When choosing a wireless router, many people think that all of these devices are the same. As long as they provide you with internet, everything is ok, right? Well, in fact there are several important differences between the 802.11n and the 802.11ac standard routers, and these differences are well worth bearing in mind when you get yourself a new router. Here, we explain the differences of the 802.11n vs 802.11ac standard routers, and demonstrate how each of these routers is suited to different households.
In general, the 802.11ac router is deemed to be an improvement on the 802.11n router. The latter has been around since back in 2007 and, overall, the newer 802.11ac router provides users with greater compatibility, speed, and range. Let’s take each of these factors one by one and see how the two routers measure up to each other.
Speed – the 802.11ac is simply faster!
One of the biggest improvements that you will notice with the 802.11ac standard router is the much improved speed that it offers. To be precise, it runs at 720 Mbps whilst the 802.11n router could only run at a max speed of 240 Mbps. You have to agree that this is a substantial difference, and you will notice it right away when you are using your device to stream video content, to chat via Skype or Face Time with friends and family, or to download files and listen to music.
Enhanced compatibility with the 802.11ac
The 802.11ac router is a highly compatible piece of technology. It works well with almost any laptop, smartphone, or similar mobile device (such as tablets and other items of touch screen technology). The 802.11ac is also completely ‘backwards compatible’ which means that it can be combined with older routers, including the 802.11n router. However, when you are combining with an older router in this way, you will unfortunately be limited (in terms of speed and range, for instance) by the capabilities of the older router. This means that you will not be able to harness the full power of the 802.11ac router in cases such as these.
Both routers have a similar range, however
One of the key selling points of the 802.11ac router is its broad range. However, its range is very similar to that of the older 802.11n router – for which range was also a selling point. So, if you already have an 802.11n router and you are happy with the speed, you most probably do not need to upgrade as you will not get much of a better range with the newer router.