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Posts: 5,232
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Registered: ‎07-27-2015

Have you upgraded to wireless AC yet?

Every few years a new Wi-Fi standard comes out that improves upon the one before it. This almost always consists of incremental upgrades like faster speeds and better range, but sometimes does include new ground breaking features.

 

I remember when 802.11 N first came out and I immediately wanted to upgrade from my Linksys WRT54G router that literally everyone owned back then (little blue box with the black antennas on the back). I did upgrade shortly thereafter when I got a new laptop with N, and I experienced a noticeable upgrade over G.

 

Now with Wireless AC having been commonly available for about a year now, and standard in almost all new devices, it seems many people are choosing to upgrade again. I’m personally still running my Netgear N900, as I have pretty much everything that’s not a phone or tablet hardwired at gigabit speeds, and I don’t really feel the need to upgrade to AC at this point.

 

Have any of you taken the plunge and upgraded to AC yet? Have you noticed any major improvements over your previous wireless router?

Michael M|Social Media Specialist | Best Buy® Corporate
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Emerging Expert
Posts: 6,394
Registered: ‎02-25-2013

Re: Have you upgraded to wireless AC yet?

My gaming computer is not at AC but I am hoping to get a new one by next Christmas.   However, I am looking at getting a new router now becuase my current one is not gigabit on the Ethernet and my Roku and Tivo would certainly benefit from that when streaming.  And we I do a large game download I would hook my computer up with ethernet for better speed.

 

I am looking to the Netgear Nighthawks.

 

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Registered: ‎04-04-2013

Re: Have you upgraded to wireless AC yet?

I still run N and I still suggest and (sell) N routers to my clients. I mean let's be real how many people need that much of a fast bandwidth requirement in the first place. The only thing I personally see AC has going for it is the new version of wifi frequency traveling ( I forget the name for it at the moment )

Have to keep them stocked though cause as you said technology will evolve and when that happens they will get rid of the old. If BestBuy ever decides to get rid of their 600-900 series router mail me haha.
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I am not affiliated with Best Buy nor have I ever been employed by Best Buy. All of my thoughts and posts are of my own opinion and personal experience.

I may not always know the right answer, but I will always tell you what I do know. I also do free computer analysis and consultation via private message.
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Registered: ‎11-10-2008

Re: Have you upgraded to wireless AC yet?

I have the Wireless AC Linksys EA7500 router supplied by Tech Insider and it's impressive. We're a techy household all day with lots of devices running and it keeps them all smoothly running without lagging or making things buffer. 

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Posts: 1,788
Registered: ‎12-02-2011

Re: Have you upgraded to wireless AC yet?

Thoughts...

  • how fast is your internet download speed right now on speed test?  How fast is it when it's Ethernet connected?  I don't care how fast Wireless standards get... it will not be faster than Ethernet connected.
  • look at your internet provider bill.... how fast is the download you are subscribed to?  Are you willing to pay more for the faster download speed?  Who thinks Internet charges are too low?
  • I have too much interference at the home.... I found Powerline as a good alternative.  Like wireless options.... each device in each home will have different results with interference.  Use SpeedTest to explore.
  • my laptop is too old for Wireless AC.  Do I want to give up a USB port for a wireless dongle?  Is it going to get smashed off when I take my laptop around the house?
Emerging Expert
Posts: 6,394
Registered: ‎02-25-2013

Re: Have you upgraded to wireless AC yet?

Personally my main reason for upgrading is for the Gigabit ethernet.  My current router is at least 7 or 8 years old and for normal everyday wifit to the devices the supported speed is plenty.  

 

I want it more for connections to my TIVO and ROKU for streaming content. I often have a bit of lag time when streaming via my TIVO but not nearly as much when i try to stream the same thing via my wifi 

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Emerging Expert
Posts: 6,394
Registered: ‎02-25-2013

Re: Have you upgraded to wireless AC yet?

As a follow up to this conversation. I ended up purchasing a NetGear Nighthawk Dual Band AC1900 router.

 

The results were tremendous.  The last time I tried to download a purchased software on my old router the software was 12 GB and it took many many many hours.  After purchasing the router I purchased a digital download of a game from BB.  6 GB and it took 25 to 30 minutes to download.

 

The connetion speed and resulting performance to my ROKU was also greatly improved.  

 

Essentially everything was significantly faster.  The only drawback that irks me is the software interface, Netgear Genie, isn't as functional as what I had with my Cisco Router.  

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New Member
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎08-10-2016

Re: Have you upgraded to wireless AC yet?

I don't see much of a point for most people in the United States. An N standard router typically has a top speed of 450 Mbps, which is equivalent to 56.25 megabytes per second (MBps)... An AC router has a theoretical limit of 1300 megabits per second which amounts to 162.5 megabytes per second.

 

That said, most users on major services won't exceed that 56.25MBps speed. Futhermore, most games won't use that much bandwidth.

 

I will say, that I have an ASUS AC 1900 router/AP. I use it for a large deployment for wifi calling and texting in a rural area. My big rig desktop is connected via CAT6 ethernet. I run Kali Linux on it, and it runs all of my networking tools perfectly.

Emerging Expert
Posts: 6,394
Registered: ‎02-25-2013

Re: Have you upgraded to wireless AC yet?

I  upgraded to an AC router and I instanly noticed a significantly faster increase in speed on my computer doing internet things.  I had avoided buying digial games for a few years.  A week after I set it up and a downloaded Crysis 3 and it took a fraction of the time.

 

Granted in part it is due to the dual band router and I put the rest of my household on the other band.

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