Gigabit Wi-Fi’s faster, but it needs a fast wire behind it

The next time you want to complain about slow Wi-Fi, think about saving your vitriol for wires instead.

So-called gigabit Wi-Fi, or 802.11ac, is slowly starting to show up in homes, buildings, and public hotspots, but it’s not delivering a gigabit to smartphones, according to an analysis by research company OpenSignal. That’s partly because of how wireless works and how the newest technology is being rolled out, but it also reflects the performance of the wired networks that Wi-Fi taps into.

OpenSignal used its free connection-monitoring app, running on thousands of smartphones, to learn what kinds of Wi-Fi networks users were on and what kind of speed they were getting.

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