Gigabit Wi-Fi? Not so fast.

802.11ac routers average close to 400Mbps in performance tests of five products

The newest Wi-Fi technology -- 802.11ac -- promises blazing speeds of up to 1.3Gbps, according to claims made by the leading vendors.

We tested five of the first 802.11ac routers to hit the market and found that the products were indeed fast, and probably faster than anything you'll ever need for home office or small business scenarios - but they're not that fast.

Our test subjects were the Netgear R6300, Cisco's Linksys EA6500, the Asus RT-AC66U, the D-Link Cloud Router 5700 and the Buffalo Technology AirStation AC1300. Since 802.11ac clients aren't available yet, we tested throughput speeds between two devices from each manufacturer.

The testing also examined the usability of the routers on a day-to-day basis. We wanted to see how they reacted to events such as the loss of Internet connectivity or power, how well they fit into existing networks and how easy they were to manage. It turned out that we also tested how physically stable they were. (Watch a slideshow of this story.)

We found that regardless of what brand of router you choose, you're going to get throughput speeds in the range of 350Mbps to 380Mbps with the router and media bridge about 25 feet apart. These numbers are for Layer 7 traffic, which is what you'll be using when you stream media.

[LOOK AHEAD: Technologies to watch 2013: Gigabit Wi-Fi]

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