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The first next-gen Wi-Fi router, and more

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TP-Link Talon AD7200 £350 uk.tp-link.com

TP-Link has just be­come the first man­u­fac­turer to sup­port the new 802.11ad stan­dard for Wi-Fi with its Talon AD7200

router. It’s a bit pricey at the mo­ment, but this new stan­dard is a real step for­ward for Wi-Fi tech­nol­ogy, which was very much de­signed with heavy-duty tasks in mind, such as stream­ing 4K video from Net­flix, or even your own 4K videos recorded with the lat­est mod­els of iPhone and iPad.

Some­times also known as WiGig, this new form of Wi-Fi steps up from the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands of stan­dard 802.11ac Wi-Fi and trans­mits a sig­nal on the high-speed 60GHz band, which is ca­pa­ble of speeds as high as 4,600Mbps. The Talon is also back­wards-com­pat­i­ble with 802.11ac/b/g/n, which means that to­tal through­put on all three bands can be com­bined for a mas­sive 7,200Mbps. As al­ways, those speeds rep­re­sent the the­o­ret­i­cal max­i­mum, but TP-Link says that the Talon can down­load 4K movies as large as 100GB in around eight min­utes, com­pared to 14 min­utes for 802.11ac routers, or a full hour for an older 802.11n router.

This new stan­dard has its lim­i­ta­tions, though. The 60GHz band has quite lim­ited range – in fact, like Blue­tooth, it’s pretty much lim­ited to just a sin­gle room when

The 60GHz band has quite lim­ited range – like Blue­tooth, it’s largely lim­ited to a sin­gle room

in­doors. How­ever, that can still be re­ally use­ful if you just need to stream 4K video to a sin­gle de­vice, such as a shiny new 4K tele­vi­sion in your front room. And, of course, the Talon can also use 802.11ac to trans­mit a sig­nal with longer range to other ar­eas in your home or of­fice.

Other up­grades you’ll need

802.11ad isn’t go­ing to change things overnight, ei­ther. You’ll need su­per­fast broad­band in or­der to stream 4K video from Net­flix and other ser­vices, and, of course, your Macs, iPhones and other de­vices will also need to sup­port 802.11ad in or­der to get the ben­e­fit of the Talon’s top speeds. Still, Ap­ple has al­ways been very keen on Wi-Fi tech­nol­ogy – it was one of the first man­u­fac­tur­ers to sup­port 802.11ac – and we don’t think we’ll have to wait long to see new kit from Ap­ple that sup­ports this new gen­er­a­tion of su­per­fast Wi-Fi.

Sen­gled Snap £180 (TB C) sen­gled.com

Se­cu­rity and light­ing may well be the two most pop­u­lar types of home au­to­ma­tion de­vices, so Sen­gled has de­cided to bring them to­gether with its new Snap light­ing sys­tem. This pow­er­ef­fi­cient LED light bulb is stur­dily built, so it can be used ei­ther in­doors or out­doors in a gar­den or porch. Hid­den sneak­ily in­side it, there’s also a 1080p Full HD cam­era with a mi­cro­phone, mo­tion de­tec­tion, and in­frared night mode. It’s got Wi-Fi con­nec­tiv­ity too, so you can also keep an eye on things when you’re away from home.

Hu­max Mu­saic MP5 £279 mu­saic.com

At first glance, the Mu­saic looks like a fairly con­ven­tional mul­ti­room speaker sys­tem, with Wi-Fi, Eth­er­net and Blue­tooth con­nec­tiv­ity, and sup­port for Spo­tify Con­nect. How­ever, the Mu­saic also uses the IFTTT in­ter­op­er­abil­ity stan­dard, en­abling it to com­mu­ni­cate with other de­vices, such as Philips’ Hue range of lights. Us­ing IFTTT can be a bit tricky, but the IFTTT web­site has a col­lec­tion of ‘recipes’ you can down­load to per­form tasks such as set­ting an alarm that wakes you up with mu­sic and gen­tle light­ing first thing in the morn­ing.

Neato Bot­vac D3 £400 neatorobotics.com

Ro­botic vac­uum clean­ers sound like a great idea, but most of the mod­els that have been avail­able so far have been pretty ex­pen­sive. Neato is bring­ing down the cost with its new Bot­vac D3 Con­nected, which sneaks in at £400 for the first time. Like other mod­els in the Bot­vac range, the D3 can be pro­grammed to au­to­mat­i­cally sweep dif­fer­ent rooms and ar­eas within your home, and its built-in bat­tery can cover up to 1,800ft2 on a sin­gle charge. There’s is also a D5 Con­nected model, priced at £550, for larger homes up to 4,500ft2.

Ap­ple is likely to adopt the new 802.11ad stan­dard some­time in 2017, prob­a­bly start­ing with new iOS de­vices.

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