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CES 2013: TRENDnet Announces First USB 3.0 802.11ac Adapter

Posted on January 9, 2013 1:15 PM by Rob Williams
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It’s a little bizarre whenever a new technology hits the market that no one can effectively take advantage of for months or even a year. Take 802.11ac wireless, for example. While the routers have been plentiful, the adapters to actually take advantage of the performance speeds haven’t been. The only easily-attainable adapter has been from NETGEAR, but it has one major flaw: it’s USB 2.0-based. That’s a problem, given it’d throttle back the technology’s true potential to about 1/3rd.

TRENDnet_TEW805UB

Thankfully, a remedy has been announced at CES, and it comes from TRENDnet. The company’s TEW-805UB AC1200 adapter sports a USB 3.0 interface – meaning no more bottleneck – and supports both n and ac wireless specs. When connecting to an ac router, the adapter will peak at 867Mbit/s (pretty specific, there), while on n, it’ll run at the typical 300Mbit/s.

When it launches in April, the TEW-805UB will retail for $69.99 – not bad, considering that’s about the same price as NETGEAR’s USB 2.0 offering. Now if only April could get here sooner, as we have a couple of 802.11ac routers kicking around that need to be properly tested!


  • http://techgage.com/ Jamie Fletcher

    It’s just a shame that we are likely to only see 1/3 of that 867Mbit/s at any meaningful distance. 11n was supposed to be 300Mbps, but barely saw much above 11g realistically. Can’t complain too much though, 11ac will at least make wireless transfers practical for larger files.

    • http://techgage.com/ Brett Thomas

      Exactly what I was thinking. I read this and was like, “Yes…yes…YES…oh wait, what’s the range going to be?!” Higher frequency and throughput means much lower range. :(

      • http://www.facebook.com/deathspawner Rob Williams

        I’ll get one of these in an test for that. If I hit 867Mbit/s over a wireless connection, I’d be hella surprised, even if i’m right beside the router.

  • madmatTG

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11ac

    “Theoretically, this specification will enable multi-station WLAN throughput of at least 1 gigabit per second and a maximum single link throughput of at least 500 megabits per second (500 Mbit/s).”

    I’m seeing a total network bandwidth of 1000Mb/s and single link of 500Mb/s. USB 2.0 is 480Mb/s so that’s a loss of 20Mb/s by my math.

    • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

      With overhead, the best that can be achieved through USB 2.0 is 33.3MB/s (not 60MB/s like the 480Mbit/s would imply). USB 3.0 is 5Gbit/s, which far exceeds what this adapter, at 867Mbit/s (108.375MB/s), can muster.

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