What is 802.11ac? | Wireless AC | Wireless Standards: The IEEE 802.11ac standard is the first standard which came out with the brand name “Wi-Fi”. It provided high throughput WLANs (Wireless Local Area Network) on the 5GHz frequency band. The standard was developed since 2008 and was published on December 2013. It had a multistation throughput of minimum 1GB per second and for a single throughput, we get a minimum of 500MBPS.

What is 802.11ac? | Wireless AC | Wireless Standards

What is 802.11ac?

The Wireless AC represents the 5th generation of IEEE 802.11 standards. Comparing to the previous 802.11n and other predecessors 802.11ac provides better network performance and capability through advanced hardware and device firmware. The technical development of the Wireless AC started in the year 2011 but the standard was finalized on December 2013 and was accepted formally on January 2014. The earlier draft versions were released before finalizing the standards.

Read also about: 802.11a (Wireless A) | 802.11b (Wireless B) | 802.11n (Wireless N) | 802.11g (Wireless G)

What is 802.11ac?

To meet the competitive world and to support the increasingly common applications such as video streaming which requires very high-performance networking, the wireless ac was developed to perform quite similar to the Gigabit Ethernet. As planned, the 802.11-ac provides us a theoretical data rates up to 1 GB/S. The high-performance is achieved through the combination of wireless signaling enhancements. The wireless ac adopts a large number of MIMO (Multiple Inputs Multiple Outputs) radios and antennas which is used to enable more transmissions simultaneously.

What is 802.11ac? | Wireless AC | Wireless Standards

Comparison with previous generations

The 802.11-ac also operates under the 5GHz frequency band similar to 802.11a and it doesn’t operate under the 2.4GHz channels which are utilized by previous other generations. The designers of Wireless AC were more concerned about two things:

  1. To avoid wireless interference issues in the 2.4GHz frequency band as many consumer gadgets use the same frequencies.
  2. To implement or a design a wider signaling channel than the 2.4GHz band comfortably allows.

802.11ac | Wireless AC Wireless Signalling

The 802.11ac or the Wireless AC published their standard with the 5.8 GHz frequency and all the wireless devices in your home where manufactured for the frequency 2.4GHz. Hence, there were compatibility issues going on for the brand new Wireless AC devices. Hence they launched another device which operated under the frequency 2.4GHz which was similar to 802.11n. There is another new feature in Wireless AC and it is called as Beamforming. The beamforming is designed to increase the reliability of the wireless connections in crowded areas.

What is 802.11ac? | Wireless AC | Wireless Standards

802.11ac’s Beamforming Technology

The new beamforming technology enables the Wi-Fi radios to target their wireless signals in a particular direction where the receiving antennas are present rather than spreading the signal across all the directions as the other radios do. It is one of the main features designed by the wireless ac standard as an optional one, along with the double wide signal channels (i.e. 160MHZ instead of 80MHz). The wireless ac those offers us a 1300 MBPS on 5GHz bandwidth and 450 MBPS on the 2.4GHz bandwidth.

Pros and Cons

The below are the advantage of 802.11ac:

  • Very high speed
  • Inclusive of features such as Beamforming
  • Can be used by both 2.4GHz and 5GHz devices

The below are the disadvantages of 802.11ac:

  • Costs higher than previous generations
  • Compatibility issues with older devices as it adopts new technology.
What is 802.11ac? | Wireless AC | Wireless Standards

Evolution of Wi-FI

Thanks for reading the post!

Read also about: 802.11a (Wireless A) | 802.11b (Wireless B) | 802.11n (Wireless N) | 802.11g (Wireless G)