Are You Equipped With the Right Wi-Fi?

So, you’re ready to purchase a new computer. First, you’re likely going to want to review the processor to decide how powerful you want your machine to be. Intel® Core™ i3, i5, and i7 processors come inside a variety of computers, and picking the right one is easy when using this quick, online tool.

Next, you’re likely going to look at storage capabilities, wanting to know how large of a hard drive is inside your potential new purchase. You’re also likely going to consider screen-size, especially if considering a new laptop or Ultrabook™. And if form factor is important, you’re going to review the operating system (like Windows 8/8.1) to decide if a touch-screen enabled 2 in 1 device is the right fit.

But, what about Wi-Fi?
As explained in a previous post, there’s a new Wi-Fi standard called 802.11ac that’s being rolled out, giving users speeds up to 3x faster than the old wireless standard. Intel® Wireless-AC technology is now available in a select number of devices, but how can you be sure your new computer comes equipped with the new standard inside?

Unfortunately, if you’re test-driving a PC at a store, often retailers don’t even list what type of Wi-Fi technology is inside. If Wi-Fi specifications are available, retailers may often make you dive into a long list of hardware information that may not be as applicable to your needs. Retailer Best Buy partnered with Intel to create a short informational video about why the new wireless standard matters to help with the process. But, if you’re shopping online, chances are that you’ll still need to delve into the technical specifications to get the specific information on the Wi-Fi adapter.

When shopping for a new Ultrabook™, laptop, 2 in 1 device, or professional PC, be sure to “check under the hood,” so-to-speak, in order to see what adapter is installed. Intel has a handy chart that outlines the different Wi-Fi technologies available, including which supported system types are available. For Microsoft Windows 8/8.1 systems, you can find out how to identify what Wi-Fi adapter is installed in the PC you’re considering by watching this short video. For Microsoft Windows 7 systems, this video will help.

Finally, if you’re in need for an almost instant way to see if a new computer is equipped with Intel® Wireless-AC, look for these product badges.


Now that you’re armed with the necessary tools to determine if a new device has Intel® Wireless-AC, don’t forget that you’ll also need an updated router that can transmit the dual-band signal. Publication CNET recently reviewed a swath of 802.11ac routers you should consider. If you’re looking for more information before making a purchase, take a minute to read more details on the Intel Wireless homepage.