Wireless networks are never fast enough, but for the moment at least they are generally quicker at shifting packets of data than the broadband connections they're typically linked to.
That's changing. Broadband speeds are rising, especially those fed through fibre-optic lines. Fortunately, Wi-Fi is keeping up. A number of chip and networking kit makers used the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to tout their support for IEEE 802.11ac, a new wireless standard.
The technology uses the 5GHz band already utilised by the old 802.11a - big with corporates, but never a favourite of consumers - and the more recent 802.11n.
The 'n' standard can use 5GHz for speedier operation. The 5GHz band not only runs at a higher frequency than the more commonly used 2.4GHz section of the spectrum - also able to be utilised by 802.11n and its predecessors - but is also far less crowded, not only free from many a neighbour's wireless network but also from noise generated by microwave ovens and other electrical appliances.