Tag Archives: Best Wireless-AC Wireless Routers

802.11ax – The Next WiFi Communications Standard (Router FAQ)

Wireless-AX Is Coming

Wireless-AX Is Coming

Every year at the Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, companies often unveil new and innovative technologies.

This year at CES, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, or IEEE, announced the next big thing in wireless technology, 802.11ax. Although it may take a few years to release to the public, IEEE’s series of 802.11 standards is getting a big improvement.

What Is IEEE 802.11?

If you aren’t familiar, this is the IEEE’s standard for networking protocols. This includes 802.11g, 802.11n 802.11ac, and many other protocols. This forms the basis of the technology commonly known as Wi-Fi.

Essentially, the IEEE standards are a set of technological capabilities and features that devices must have. This is to ensure that devices made around the world are compatible with each other.

What Improvements Will 802.11ax/Wireless-AX Bring?

Despite being a few years from launch, 802.11ax will have many new capabilities.

With 802.11ac, the standard broadened the multi-antenna capabilities introduced in 802.11n, called MIMO, or multiple input multiple output. 802.11ax, however, will subdivide frequencies even further, using a technology called MIMO-OFDM. This stands for orthogonal frequency division multiplexing.

Generally speaking, MIMO-OFDM will be able to increase throughput. While second-wave 802.11ac technology can handle potential gigabit speeds, 802.11ax will be able to deliver as much as five times as much bandwidth.

Currently, routers use the standard 4×4 MU-MIMO (multi-user, multiple input, and multiple output). The new standard will be 8×8 MU-MIMO, on both the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands. This means the 802.11ax standard will be able to supply eight data streams up and down your network as opposed to the previous four.

802.11ax offers more than just a speed upgrade. It will offer an efficiency and reliability upgrade as well, targeting large, high-density Wi-Fi deployments. The goal is to keep connections active even when interfered with heavily.

What Will 802.11ax/Wireless-AX Routers Look Like?

Alongside the unveiling of the new wireless standard, D-Link also announced two new home networking devices: the AX6000 and the AX11000 Ultra Wi-Fi routers.

The AX6000 is a dual-band router that D-Link states will deliver up to 6,000Mbps of bandwidth. The AX11000 is a tri-band device that will deliver up to 11,000Mbps. Of course, these numbers are only what the devices are capable of and are unlikely to be reached in practice.

The D-Link AX11000 Ultra Wi-Fi Router

The D-Link AX11000 Ultra Wi-Fi Router

These devices will come with eight high-performance antennas, a 2.5Gbps WAN port, four Gigabit LAN ports, DLNA support, as well as a USB 3.0 port for networked storage.

As far as a release is concerned, D-Link expects the routers to release in the second half of 2018 due to 802.11ax still being in early development. This could be delayed until 2019 if 802.11ax features still need to be fleshed out.

Until Then, What Are The Best Routers?

Currently, the best wireless standard is IEEE 802.11ac or 802.11ad. Wireless-AC offers wide bandwidth capabilities of a mandatory 80Mhz channel with an optional 160Mhz. As mentioned before, 802.11ac introduced MU-MIMO, allowing communication of up to four different devices simultaneously.

However, the main strength of wireless-AC comes from the introduction of a 5GHz band. Up until then, wireless-N and wireless-G only supported the 2.4Ghz band which is often cluttered with signal interference. Devices such as cordless phones, Bluetooth devices, and microwaves could disrupt your wireless signal.

To combat a cluttered wireless signal, FlashRouters recommends the Linksys WRT32X AC3200. This powerful router provides solid wireless coverage throughout medium and large homes and is perfect for 6 – 8 simultaneous devices. With one 2.4Ghz band and two 5Ghz bands, the whole family can stay connected.

Here at FlashRouters, we improve upon these features even more by flashing open-source firmware such as DD-WRT and Tomato. This could be anything from wireless speed increases to fixing stability issues, although the biggest strength of a FlashRouter is the ability to install a VPN on the router.

Best Netgear DD-WRT

Check out some of our top-of-the-line wireless-AC models or the future-proofing Wireless-AD Netgear R9000 to tide you over until wireless-AX comes out.

Questions about wireless standards? Feel free to contact us for more information!

The Difference Between Wireless-N, Wireless-AC and Wireless-AD

Difference Between Wireless G, N, AC

UPDATED 7/17/2018

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.

Table Of Contents

What Are The Different Wireless Standards?

The wireless standard that we know today was created by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers or IEEE.

IEEE 802.11 is a wireless networking standard created to keep manufacturers wireless routers and wireless networking devices (PS4, Laptops, Tablets, SmartTVs,  XboxOne, iPhones, Roku) on the same page. These standards include IEEE 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, 802.11ac, and 802.11ad. So what are these standards and what do they have to do with you?

What is Wireless-G & Wireless-N?

Wireless-G and Wireless-N are terms referring to 802.11g and 802.11n wireless networking standards set by the IEEE.

802.11g was a wireless standard is on its way out from modern usage. It offered speeds of up to 54 Mbps and was quickly adopted due to its upgrade in speed over 802.11b.

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.

Wireless-N was created to improve network throughput (maximum speed and transmission capabilities) over the two prior standards—802.11b and 802.11g.

Wireless-N was a significant upgrade from Wireless-G for the following reasons:

  • Increased maximum data transmission rate from 54Mbps to up to 900Mbps
  • Wider bandwidth capabilities to 40 Mhz
  • Increased security and improvement of stability and range

While these features may have been an upgrade from Wireless-G, Wireless-N is now being phased out with a new successor. Luckily, new routers and wireless standards will still support Wireless-N and the older wireless standards.

Looking for a router that supports your Wireless-N devices? Check out our Netgear Nighthawk R7000 AC1900 DD-WRT FlashRouter!

What is Wireless-AC?

Wireless-AC is the next iteration of the IEEE’s wireless standards. The 802.11ac standard greatly improves nearly every aspect of Wireless-N.

Wireless-AC has increasingly become more formalized and is essentially the minimum for every wireless-capable device. Some improvements include:

  • Increased maximum data transmission rates of up to 5300 Mbps
  • Wider bandwidth capabilities of 80 Mhz as well as an optional 160 Mhz channel
  • Additional 5 GHz frequency band for faster speeds and less wireless clutter

For the best Wireless-AC speeds we recommend the Linksys WRT3200ACM DD-WRT FlashRouter.

What is Wireless-AD?

Wireless-AD is among the newest wireless standards to hit the consumer market. As with any new wireless standard, nearly every aspect has been improved and upgraded. Some of these upgrades include:

  • Increased maximum data transmission rates of up to 7200 Mbps
  • Additional 60 GHz frequency band
  • High-quality 4K movie downloads in mere minutes

However, Wireless-AD is not backward compatible. Simply put, there are few very Wireless-AD compatible devices that support the new 60 GHz frequency band.

What is Wireless-AD? The Netgear R9000 DD-WRT

Currently, that makes Wireless-AD a great future proofing feature on the routers that support it, such as the Netgear Nighthawk R9000 X10 AD7200 DD-WRT FlashRouter. When Wireless-AD becomes adopted as the standard, you will be ready.

Why Should You Upgrade To Wireless-AC?

Hanging onto an older Wireless-G or Wireless-N router means you are sacrificing overall speed and security while actually hindering the wireless capabilities for newer devices.

Using a Wireless-G or Wireless-N 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-GWireless-NWireless-ACWireless-AD
Max Throughput (Speeds):54 Mbps900 Mbps5300 Mbps7200 Mbps
Max Wireless Range (Radius):75 Ft200 Ft500 Ft500 Ft
Wireless Channel Widths:20 Mhz20/40 Mhz20/40/80/160 Mhz5/10/20 Mhz
Wireless Bands:One 2.4 Ghz (Single Band)One 2.4Ghz & One 5 Ghz (Dual Band)One 2.4 Ghz & Two 5 Ghz (Tri-Band)One 2.4 Ghz, Two 5 GHz Bands, & 60 GHz Bands (Quad-Stream)

Of course, these ranges are maximum distances in optimal conditions. Most of us don’t live in a world where there is 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 even microwaves.

While Wireless-AD is the latest iteration of the standard, getting a premium Wireless-AC router is the best way to ensure compatibility with the best performance.

Here is a handy list of some of our most popular Wireless-AC Routers and their manufacturer speed maximums:

Top FlashRouters By Maximum Speeds

Wireless-AC 1900 Mbps
Linksys WRT1900ACS/AC v2 DD-WRT Top Budget Wireless-AC Option
Netgear R7000 Nighthawk DD-WRT

Wireless-AC 2600 Mbps
Netgear R7800 X4S DD-WRT

Wireless-AC 3200 Mbps
Linksys WRT3200ACM DD-WRT – Best Recommended Wireless-AC Router

Wireless-AC 5300 Mbps
Asus RT-AC5300 DD-WRT – Best Range Router of 2018

Wireless-AD 7200 Mbps
Netgear R9000 DD-WRT – Most Powerful DD-WRT Router of 2018

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 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.

Buying one of these routers with a DD-WRT upgrade can make a world of difference in their overall performance and create a new bedrock for your networking gateway.

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