As a tech enthusiast, I’m always on the lookout for ways to improve my home’s connectivity and overall network performance. Over the years, I’ve tried and tested numerous routers to find the perfect fit for my needs. In this article, I’ll share my insights on why upgrading to an AC router is essential for your home network.
Introduction to routers
Routers are an integral part of any home network, working as the central hub to manage and direct internet traffic between devices. They are responsible for distributing Wi-Fi signals throughout your home, ensuring that all your devices have access to a reliable internet connection. With the advancements in technology, it’s crucial to keep your router up-to-date to support the increasing demands of modern devices and applications.
What is an AC router?
An AC router, also known as a wireless AC router or router wireless AC, is a type of router that supports the latest Wi-Fi standard called 802.11ac. This standard is designed to offer faster speeds, improved range, and increased reliability compared to older router standards such as 802.11n or 802.11g. AC routers are becoming increasingly popular as more devices become compatible with the 802.11ac standard.
Benefits of upgrading to an AC router
There are several advantages to upgrading to an AC router for your home network. These include:
- Faster speeds: AC routers are designed to provide significantly faster speeds compared to older router standards. With an AC router, you can expect wireless AC max speeds of up to 1300 Mbps, which is about three times faster than wireless N routers. This means faster downloads, smoother video streaming, and improved gaming experience for all your devices.
- Better range and coverage: AC routers use advanced beamforming technology, which allows them to direct Wi-Fi signals more accurately towards your devices. This leads to a stronger and more stable connection, even in larger homes or areas with multiple floors.
- Increased network capacity: The AC standard router can handle more devices simultaneously compared to older router models. This is particularly useful in households with numerous devices such as smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, and gaming consoles that require a constant internet connection.
- Improved overall network performance: Upgrading to an AC router can help alleviate network congestion and improve the overall performance of your home network. This is especially important for families with multiple devices streaming high-definition content or engaging in bandwidth-intensive activities like online gaming.
AC wireless speed explained
AC wireless speed refers to the maximum theoretical data transfer rate that a wireless AC router can achieve. The actual speed that you experience on your devices may be lower than the advertised AC router speeds due to factors such as interference, distance, and network congestion. However, even with these factors considered, an AC router still offers significantly faster speeds than older router models.
When comparing AC router speeds, you’ll often see numbers like AC1200, AC1900, or AC2600. These numbers are a combination of the maximum theoretical speeds of the router’s 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. For example, an AC1200 router offers 300 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 900 Mbps on the 5 GHz band, adding up to a total of 1200 Mbps.
AC wireless router vs. traditional router
The main difference between an AC wireless router and a traditional router lies in the supported Wi-Fi standards and the resulting performance. Traditional routers typically support older Wi-Fi standards such as 802.11n, 802.11g, or even 802.11b, which offer slower speeds and less reliable connections compared to the 802.11ac standard supported by AC routers.
In addition to faster speeds, AC routers also offer improved range and network capacity. This means that upgrading to a Wi-Fi AC router can help eliminate dead zones in your home and allow more devices to connect to your network without causing congestion.
Factors to consider when choosing an AC router
When shopping for the best Wi-Fi router AC for your home network, there are several factors to consider. These include:
- Speed: As mentioned earlier, AC routers come with different speed ratings. Consider your internet usage habits and choose a router with sufficient speeds to support your activities. For example, if you require high-speed internet for activities such as gaming or 4K streaming, opt for an AC router with higher speeds like AC1900 or AC2600.
- Range: Consider the size of your home and the coverage you require from your router. If you have a larger home or multiple floors, look for an AC router with advanced features such as beamforming technology and multiple antennas to help improve range and signal strength.
- Price: AC routers come in a wide range of prices. Set a budget that suits your needs and compare different models within that price range to find the best value for your money.
- Additional features: Some AC routers come with extra features such as built-in USB ports, parental controls, or even integrated smart home hubs. Consider your specific needs and choose a router that offers the features you require.
The importance of router placement
Proper router placement is crucial for optimizing your home network’s performance. To achieve the best possible signal strength and coverage, consider the following tips:
- Place your router in a central location within your home to ensure even coverage throughout the space.
- Keep your router elevated and away from obstructions such as walls, furniture, or large appliances.
- Avoid placing your router near other electronic devices that may cause interference, such as microwaves or cordless phones.
- If possible, place your router close to the devices that require the strongest and most stable connection.
AC router speeds – what to expect
As previously mentioned, the advertised AC router speeds represent the maximum theoretical data transfer rates. While you may not experience the exact speeds advertised, upgrading to an AC router will still result in a noticeable improvement in your network’s speed and performance.
Factors such as network congestion, interference, and distance can affect the actual speeds you experience. However, with an AC router, you can expect faster and more stable connections compared to older router models.
Best AC routers on the market
There are numerous AC routers available on the market, each offering unique features and catering to different budgets. Some of the best Wi-Fi router AC options include:
- Netgear Nighthawk AX12: This powerful AC router offers impressive speeds, range, and performance, making it an excellent choice for large homes or heavy internet users.
- Asus RT-AC88U: This feature-rich AC router boasts excellent speed, range, and performance, along with robust parental controls and built-in USB ports.
- TP-Link Archer C4000: This budget-friendly AC router offers impressive speeds and performance, making it a great option for those looking to upgrade their home network without breaking the bank.
Conclusion – why upgrading to an AC router is essential
Upgrading to an AC router is essential for anyone looking to optimize their home network’s speed, range, and overall performance. With faster speeds, improved range, increased network capacity, and better overall performance, an AC router is an investment that will significantly enhance your home’s connectivity.
Whether you’re a heavy internet user, a gamer, or simply someone who wants to enjoy seamless streaming and browsing on multiple devices, an AC router is a must-have for your home network. Don’t wait any longer – upgrade to an AC router today and experience the benefits for yourself.