What’s the difference between the 802.11ac WiFi standard and previous versions?

The 802.11ac WiFi standard was introduced to enable more reliable and higher performance networking tasks like streaming HD video, playing online games without lag, or migrating large amounts of data in a shorter time span. Compared to the previous 802.11n WiFi standard, it uses a wider RF bandwidth up to 160 MHz (instead of 40 MHz) and allows the use of up to 8 x MIMO streams (instead of 4).

The 802.11ac system operates on the 5GHz band, this usually reduces wireless interference, more commonly encountered with 2.4GHz, it also enables the use of wider signalling channels that allow speeds of around 650 Mbps in real world conditions (sometimes quoted as over 1 Gbps, but this is unrealistic in normal conditions).

Another new feature of the 802.11ac WiFi standard is BeamForming, which increases the reliability of the WiFi signal in more crowded, high traffic areas; it does this by targeting their signals in the specific direction of receiving antennas, rather than spreading their signal across 180 or 360 degrees.

Many routers like the AmpliFi HD Kit Home Mesh WiFi System feature backward compatibility with older 802.11 a/b/g/n devices by featuring dual-band MIMO technology, this allows it to broadcast on both the 5GHz and 2.4Ghz bands simultaneously.

LinITX also stock a wide range of UniFi Wireless Access Points, which utilise 802.11ac WiFi technology, along with a comprehensive range of Ubiquiti PoE Switches and routers, allowing our clients and customers to get the most from their WiFi installs.

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