Wireless AC vs N | Comparison, Pros & Cons: Wireless AC (802.11ac) is the fifth generation wireless technology and Wireless N (802.11N) was the previous generation. The other generations of the family 802.11 are Wireless A, Wireless B, and Wireless G. Here we are going to see the comparison between Wireless AC and N. The wireless ac standards were finalized in the year 2013 and nowadays every smartphone, laptops get released with this standard. The Wireless N has been around since 2007 and it has major benefits included as well.

To know more about What is 802.11AC (Wireless AC)? and What is 802.11N (Wireless N)? click on the corresponding links. The comparison of the standards depends on three main factors. The factors are as follows:

  • Speed
  • Range
  • Availability & Price

Let us compare the two standards with the above factors and determine which is suitable to buy.

Wireless AC vs N Speed

After the development of 802.11N standards, there were a gap of seven years for another standard to be released and approved. But the wait never failed. The Wireless AC was developed which was able to transmit data at a higher speed than any other device. The WiFi devices are promoted with the theoretical speed and by its standard, wireless ac is capable of transmitting 1300 megabits per second (i.e., 1300 Mbps). This is equal to transmitting 162.5 Megabytes per second (162.5 MBps). This speed is three times faster than Wireless-N’s speed which has a theoretical record of 450 Mbps.

Wireless AC vs N | Comparison, Pros & Cons

Wireless AC vs N Speed | Comparison, Pros & Cons

Actually, the theoretical speed can never be matched in the real world. In the real world, the maximum speed recorded for Wireless AC is 720 Mbps (i.e. 90MBps) and for the wireless N, the maximum speed recorded is 240 Mbps (i.e., 30MBps). This makes an evidence that the  802.11N is 3 times lesser than 802.11AC. But the speed gained in the real world much lower than the theoretical speed.

But while comparing AC and N, AC tops in the speed test and it is three times more than the Wireless N.

Wireless AC vs N Range

The Wireless AC operates at the frequency 5GHz and the Wireless N operates at the frequency 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. 5GHz frequency can make data transmission faster but it doesn’t give signals for a longer range like 2.4 GHz. 5GHz frequency bands are available for a shorter distance only. 2.4GHz covers the longer distance than 5GHz but the speed is higher in 5GHz. This is because all other household appliances (Bluetooth, Cordless Phones etc) uses 2.4GHz which interfere with 2.4GHz devices but 5GHz doesn’t get any interference and hence, the speed is faster.

Wireless AC vs N | Comparison, Pros & Cons

Wireless AC vs N Range | Comparison, Pros & Cons

On the other hand, Wireless AC supports beamforming technology. Wireless N spreads signal in all direction and most of the signals get wasted. But Wireless AC supports beamforming technology which transmits the signal only in a particular direction where the receiver is present. This reduces signal loss as well. These specialties of Wireless AC makes that the performance is far better than Wireless N for the ranges given below:

  • 802.11ac | Wireless AC: One meter – 90MBps | Ten meters – 70 MBps | 20 meters (Beyond two solid walls) – 50 MBps
  • 802.11n | Wireless N: One meter – 30MBps | Ten meters – 20 MBps | 20 meters (Beyond two solid walls) – 5 to 10 MBps

Wireless AC vs N Availability & Price

Wireless N (802.11n) standards were established in the year 2007 and it was one of the most used devices during that time. After seven years, Wireless AC got released and it implemented new technologies which were quite high and unaffordable. But nowadays all the devices are compatible with 802.11ac standards and the Wireless AC devices are available in plenty. The price range has also reduced from the starting.

Wireless AC vs N | Comparison, Pros & Cons

Wireless AC vs N Availability & Price | Comparison, Pros & Cons

Wireless AC gives you a higher speed than Wireless N and this makes it a reason to invest in Wireless AC even if it seems costlier than Wireless N. The world is moving faster and we should match their speed as well. Hence, Investing a little higher to get maximum speed will be the most suggested idea. All the current generation smartphones and laptops support all the standards. While buying 802.11ac devices, makes sure you look into the reviews and get them.

The above are the various main factors compared to Wireless AC vs N. Our conclusion is to go for 802.11ac devices as you get more output from it.

Thanks for reading the post!

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