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As intrigued as we were by the Netgear R6300's high-bandwidth chops, it won't be the one to claim the early 802.11ac WiFi crown with a shipping product. That distinction is instead going to a Buffalo AirStation router and a matching bridge, both of which should be on shelves now. Either can hit the eye-watering 1.3Gbps peak speed of the standard if you get cozy on the 5GHz band -- and if you have a computer or mobile device that recognizes the spec, for that matter. The duo still has a more leisurely paced 2.4GHz, 450Mbps WiFi option as well as a quartet of Ethernet jacks if you prefer your gigabit speeds the old-fashioned way. Both the router and the bridge will set you back $180 each, so there's not much of a penalty versus high-end alternatives to satisfy your need for network speed.

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BUFFALO'S 802.11AC WIRELESS SOLUTIONS AVAILABLE NOW

Next Generation Wireless Technology Delivers Speeds up to Three Times Faster
2012-05-14

AUSTIN, TX – May 14, 2012 - Buffalo Technology, a global leader in the design, development and manufacturing of wired and wireless networking and network and direct attached storage solutions, today announced that the AirStation™ WZR-D1800H wireless router and WLI-H4-D1300 wireless media bridge are now available for purchase from select retail partners. Based on Broadcom's 5G WiFi chips and first unveiled on the show floor at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, WZR-D1800H and WLI-H4-D1300 offer speeds up to three times faster than 802.11n and are fully backward compatible with 802.11a, 11b, 11g and 11n to ensure interoperability with legacy devices.

Operating in the 5 GHz spectrum, 802.11ac offers transfer speeds up to 1300 Mbps, ideal for uninterrupted HD video streaming and concurrent Internet access. Along with gigabit speeds, Buffalo's 802.11ac products with improved radios will feature improved reliability and produce better in-home coverage for ultra-portable devices such as tablets and smart phones. As 5G WiFi proliferates into phones and tablets, the WZR-D1800H will enable even better coverage as well as incredibly fast download times, improving the battery life of clients.

"Buffalo is again at the forefront of wireless networking, delivering the world's first Wi-Fi router leveraging 802.11ac technology in a cost-effective, high performance package," said Hajime Nakai, chief executive officer at Buffalo Technology (USA), Inc. "Along with Broadcom, we continue to demonstrate our commitment to innovation by providing a no-compromise, future proofed wireless infrastructure for consumers' digital worlds."

"5G WiFi will improve the HD video streaming experience with its higher speeds, enhanced range and increased reliability," said Michael Hurlston, Broadcom's SVP and GM of the Wireless Combo Connectivity line of business. "Buffalo Technology's products using Broadcom's chipsets give consumers the fastest, most robust wireless networking solutions available."

Creating a sanctuary of wireless connectivity, the Buffalo AirStation AC1300 / N900 Gigabit Dual Band Wireless Router WZR-D1800H provides a dependable, high quality signal for simple syncing between mobile devices, data-heavy streaming of HD movies from online services and everything in between. AirStation WZR-D1800H boasts amazing speeds up to 1300 Mbps on the 5 GHz band, and it integrates a class leading 2.4 GHz 3x3 802.11n radio providing backward compatibility and offering speeds up to 450 Mbps. With a total aggregate wireless throughput up to 1750 Mbps across the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz bands, AirStation WZR-D1800H frees consumers from the conventional networking restrictions of wired Ethernet cables, wireless network bottlenecks and other radio activity, providing the ultimate in wireless performance. Available at a price comparable to current Wireless-N solutions, WZR-D1800H provides fast, simultaneous dual band N900 operation for compatibility with current wireless devices with the future proofed security of next generation wireless networking, 802.11ac, built in.

In conjunction with WZR-D1800H, Buffalo is shipping the AirStation AC1300 / N450 4-Port Gigabit Dual Band Wireless Ethernet Bridge WLI-H4-D1300, a versatile dual band media bridge that extends the capabilities of wireless networks. Consumers can now connect up to four network-enabled wired devices, such as media players and gaming consoles to their 802.11ac network. Equipped with two wireless radios, WLI-H4-D1300 supports 802.11ac and 802.11n, operating in the 5 GHz or 2.4 GHz spectrum. On the 5 GHz band, 802.11ac offers transfer speeds up to 1300 Mbps, ideal for faster, uninterrupted HD video streaming and concurrent Internet access from other connected devices. Dual band 802.11n operation at 450 Mbps on each band offers greater bandwidth for high speed access and streaming from multiple devices simultaneously. With four gigabit Ethernet ports and backward compatibility with 11a, 11b, 11g and 11n, WLI-H4-D1300 offers extreme performance for high speed data streaming.

To learn more about the 5th generation of Wi-Fi (5G WiFi), please visit www.5GWiFi.org

Availability

Buffalo wireless solutions are all backed by a limited three-year warranty that includes toll-free U.S.-based technical support available 24/7. The WZR-D1800H and WLI-H4-D1300 are available now at Fry's, Frys.com and NewEgg.com at estimated street prices of $179.99 each.

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Buffalo beats others to the 802.11ac WiFi punch, ships 1.3Gbps router and bridge