What You Need to Know About Ushering in the Age of WiGig

Photo courtesy of Flickr: photosteve101

The technology world is known for its love of acronyms, catch phrases, and buzz words, and the latest addition to this trend is "WiGig." What is this trendy new tech word, and what does it have to do with Wi-Fi and your Internet connection? What exactly is the Wireless Gigabit Alliance, and why should you care? Find out all of this and more in this exciting blog post by yours truly!

Remember the days of baud-rate Internet modem connections, where you would connect at an astounding 1200 bits per second (or slower if you were truly unfortunate)? No? Well, you whipper-snapper, you have been blessed by the Internet gods to have never experienced the most excruciatingly slow Internet access on the planet. I'll spare you the boredom of explaining the old pre-Internet bulletin board systems us old-timers used to traverse and just say that when high-speed Internet arrived and we were given a Wi-Fi Internet connection, a whole new world opened up for us. WiGig promises the same for the younger generation, if not in a more limited capacity.

WiGig just sounds faster than Wi-Fi, right? I mean, after all, "G" does come after "F" in the dictionary! WiGig is the newest and greatest offering from the Wireless Gigabit Alliance (which was absorbed last year into the Wi-Fi Alliance), based off of the 802.11ad standard.

Unlike your traditional Wi-Fi Internet connection, WiGig promises speeds up to 7 gigabytes per second, with the possibility of expanding to an incredible 25Gbps under optimal conditions. That is some serious speed! Imagine transferring 10,000 photos to another computer in less than 60 seconds or downloading a high-definition movie in less than five minutes. That is the speed WiGig can deliver.

So at this point, you are probably asking yourself, "where can I get this great new technology?" But before you rush out to your local tech store, there are a few things you should know.

The main issue at the moment with WiGig is the range of the signal. While a typical Wi-Fi network can reach a few hundred feet, WiGig transmissions drop off at around the 30-foot mark - a significant reduction, especially if you have a big office or large house. This smaller transmission range has to do with the size of the wavelengths - smaller wavelengths are stronger but do not reach as far.

To combat this, some devices are offering both WiGig and traditional Wi-Fi connections - once the WiGig is out of range, it delivers uses Wi-Fi standards. If you do decide to pursue this option, be on the lookout for this type of device.

WiGig also is not the only ultra-high-speed Internet connection option out there. It is facing competition from WirelessHD, but at this moment, WirelessHD cannot support dual standards in the same manner that WiGig devices may be able to, which, in my opinion, gives the edge to WiGig. Which will win out in the future? Only time will tell!

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