Wireless AC, upgrading for beter wifi

Wifi losses are inevitable and the further you get from your wireless router the more you lose. Depending on a bunch of factors (walls, other wifi stations, etc) you might lose half your wifi signal over less than 20metres. If this is you, you might benefit from wireless AC.

Wireless AC is the latest generation wireless standard (taking on from G and N). It’s much faster and with support for dual-band it can potentially find clear bandwidth in a crowded space.

How Fast Is Wireless AC?

Potentially 1Gb per second. This compares with wireless N of around 100Mbs. Potential speeds are largely dependent on a number of factors such as Bluetooth, microwave, your neighbour’s wifi, and the dynamics of your space. The big difference between wireless N and AC is how they perform in the real world. Our testing so far shows that wireless AC is much better in normal conditions. Testing speeds in real world situations on the Gold Coast shows that speed losses of half and more on wireless N translate to speed losses of almost zero with wireless AC.

Test Case One: Wireless AC for typical Gold Coast home

In this scenario our user could not use his laptop at his desk. The Telstra modem was located at the other end of the house. The speed coming from the modem was around 35Mbs. The speed in the study varied from nil to just barely walking. Once connected to wireless AC we tested the speed at 35Mbs.

Test Case Two: Wireless AC in our office and workshop

In the upstairs office my laptop typically gets speeds of around 30-50Mbs. We have speeds of over 100Mbs available via Bigpond cable so we’re looking at losing half our speed over a short distance. Wireless AC on the other hand contained those losses to barely noticeable. We tested consistently around 100Mbs.

Wireless AC for you home or office

Depending on the dynamics of your location, you won’t always get the same fantastic results we got. But you’re far more likely to get good speeds and it’s certainly a the best upgrade for anyone who is experiencing wifi problems. Remember it is dual band, so if you’re in a cluttered wifi space, then moving from the 2.4Ghz to 5Ghz band can resolve problems.

Upgrading to wireless AC

You’ll need to replace your wireless router. Not all wireless AC routers are born equal and you’ll have to chose one based on your needs. You might want to talk to us about this because you can get cheaper options that’ll cover you just fine if you have ADSL and just want a better wifi experience. But if you’re wanting all the benefits of wireless AC you’ll be well placed to spend a little extra. Expect to spend from $100 to $400 for a router.

Support for wirelesss AC

If your device (laptop, phone etc) is a recent model, then it’ll probably have wireless AC support already. If not, laptops and PCs can be upgraded with a wifi dongle. Expect to pay around $50-70 for something decent. (Please note, prices change and I’m talking around December 2015 prices here, in case you’re reading this at a much later date.)

Summary of Wireless AC

Wireless AC offers transmission rates formerly only seen in with physical ethernet cables connected to your PC. You can now set-up wireless networks that rival infrastructure solutions. This is great for SOHO situations. In your home, wireless AC is a great way to enjoy your full broadband bandwidth without being physically connected to your router.