Wireless 802.11ac -What’s new

IEEE Wireless standards table

In the last year, the IEEE Standards Association approved a new wireless standard called 802.11ac. What does that mean for you? In a nutshell, faster wireless speeds. Currently, the 802.11n standard offers up to 600mb per second speed (depending on antenna and frequency configuration) and the new 802.11ac standard offers 1GB per second speed. The industry has seen the writing on the wall with so many wifi only devices on the market and the huge jump to tablet and portable devices being used more commonly in the workplace day to day. While only operating in the 5ghz space, not every older device will be able to connect, but most certainly newer devices will be able to connect and use this new speed. IEEE Wireless standards table

The other piece to consider though is once you put up these new access points and thinking “hey we just got all this great speed, we can do anything now” you must consider what else in your network might be a bottleneck. If you have 10/100 switches or routers in your environment, they can’t process 1GB speed. If you have a wireless card in your laptop or mobile that can’t handle 1GB speed, that too is a bottleneck. If your internet provider is providing you with 10MB or even 30MB download speed, then your ISP will be a bottleneck. Combine that with a bunch of devices now trying to connect at 1GB speeds (give or take) you could actually slow your network down instead of making things faster. So before you run out to upgrade the company wireless, make sure the rest of the infrastructure will be able to handle the extra load you’re about to put on it.

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