802.11ad was announced in 2016 as a new WiFi standard supporting 60 GHz frequency and up to 7 Gbps throughput, but it has recently been superseded by the backward compatible but further improved 802.11ay allowing up to 100 Gbps bandwidth, and 300 to 500 meters range in theory. The new standard is supported by Qualcomm QCA64x8 and QCA64x1 WiFi chipsets that can handle up to 10 Gbps, and found in Snapdragon 855 mobile processor.
If you want your network to benefit from 802.11ad WiFi – 802.11ay is not quite available yet – , you’ll first new a compatible router such as NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 AD7200 router, and end nodes supporting 802.11ad WiFi as well as. But most device on the market don’t, and in theory you should be able to add 802.11ad WiFi to any device with a USB 3.0 port, but it turns out there aren’t that many 802.11ad USB adapters on the market, and this morning I came across Millitronic MG360 802.11ad USB dongle listed for $89.00 on Seeed Studio.
Key features of Millitronic MG360 802.11ad USB adapter:
- WiFi 802.11ad Compliance
- Operates with channels 1/2/3
- Single Carrier
- Adaptive 360 Degree Beamforming
- Up To 2Gbps bandwidth
- WPA2 Personal Wireless Encryption
- Internal Storage – 8GB
- USB3.0 Type A port
The dongle is said to be compatible with the few 802.11ad router available on the market including the aforementioned NETGEAR R9000, as well as NETGEAR XR700 and TP-Link Talon AD7200. The product listing reports Windows 10 is supported, and while I can’t find specific Linux support for 802.11ad USB device, support was added for wil6210 802.11ad PCIe card based on Qualcomm chipset.
802.11ad does not go well through walls when operating at 60 GHz, so it’s suitable for same room high speed, low latency (<10 ms) WiFi connectivity for example to stream 4K videos, perform large backups, and play games.
If you are based in the US, an alternative way to purchase the dongle will be on Newegg, which sadly is currently out of stock.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.