What is Wireless N & Wireless G?
People generally refer to all Wireless Internet as WiFi but, as with a lot of technical jargon, WiFi as a term is often misused. Are you one of those people constantly asking: Why is my Internet or my WiFi so slow??!?
Very often, it is not the Internet provider’s fault. Rather, it all comes down to the type of router you are using and the speed it offers
Wireless-N and Wireless-G are terms referring to 802.11n and 802.11g wireless networking standards set by Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the professional organization and standard bearers for electronics discussion and publication among working professionals.
By setting a wireless standard, the multitude of manufacturing entities creating wireless networking products (routers) and wireless networking devices (PS4, Laptops, Tablets, SmartTVs, XboxOne, iPhones, Roku) can all start on the same page. Imagine if a given wireless networking device was only able to connect to certain routers at certain places. It would result in a major loss of continuity for users and would cause anything from minor headaches to mass frustration.
Wireless networking standards such as Wireless-N and Wireless-G go through many iterations/versions called drafts until they are finally settled upon for publication and mass use.
IEEE 802.11n is a wireless networking standard created to improve network throughput (maximum speed and transmission capabilities) over the two prior standards—802.11a and 802.11g. For example, most coffee shop hotspot routers run on Wireless-G (54 Mbps) or even Wireless-B (11 Mbps). They are constantly being shared by many people so it can be somewhat slow to connect and actually surf the web.
What made Wireless-N significant is that it increased the maximum data transmission rate more than tenfold from 54 Mbps to 600-900 Mbps. Wireless-N also opened up additional spectrum area for wireless transmission, allowing for the use of four spatial streams in at a channel width of 40 MHz. That is double the channel width of Wireless-G. 802.11n standardized support/technical specifications for multiple-input multiple-output (AKA MIMO). It also increased security and improved several additional features.
Watch this video for more insight into the upgraded features on the RT-N66U Tomato FlashRouter.
What is Wireless-AC?
Enhancements of 802.11n are currently being drafted and tested and may even included on certain brand new routers as 802.11ac or Wireless-AC.
Wireless-AC has increasingly become more formalized and is now included on many devices including Roku, iPhone & most newer streaming devices. We have added the Linksys WRT1900ACS DD-WRT and Netgear R7000 Nighthawk DD-WRT which are ready for max-performance Wireless-AC upgrades.
What is Wireless-AD?
Even more recently, there is now Wireless-AD. What separates Wireless-AD from most WiFi connections today is the use of the 60GHz spectrum instead of the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz bands. The max speed of Wireless-AD is 7Gbps. This is 4 Gbps higher than the max speeds of Wireless-AC.
However, Wireless-AD is not backward compatible. Simply put, there are few very Wireless-AD compatible devices, if any…..yet. This means that current devices cannot take advantage of Wireless-AD speed. Currently, that makes Wireless-AD a great future proofing feature on the routers that offer it, until Wireless AD replaces Wireless-AC to become the new standard. When it does, you will be ready.
Why You Should Upgrade to Wireless-AC from Wireless-N and Wireless-G?
Hanging onto an older Wireless-G router means you are sacrificing overall speed and security while actually hindering the wireless capabilities for newer devices.
Using a Wireless-G router with your iPad may feel like trying to catching a fish with a stick. It may eventually work, but it certainly not the most efficient way to get the job done. This is not an iPhone 6S to iPhone 7 type upgrade where you have a little bit sleeker device and a few new features to play with. When a wireless standard is jumped, you are talking MAJOR wireless connectivity improvements.
Want to see the differences between Wireless AC, Wireless-N and Wireless-G? Well, here’s a quick breakdown for you.
Wireless G vs Wireless N Comparison
Wireless-G: 54 Mbps
Wireless-N: 600-900 Mbps
Wireless Range (Radius): 75 ft vs up to 200-500 ft
Wireless Channel Width:
Wireless-G: 20 MHz
Wireless-N: 40 MHz
Wireless-AC: 20/40/80 MHz
Of course, these ranges are maximum distances in optimal conditions. Most of us don’t live in a world where there are no other wireless interference. Even if you don’t see any other wireless signals in your range, there is still a laundry list of devices that can cost you range, such as Cordless Phones, Baby Monitors and Microwaves.
Getting a high performing router Wireless-AC is the best way to overcome these issues. And here are some tips to make your Wireless-AC router perform better in our explainer video.
Here is a handy list of some of our most popular Wireless-N & Wireless-AC Router Routers and their manufacturer speed maximums:
Wireless-N 900 Mbps
Dark Knight Asus RT-N66U Tomato
Wireless-AC 2400 Mbps
Asus RT-AC87U DD-WRT
Wireless-AC 5300 Mbps
Asus RT-AC5300 DD-WRT – Most Powerful DD-WRT Router of 2016
Netgear R9000 DD-WRT – Most Powerful DD-WRT Router of 2017
If you are looking to get “faster wifi,” these are the devices you want to buy.
Upgrading these router’s firmware to the powerful DD-WRT or Tomato firmware platform on all of these routers, as FlashRouters does, allows you more control over the signal while improving signal strength and stability. Many of these routers have excellent hardware but the manufacturer’s firmware actually hinders their abilities.
Post Updated: 6/9/2017