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EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE 802.11AC WI-FI STANDARD

As an IT manager, you understand the need for a robust and reliable wireless network. IT departments are trying to accommodate bring your own device (BYOD) and the Internet of Things ( IOT), growing the number of devices on the network and the demand for even more wireless speed and range. In addition, many of those run more bandwidth-intensive applications such as HD video, further driving the need for higher performance and more-reliable connections.

To meet these requirements, a new wireless standard has emerged; known as 802.11ac, it provides extraordinary improvements in speed, reliability and quality to benefit both individual and corporate Wi-Fi users. Since your company’s reputation is on the line if your Wi-Fi is not fast and dependable, here’s everything you need to know about 802.11ac:

  • Speed: The most powerful 802.11n devices are limited to a maximum link rate of 450 Mbps at close range, with declining performance as the range increases. In contrast, the 802.11ac standard can achieve more than three times the performance of its predecessor, with speeds up to 1.35 Gbps. Moreover, 802.11ac can maintain a higher level of performance at any range than is possible with 802.11n. This increase in speed is achieved by providing wider frequency bands, faster processing and multiple antennas.
  • Reliability: Speed is largely irrelevant if the connection lacks reliability. For example, most users have experienced the irritating video buffer, which causes frozen or jittery screens. By increasing the bandwidth capacity and improving processing speed, 802.11ac helps users avoid interference and provides support for demanding applications. The result is more effective, reliable coverage with fewer dead zones.
  • >Quality: In addition to its increased bandwidth capacity and range, the 802.11ac standard operates in the 5 GHz wireless spectrum, which is less prone to interference than the 2.4 GHz wireless spectrum. Though 2.4 GHz is more widely used—all 802.11b and g devices operate exclusively in the 2.4 GHz spectrum—it only has three non-overlapping channels for transmission, which are crowded due to the vast number of existing 2.4 GHz devices. As a result, the environment is noisy, which increases interference and degrades performance. In contrast, the 5 GHz spectrum is much cleaner with 23 non-overlapping channels—eight times more than the 2.4 GHz spectrum. This increase makes it far more suitable for applications such as video streaming, which is very sensitive to packet loss and delays.

Dropped connections, poor-quality connections and limited mobility will no longer be major areas of frustration for smartphone users as 802.11ac significantly improves range and provides triple the performance. All in all, 802.11ac is able to handle our insatiable demand for robust, high-speed connectivity—from a wide range of devices.

Interested in migrating your business to 802.11ac wireless networking solutions? Contact us today.

802.11ac Vs. 802.11n—What Are The Differences?

  • Speed: 802.11ac can achieve 1.35 gigabits per second; 802.11n caps out at 450 megabits, which is about three times slower.
  • Range: 802.11ac lives entirely in the 5GHz spectrum. While some more modern routers broadcast 802.11n in 5GHz as well as 2.4GHz, they remain relatively rare.
  • Efficiency: 802.11ac is extremely efficient and it brings power savings compared to 802.11n, meaning it is ideal for mobile devices.

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