Tag Archives: WIreless-G

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 its 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-AC
Max Throughput (Speeds):54 Mbps900 Mbps5300 Mbps
Max Wireless Range (Radius):75 Ft200 Ft500 Ft
Wireless Channel Widths:20 Mhz20/40 Mhz20/40/80/160 Mhz
Wireless Bands:One 2.4 Ghz (Single Band)One 2.4Ghz & One 5 Ghz (Dual Band)One 2.4 Ghz & Up To Two 5 Ghz (Tri-Band)

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 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 2400 Mbps
Asus RT-AC87U DD-WRT

Wireless-AC 2600 Mbps
Netgear R7800 X4S DD-WRT

Wireless-AC 3200 Mbps
Linksys WRT3200ACM DD-WRT – Best Recommended Wireless-AC Router
Netgear x6 R8000 AC3200 DD-WRT

Wireless-AC 5300 Mbps
Asus RT-AC5300 DD-WRT

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

For more DD-WRT Router & VPN Service Provider info, product updates, and specials, follow us on Twitter @flashrouters or like us on Facebook.

Fixes for Apple Wi-Fi Issues (iPhones, iPads, AppleTVs): Pt. I

Can the iPad Come Out and Play?

Apple users tend to be very attached to their iPads, AppleTVs, iPhones & Macbooks for intuitive, consistent interface. However, their number one complaint is either flaky or absent Wi-Fi when using Apple networking products like the Apple Airport Extreme, Apple Time Capsule, or Airport Express in their network.

Apple devices are meant to work well in their own contained ecosystem but when they enter the real world, they don’t necessarily play well with others. And while you can control this pretty easily at home, it is unlikely that everywhere you go will be using Apple friendly hardware. Fortunately, there are several ways of checking if the issue is fixable. The first thing you should do is check for Wireless Channels & Wireless Signal Interference.

Wireless Signal Interference

You may not know it, but placing your router next to the wrong household appliance could be the cause of your connection problems. Apple lists a large array of possible root causes of signal loss & possible wireless hindrances for iPads, AppleTVs etc that operate on the same band as wireless routers (2.4 GHz & 5 GHz) including:

  • Microwave ovens (i.e. Using your microwave oven near your computer).
  • 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz cordless telephones, baby monitors, digital cameras or wireless speakers.
  • Direct Satellite Service (DSS): Coax cable and connectors used with certain types of satellite dishes may cause interference. Check cable damage and obtain newer cables if you suspect RF leakage.
  • External Computer Monitors & LCD displays: Certain displays may emit harmonic interference, especially in the 2.4GHz band between channels 11 and 14. This interference would probably be at its worst if you have a portable computer with the lid closed and an external monitor connected to it. Try changing your access point to use 5 GHz or a lower 2.4 GHz channel.

How to Test for Wireless Interference/Channels

One excellent habit to get into if you are having signal issues and live in a high density area is to use the free tool inSSIDer.

inSSIDer is an intuitive program that allows you to scan and see where all those wireless signals on your Internet Connection options menu are coming from and if they are conflicting with yours. You can also see the strength of your own network in comparison to those around you.

Screenshot-of-the-free-Wi-Fi-Analyzing-Program-inSSIDer

As you can see, there are a lot of wireless signals around me. I live in a highly populated area (in lovely suburban New Jersey) inside a cluster of houses and across the street from a 5 floor apartment building. There are tons of wireless signals and SSIDs, and plenty of interference on all wireless channels. Oftentimes it is hard for me to even find an open channel, so if I am having signal issues, I just try switching them up

The wireless signal transmission options in the US for the 2.4 Ghz standard wireless band are 1, 6, and 11. These signals vary from country to country. Wikipedia has a highly technical page that goes into an in-depth analysis of wireless signals.

Most routers have a wireless channel option of Auto. However, if you leave the router on for an extended period time without rebooting, it may not be constantly checking for the best channel, but rather only checking for the best channel at the time the router loads. This is one of the reasons why rebooting your router seems to magically fix many common issues.

Mobile Wi-FI Scanning Apps & Using Wireless-N Properly

If you want to scan wireless signals, wireless channels and interference on the go, we recommend the excellent and also free WiFi Analyzer app for Android, iPad or iPhone that you can see below.

wifianalyzer-24ghz-vs-5ghz

Sadly, my laptop does not have a 5 GHz WiFi signal but my new Samsung Galaxy III does and you can see the difference in signal clarity. I’m all alone up HERE!

OSGU3 is an ISP router that is in Mixed Wireless Mode to accommodate other WiFi users with older devices in my home that do not have Wireless-N capabilities. If all your devices are on Wireless-N and you do not have to capitulate to the slow Wireless-G speeds, changing your Wireless Network mode from Mixed to N-Only will likely give a signal boost.

Both of the signals on my Simultaneous Dual Band DD-WRT Netgear R7000 are optimized for AC-Only.

With my DD-WRT router, I can also view and tweak the options of each signal and have decided to capitalize on this 5 GHz opening by making this a Wireless-N only signal, thereby allowing it to transmit at its highest capacity.

DDWRT-5Ghz-Wireless-Status

The issue with 5 GHz is that it’s signal distance is not as great. 5 GHz is preferred for streaming unencumbered wireless video at closer distances. If you will be working in a good proximity to your router most of the time with an iPad or later version iPhone but can’t plug in, using a Dual Band router and tweaking its 5 GHz settings may solve the problem. If you are having a poor Netflix experience with you AppleTV or Roku, switching the signal to the 5 GHz band on a DD-WRT router could do the trick.

DD-WRT is a router based firmware upgrade that improves signal stability and performance. It also has many advanced features that don’t usually come with a router such as Repeater/Client Bridge modes, OpenVPN server/client options and a whole lot more. To learn more about upgraded options that come with the DD-WRT firmware upgrade, check out our Intro to DD-WRT.

For more wireless connection tips, check back next week where we will be discussing wireless encryption tips.  You can also follow us on Twitter@flashrouters or like us on Facebook.