out we were getting Google Fiber with a 1Gbps asynchronous connection, we immediately purchased the Netgear R6300 router and a6200 USB adapter, both of which support the Wireless AC standard.  After all, not many people in the world have the […]

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