It wasn't that long ago that "download" for just one photo meant you had enough time to go refill your coffee cup. OK, maybe that was AOL on a dial-up modem, but you probably know what I mean.
Now with cable modems and 4G smartphone connections, it's pretty easy to take for granted just how quickly we get our data these days. Just recently, I heard my inner voice complain that my Smart TV Wi-Fi connection was too slow as it was taking at least an extra 30 seconds to download my Netflix movie. I know, poor me.
Luckily, Samsung says that's all about to change. (Looks like we'll have to find something else to complain about.) Why? Because on Sunday, Samsung announced it is developing a new Wi-Fi technology, called 802.11ad, that will turbocharge network speeds by five times.
Stop for a minute. You really need to soak this in. If we were talking about planes, it would be like flying just under the speed of sound one day, and then, with just a minor tweak - flying almost 5 times the speed of sound, basically overnight.
And as far as how you would experience this faster Wi-Fi at home, Samsung says, a 1GB movie file can transfer from one device to another in 3 seconds. It works by leaving behind the crowded 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless channels used by today's routers and jumping to the 60GHz band. What's interesting is the idea to do this is not a new one. It's just that before, there was something standing in its way - literally.
A focused signal changes everything
While you may not have heard of it, the 60GHz frequency for Wi-Fi is not a new idea. However, all previous attempts returned with the same trouble. 60GHZ cannot penetrate walls very well. That's why any current production models are designed for super-short distances.
Samsung head of DMC R&D Kim Chang Yong says the company has, "successfully overcome the barriers to the commercialization of 60GHz millimeter-wave band Wi-Fi," in a recent press release.
They have they are able to get around the "wall barrier" by developing wide-coverage beam-forming antenna. This allows the Wi-Fi unit to detect the presence of client devices (like PCs, laptops, Smart TVs) and focus a signal directly at them.
Sounds great, right?
Well, the only downside so far, is that it might take awhile before the technology hits market. Currently, the 60GHz is probably a year away before an industry-wide adoption will happen. And then, we would have to wait for Samsung and other companies to get their new products to market.
In the meantime, there are still some great routers out there. Here are a few ideas and product options that can make the wait much more enjoyable.