New Wireless AC Routers Provide Amazing Coverage

New Wireless Routers Provide Amazing Coverage | Tech Tips Podcast by PcCG

New Wireless AC Routers – They're a bit pricey, but totally worth it if you have weak wireless signal.

The current wireless router types in order from newest to old:

  • Wireless AC (only a couple of these available on the market)
  • Wireless N (standard)
  • Wireless G (older – but still often fine)

Routers come out in “generations” that are generally governed by the letter attached to them, for example a wireless “G” router, or a wireless “N” router. There can be a lot of differences among different wireless-G routers, and I definitely have my preferred router brands; but in general a wireless “N” router will perform better than a wireless “G” router.

This entire discussion, and the letters attached to the routers is almost explicitly about the wireless abilities of the device. The new guy… wireless-AC has some pretty awesome improvements.

I have setup 4 Asus RT-AC66U routers and they have all performed miracles.

For example I had a client on Geist Lake with a rather large 3-level home including a basement floor. The house had a lot of stone walls, and was definitely built using rather sturdy construction – not a lot of cheap drywall. The client contacted me about their wireless woes, and how they have had the wireless worked on several times before with little success. This house was wired with 3 routers in order to cover the house, and with a complex setup like that, frequent resets and issues are bound to happen.

We decided to give the new AC router a try to see how it would perform. My expectations were not high for such a large house considering its construction. None-the-less we proceeded to remove the old equipment and then install a single RT-AC66U on the top center level of the house. We also added a couple higher-power antenna’s to give us a little extra boost, but it may not have been necessary. Better safe than sorry was the thought-process.

Amazingly this single router was able to reach the entire house with excellent to good signal. I am not often “amazed” at things, but WOW!

After that success, I decided to contact another client, who we had battled terrible wireless signal for over a year and offer the solution to her. Once again, it worked like a charm!

So I’m sold. The AC standard is the way to go if you have issues with weak wireless signal. I haven’t tested other AC routers, but read reports of them being on par with the ASUS router.

To get the MOST out of the wireless AC standard, you should have AC on the receiving end as well – but very few devices currently support AC. I am still however able to see a significant increase in signal using G and N devices on the receiving end.

This router (as well as a few other N routers) are “dual band”, meaning they can operate in the 2.4Ghz and/or 5Ghz range. This is great as the 2.4Ghz frequencies are very crowded and used by a lot of electronics. Frequency propagation characteristics also vary as you change frequencies; meaning in some situations 2.4Ghz might work better while in others 5Ghz might work better. If your equipment supports both bands, it will automatically switch to the better signal (usually) given you’ve set it up properly.

I do want to point out, if your current router is working fine for you – then there’s no need to run out and buy a new router just because the numbers are better. Generally speaking, if you have decent signal, then you won’t notice any difference.  I am still using wireless-N at home as it does the job in my small hut. 

Subscribe via Itunes | Subscribe via RSS