On January 2014 a new member was added in the IEEE 802.11 wireless network standard family. This wireless network standard has taken over its predecessor i.e IEEE 802.11 b/g/n. Since its release all the major networking hardware manufacturers have released score of networking devices based on this new standard. In this article we will discuss whether it is worth switching over to new technology and what would happen to devices which were based on previous networking standards.
Take a sigh of relief as this standard is backward compatible, this means your old device will be able to connect to your new router based on 802.11ac. Similarly if you are buying a new device based on 802.11ac, it will work fine with your existing router.
The devices based on this new standard can reach speed up to 1.3 megabits per second. This translated to 166 megabytes per second, which is almost 3 times faster than 802.11n. But these speeds are theoretical and bottlenecked by your internet speed. Hence you can only be as fast as your internet, no matter how fast your wireless router is.
802.11 AC standard entirely works on 5GHz spectrum which does not broadcasts as far as previous 2.4 GHz spectrum. But this 5 GHz spectrum is prone to interference, it means now your devices can work on faster speeds and less lag. Also 802.11ac has ‘beam forcing technology’ which means unlike previous network which broadcast equally in all direction, this new standard detects where the devices are and can intensify the signal in that direction.
Is it worth?
So the question comes, is it worth to switch over or shall we stick to our old devices. In my view if you are a home user having limited bandwidth requirement, with limited number of devices, then the previous standard is still very fast for you. However if you are a large organization with high bandwidth requirement, then you should consider an upgrade.
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