BERKELEY, CA–December 13th, 2013– BearExtender, the leader in Wi-Fi solutions for Apple Macintosh computers, announced today the availability of BearExtender Turbo, a high speed 802.11ac USB Wi-Fi adapter for Macs.
BearExtender Turbo features a maximum throughput speed of 867 Mbps on the 5 Ghz 802.11ac band when used with 802.11ac standard routers like the 2013 AirPort Extreme or 2013 Time Capsule. That is up to 3 times faster than previous generation 802.11n equipped Macs. BearExtender Turbo features USB 3.0 SuperSpeed connectivity and twin dual band (2.4 & 5 Ghz) upgradable antennas.
“802.11ac is the newest standard in wireless networking and it brings blazing fast Wi-Fi speeds,” said Roland Saekow, head of product development at BearExtender. “But only the newest 2013 MacBook Air, 2013 MacBook Pro and 2013 iMac come equipped with 802.11ac capability today. BearExtender Turbo allows people with other Macs to easily add 802.11ac technology since earlier internal AirPort cards from Apple cannot be upgraded to 802.11ac.”
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How it Works
BearExtender Turbo plugs into a Mac’s USB 3.0 or USB 2.0 port and is compatible with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard through the newest OS X 10.9 Mavericks. The drivers were developed specifically for Mac OS X with a simplified interface. This makes BearExtender Turbo the perfect way to upgrade an older 802.11g or 802.11n equipped Mac to the latest and greatest high speed 802.11ac standard.
“Whether you are streaming movies wirelessly, playing bandwidth intensive games, or running a daily backup to your Apple Time Capsule, every Mac deserves the maximum throughput possible,” added Saekow. “BearExtender Turbo nearly triples the bandwidth available to earlier 802.11n equipped Macs, and doubles the speed for 2012 Mac models with 450 Mbps 802.11n.”
Performance and Benchmarks
Product benchmarks are often performed under unrealistic conditions like testing two feet from a router with no obstructions.
A real world test of BearExtender Turbo was conducted through multiple doors and walls at a distance of 75 feet between the test computer and base station.
Using AJA System Test on Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks, a 2GB file was transferred between a Mid-2012 802.11n MacBook Air and a 2013 Apple Time Capsule at a rate of 10.66 Megabytes per second (MB/s not megabits). The same test with BearExtender Turbo connected to the MacBook Air’s USB 3.0 port had a rate of 23.84 MB/s, more than twice the Macbook Air’s internal Wi-Fi card.
This real world test also included the overhead from transferring a file using the Apple Filing Protocol (AFP). Real world tests help reflect actual 802.11ac performance instead of theoretical maximum rates.
For maximum connection speeds, BearExtender Turbo must be used with an 802.11ac router and a USB 3.0 port. It is backward compatible with 802.11b/g/n standards. Internet download and streaming speeds will be limited by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) plan and service tier. For example, if your 802.11n Mac already gets the full speed provided by your ISP, BearExtender cannot increase the speed of your ISP.
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Pricing and Availability
BearExtender Turbo is available starting today, December 13th, with a suggested retail price of $79.97.
BearExtender launched their first product in 2009 to increase Wi-Fi range for students on the University of California, Berkeley campus, home of the Golden Bears (hence the name “BearExtender”).
BearExtender Turbo is the first BearExtender product focused on increasing Wi-Fi speed.