I am the proud owner of a 2011 MacBook Pro, which is fast closing in on the two-year-old mark. My MacBook cost me a pretty penny two years ago, but I would not have the tech writing opportunities I have without it. My MacBook Pro is fast, swift, and gets me the tech news and videos I need when I need them. I have yet to experience a virus on this computer; it is the virus-free concept that led me to purchase a MacBook Pro in the first place.
Along with the new year now upon us, Apple has some additional surprises in-store for its customers in 2013. Among these, Cupertino will introduce 802.11ac WiFi networking into its MacBook computers. Currently, MacBooks run on 802.11b/g/n.
What is 802.11 b/g/n? To answer this question, one has to read about the start of 802.11 WiFi networking. In 1985, the Federal Communications Commission passed a law allowing the use of 802.11 technology through what are known as industrial, scientific, and medical bands (or ISM bands) for consumer use. ISM bands are used for science and medicine, but they have become better known in the consumer sector for use in microwaves, telephones, and computers (wireless Internet). 802.11 was used in its original state, but was then modified by adding “b,” “g,” and eventually “n” to the list of network ISM bands. “B” and “g” are dual-band networks running at 2.4Ghz; dual band networks, however, have many channels that overlap, causing interference with WiFi networks. If you have been surfing the web, when, suddenly, the connection gave out, you may have both your cell phone and microwave (and 802.11 b/g/n networks) to blame. The 802.11n network, however, is a multi-streaming network that allows you to have numerous websites and wireless connections in operation. While it is still not perfect, it provides a multi-tasking experience where both “b” and “g” networks fail.
802.11ac, however, will contribute to WiFi networking in a whole new light; whereas 802.11b and 802.11g allow for frequency overlapping, 802.11a and 802.11c do not – meaning that frequencies will be clearer and perform faster and better than the old 802.11b and g networks. Whereas the old b/g networks performed at 2.4Ghz, the 802.11ac networks will perform at 5Ghz, or, rather, “5GWiFi” – known as 5 “gigabit” wireless fidelity.
The new 5Ggb WiFi will outperform current 802.11b/g networks by up to three times the Internet speed; 802.11b/g networks could perform Internet tasks at a rate of 450Mbps (megabits per second); 802.11ac networks will, in the future, perform as high as 1.3Gbps (gigabits per second) – a 300% increase in Internet productivity! Since 802.11ac networks do not have internet interferences by way of microwaves, cell phones, home telephones, and other electronics, your Internet speed (unhindered) will operate up to three times as fast.
Apple has teamed up with Broadcom to see to it that Apple customers receive the benefits of faster, more efficient WiFi than ever before. Apple has already started improving WiFi for its customers with its ultrafast wireless (802.11n) technology displayed in the fourth-generation iPad. Google has done the same with its Advanced MIMO WiFi that offers up to four times the speed that normal WiFi networks offer.
Apple will start implementing these chips as soon as Broadcom produces them and prepares them for installation into Cupertino’s newest MacBooks. WiFi looks to be a hot investment in 2013, as both computer manufacturers and phone carriers look to WiFi to rescue them – in different ways, of course.