WiFi is one of those services that people simply expect to see these days. When you walk into just about any public building you are going to start looking for the “free” WiFi that they have. Most people do not stop to think about that that looks like behind the scenes especially when you are in a smaller business. In a large business you have multiple wireless access points (WAPs) that are run by a central controller. This centralized control system makes it relatively simple to control both the business side and the guest side of the wireless network. These tools can be very expensive and out of the budget range for most small companies. Instead a small business will end up with either an edge device with built in wireless (and really bad service), a single WAP or multiple individual WAPs that need to be managed independently and have their own problems.

One of the biggest issues with wireless is that you never really get the speeds you are promised. Right now the maximum theoretical speed you can get in consumer wireless is about 1.3Gbps. This is assuming you are running the right router and wireless adapter which means that both have to support three antenna as well as the full 802.11ac spec. To be perfectly honest with you that is not likely to happen in the real world as most wireless adapters do not support AC1300 (full 1.3Gbps). Instead you end up getting AC800-900 with the rare AC1200 popping up now and then. Even if you have both ends at AC1300 you are still not likely to see the nirvana of 1.3Gbps wireless.

One of the things that makes a board stand out from the crowd, beside features and price, is how well it performs. Even with a massive feature set a board is not going to do well if the performance is not there. With the Z97-I Asus is trying to push the same level of features that you would find in a larger board, but will they be able to get the same level of performance? That is what we are looking to find out today. So without much in the way of ceremony, let’s get into why you are here and see what the Z97-I is hiding inside its small frame. You can also check out our coverage of the design and features of the Z97I Plus.

The small form factor crowd has grown in leaps and bounds over the last few years. Every day on Facebook or some other spot on the internet you will see some pretty impressive builds with tiny motherboards stuffed in them. However, one of the things that has always seemed to be missing I full chipset support. Most of the time you can find mini-ITX boards running business or consumer chipsets. Fortunately, this trend has been changing and we are seeing more powerful boards hitting the market. We have one of these newer boards in the lab in the form of the Asus Z97I Plus. This Z97 chipset based board is intended to put all the power and features of larger boards into a tiny package. Let’s see how well Asus does at reaching this goal.

Gigabyte announces Dual Port Thunderbolt 2 certification
Published in News

Gigabyte decided to fulfil increasing demands for higher data transfer speed and today announed official certification of Dual Port Thunderbolt 2 technology which will be implemented in their GIGABYTE Z87X-UD7 TH model motherboard. This technology will allow speeds of up to 20 Gb/s which is 4 times as much as USB 3.0 is offering and twice as much as the regular Thunderbolt. The new controller is codenamed "Falcon Ridge" and allows simultaneous data transfer across two channels per port.


Since its introduction there has been something of an internal battle with wireless. On the one hand it is very convenient; you just connect to an access point and you have freedom as long as you are inside the network rand. On the other the speed is not always that great and, if the signal is too weak, you can end up dropping packets, files and losing data. Over the years there have been great improvements in wireless speed, but no matter what it has never been able to match the speed of a wired connection. At least it could not until 802.11ac wireless arrived on the scene. This new specification offers a theoretical limit of 1.3Gbps over a 5GHz wireless connection. We have already taken a look at a router and USB 2.0 adapter, now we are going to look at what happens when you put USB 3.0 into the mix with the TRENDNet TEW-805UB adapter.


When wireless networking was first introduced it was a very cool concept and people bought into it. The problem was that it was also about as slow as dial-up internet was. The good news is that all technologies advance and wireless was non exception. Once the idea caught on we quickly ramped up in speed, but wireless was never quite able to keep up with a wired connection. We saw these connections leap ahead by a factor of 10 while wireless had small incremental speed jumps. All of that changed in 2011 when researchers built up the next specification for wireless speed, 802.11ac. This speed increase more than doubled what wireless was able to do previously. Suddenly wireless was just as fast as a wired connection (in theory). We have a few routers and adapters in the lab and will be taking a look at them. Today we are going to show you the TRENDNet TEW-812DRU AC1750 dual band wireless router.


802.11ac wireless was introduced at CES 2012. Unfortunately when the devices were launched there were no adapters to support it. This meant that people were buying expensive wireless products without having any way to support the speeds they were capable of. Fortunately at CES 2013 a couple of manufacturers started releasing 802.11ac adapters. However, there are two schools of thought about how to implement these adapters. We will be taking a look at both in the next couple of weeks, but we will kick things off with a look at the USB 2.0 NETGEAR A6200 Dual Band 802.11ac WiFi Adapter. Let’s dive in and take a look.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013 18:59

Apple computers with Gigabit Wi-FI


This year's edition of Apple Mac computers could have support for faster Wi-Fi wireless networks. Apple has in a new beta version of the upcoming operating system upgrade OS X 10.8.4 implemented support for 802.11 ac standard that supports data transfer rates up to 1.3 Gbps in the local wireless network.