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Wireless AC Routers….Very Fast Indeed!
21st Mar 2014Posted in: The Blog 0
Wireless AC Routers….Very Fast Indeed!


If you have purchased a router in the last 10 years then you are probably familiar with 802.11G or 802.11N but the new player on the block is 802.11AC. AC is not only a faster wireless standard, in some cases, it has been shown to be faster than some wired connections.

The real reason to buy an 802.11ac router today is to stream high-definition video to and from the devices in your entertainment center: your Blu-ray player, smart TV, media-streaming box, or home theater PC even if some of your client devices support only 802.11n.

To do that, you’ll need to buy an 802.11ac ethernet bridge in addition to an 802.11ac router (or you could buy two routers and configure one of them as a bridge). The bridge will establish a wireless connection to your 802.11ac network, and you’ll hardwire your various devices to the bridge.

If you’re looking to stream HD video, the 802.11ac standard is the way to go, Whereas the previous fastest standard, 802.11n, provides aggregate bandwidth of up to 450 megabits per second, gear based on the 802.11ac standard delivers aggregate bandwidth of up to 1300 mbps.

The new 802.11ac routers are backward compatible with the older 802.11n standard, however, so you’ll still be able to connect your existing wireless gear to the new routers

The boring stuff:

It’s all about throughput. Wireless networks can use either the 2.4GHz frequency band (where they must compete with devices such as baby monitors, microwave ovens, and Bluetooth headsets), or the much less crowded 5GHz frequency band. Both frequency bands are divided into a series of channels that provide 20MHz of bandwidth each, but there are fewer channels within the 2.4GHz frequency band. There are many more channels, and with less channel overlap, on the 5GHz frequency band.

An 802.11n router can bond two channels on the 2.4GHz band and two channels on the 5GHz band to produce one channel on each band that’s 40MHz wide. 802.11ac routers also support channel bonding, but these routers are capable of bonding four channels to produce a single channel on the 5GHz band that’s 80MHz wide.

Network Range:

Signals carried on the 5GHz frequency band don’t travel as far as signals carried on the 2.4GHz frequency band. So an 802.11ac router will deliver roughly the same range as an 802.11n router operating on the 5GHz band, but less range than an 802.11n router operating on the 2.4GHz band. An 802.11ac router, however, should provide higher throughput—more megabits per second—at most distances compared to an 802.11n router, thanks to the improved data encoding and channel-bonding features of the 802.11ac standard.

The Future of 802.11ac

Future 802.11ac routers promise to deliver even higher throughput and better range. One of the most interesting new developments will come with the implementation of “beamforming,” one of several optional features of the 802.11ac standard.



Call us today for a free evaluation of your total network infrastructure and we will design a system that is optimal for you.


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