Wireless communication is increasingly in demand. We are used to doing everything quickly and anywhere, we do not like ties and patience is something that has gone down in history.
However, in terms of technology we can refer to communicate, cable will always be king, right? WiFi is a form of wireless communication that we often use, but it doesn’t offer everything that a good wired connection does, so far.
However, this resource is not inflexible. There are different standards, each with its own characteristics, and we are already approaching a connection full of benefits without the need for cables. Do you want to know what is WiFi AC? You will discover everything in this text.
What is WiFi AC and what is this new network connection standard for?
WiFi AC, WiFi 5, WIFi Gigabit or IEEE 802.11ac is a communication standard from 2014 that improves on the IEEE 802.11n standard.
This represents an improvement in data transfer, which reaches, under optimal conditions, the 433 Mbits per second and that it would achieve, therefore, up to 1.3 Gbits per second using triple antenna. Sending data is directional.
Know that this standard It includes, by being built on the WiFi N, the advantages of generations b, g and nIn other words, it is not a different product but rather expanded or improved with respect to the previous ones. This implies that, if you have devices that are compatible with IEEE 802.11ac, it does not make sense to use the standards prior to this because they are already included in it.
We are not talking, therefore, of characteristics of a network but of the form of communication between devices who make use of it. For this reason, for very good characteristics and figures that are handled, If the network is not adequate, the WiFi will not be able to offer more than it does.
What we are talking about is the best WiFi that has been launched so far. It is true that it is not the most modern, as there are some later ones. However, this is the one, due to its characteristics and possibilities, it has made a dent and by which the manufacturers bet when choosing which standards their devices would be compatible with.
What are the benefits and features of WiFi AC (IEEE 802.11ac)?
Among all that this new standard includes and supposes, we will highlight the following:
This is made possible thanks to the use of the 5 GHz band, quadrupling, with respect to 802.11n, the bandwidth, with up to 160 MHz standardized (with a minimum, by law, of 80 MHz).
It is also worth mentioning that it makes use of up to 8 MIMO streams (that is, of input-output movements of the waves, a highly efficient propagation) as well as modulation HI or high intensity, at 256 QAM (the above is 64 QAM). In addition, you can work with a modulation Multi-user MIMO, downloadable for four clients at the same time.
This assumes that, in theory, its speed can become the same as that obtained by cable, it is estimated that up to 12 times higher than the previous version of the IEEE. If you want check your internet connection speed click here.
To understand what these concepts are like We can make a comparison that explains a little the role of each one:
- The connection between two devices it would be a tube.
- The MIMO will be extra tubes to be able to move (in both directions) more data through them.
- The bandwidth refers to the size of these tubes.
- The QAM modulation it would be the ability to compact the data to fit more.
Possibility of extension
Also, this speed still can be expanded by up to 25%. This is something that operators could achieve offering 1024-QAM mode, which is not standard but you can work with said amplitude modulation to compact data and allow them to travel more in the same period of time and, therefore, fewer of them reach their destination earlier.
High quality and availability
The fact of offering directionality makes the connection cleaner, since the obstacles interfere less with the signal.
We also do not suffer from interference or cuts thanks to the use of the 5 GHz band, which is not saturated because most devices still use 2.4 GHz.
Compatibility with many devices
We have already indicated that this is not the latest generation of the wireless communication standard. However, the later ones have not penetrated so much in the market and, therefore, manufacturers do not usually include them, at least, in devices of character and general use.
They do it with AC WiFi because of how much they like it. This means that it is very likely that your current devices (or the ones you choose when you renew them) include compatibility with that standard.
What is “Beamforming” in 5G Wi-Fi operation?
The beamforming is a technique of signal interpretation that is being launched in a space. With her, appliances could, put it in some way, modify the way it expands so that there is a greater reception by changing its directionality. This means that, if we want to, we can also choose where not to direct it.
If our router includes it, we can modify the emission of the waves. In general, these have a certain intensity that reaches everywhere because they expand concentrically. With beamforming we will achieve direct the signal to where we are and where we are interested.
This is a feature compatible with WiFi AC but it does not mean that any device compatible with this standard includes it. That is up to manufacturers, who decide to include the functionality or not.
Likewise, it is also interesting to know that WiFi N is also compatible with this technique, although there are far fewer devices compatible with it that include it.
How does this wireless connection outperform previous generations or why is it better?
The best way to answer this question is to know what each of the standards that have been released is like in order to be able to compare them at your convenience.
802.11 WiFi or traditional WiFi
It appeared in 1997. It works with direct sequence diffusion spectra (DSSS) or frequency hopping (FHSS), achieving speeds of 1 and 2 Mbps for sending raw data. This occurs through three non-overlapping channels, 2.4 GHz and these being of medical-scientific or industrial frequencies. The channel width is 20 MHz.
In 1999 the WiFi 802.11b standard appeared. This maintains the same channels. It changes with respect to the previous one in that there are different modulations for speed, of 1 and 2 Mbps but, now, of 5.5 and 11 Mbps. We also see that now a high speed direct sequence diffusion spectrum, directly withdrawing the FHSS and improving the DSSS. Channel width is maintained.
The same year there is a huge leap and this generation or version of the WiFi standard appears, which makes it begin to reach the user.
We see speeds modulating at 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48 and 54 Mbps. It happens to be used 12 national information channels not licensed or superimposed on 5 GHz. There is an orthogonal frequency division multiplexing, working with 52 subcarrier channels. The channel is maintained.
It is the version that was launched in 2003. It maintains the data modulation although it can be used, if desired, that of 802.11b, that is, that of 11 Mbps with DSSS. There is also the upstream multiplexing, 52 channels, being also compatible with the WiFi b. We return to three non-overlapping channels medical-scientific and industrial frequency, at 2.4 GHz. Channel width is maintained.
The speeds modulate in 1, 2, 5.5, 6, 9, 11, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48 or 54 Mbps. We can get a 450 Mbps maximum speed. Multiplexing now makes use of multiple inputs and outputs (what we previously called MIMO) as well as channel bonding (or CB). We see that both non-overlapping channels of industrial, medical and scientific frequency are used at 2.4 GHz and also the 12 national information without a license at 5 GHz that already appeared in the 802.11a WiFi. The width of the channel can continue in the 20 MHz although it also occurs in 40 MHz, the double.
WIFi 802.11ac wave1
This is the version that concerns us, launched in 2014. The speed modulation goes through the 200, the 400, the 433, the 600 and the 867 Mbps. Non-overlapping unlicensed national information infrastructure channels are duplicated in 5 GHz, becoming 24. We maintain multiplexing with a single MIMO user. Channel width can be 40 u 80 MHz.
WIFi 802.11ac wave2
Improvement compared to the previous one, in 2016, which we can now use MIMO multi-user, that is, MIMO-MU and that the width of the channel is doubled, becoming up to 160 MHz (we always keep the previous ones of 20, 40, and 80). This makes the theoretical maximum speed up to 1.73 GHz.
Finally, we have what is known as WiFi ax or WiFi 6. In this case we again see a modification of the channels, having both the national info infrastructure, that is, in the 5 GHz, and also re-including frequency 2.4 GHz, The maximum theoretical speed that is reached, with a channel width of 160 MHz, It is 2.4 Gbps, which can be enhanced, depending on the infrastructure, up to almost the, attention, 10 Gbps.
Is this the best WiFi out there? How fast and stable can it get?
If we only consider the aspects that we have just seen, it is evident that 802.11ax WiFi is better. However, it is not only necessary to take this into account, it is also interesting to see what compatibility the market offers with this standard.
The latter we offers more speed than ac WiFi, with 2.4 Gbps compared to the clean 866.7 Mbps of 802.11ac (We have already seen that with a triple antenna we can multiply the speed). We also see that MIMO is multi-user and that we can make use of the 2.4 GHz frequency.
So seen like this, yes, this one is better. But… What good is it if we don’t have devices that make use of this standard? You could renew them to enjoy their benefits. However, this is where we have to consider the whole and deliberate whether the improvements over WiFi ac are worth making a large outlay on compatible devices.
In our opinion, ac WiFi is still the best option for now, since the number of devices on the current market are compatible, having a lot of variety and having a totally accessible price for anyone.
If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, we will answer you as soon as possible, and it will surely be of great help to more members of the community. Thank you! 😉