The modern era is of communication. Everyone and everything are connected through the internet. People used to communicate with each other through various means before the invention of the internet.
The Internet has made our everyday lives so much easier. Everything such as directions, recipe, music, email is just one click away. The Internet is advancing at a rapid rate. There was a time when 500 Kbps was considered high speed. Fast forward to the 21st century; now we have speeds of over 1 Gbps. All of this is thanks to constant iterations.
People used physical wires for quite some time, and then Wi-Fi was invented. This provided people to access the internet without any physical cables. Sure, cables were used to connect the router to the servers, but you had the power to access the internet via Wi-Fi from your device.
Two essential components make up a Wi-Fi network. A Wi-Fi client and a Wi-Fi access point. You all know about the device which connects you to the internet; the modem/router. A modem/router is responsible for creating a connection between your device and the internet. It supplies Wi-Fi signals to all your devices. There are different variations of routers with many differences.
It is essential to know about the types of routers, the differences in their specifications, and their purposes. When you look for routers, you may have seen some gibberish such as AC1200, AC1750, AC1900, and AC3200. For a non-tech savvy person, these numbers make absolutely no sense, but they represent some important functions of that router.
Today we are going to learn what AC represents, what the difference between AC1200 and AC 1750 is, and much more. This will help you purchase your next router with confidence.
What does AC represent?
Let’s start with the basics. You may have read 802.11 in many places, but do you know what it stands for? The 802.11 is a standard protocol developed by IEEE, whose purpose is to implement wireless local area network communication. It is a standard that is followed by everyone.
Over the years, this protocol is being emphasized with upgraded speeds and increased connection reliability. The first protocol was named 802.11.b, then 802.11a, then 802.11.g, then 802.11.n, and now we finally have 802.11.ac. This is the latest version of the Wi-Fi protocol.
This uses a dual-band to operate, meaning it can function at 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz radio band. With the new standard, beamforming was introduced, which transfers signals directly to the client’s device.
Another name for 802.11.ac is Wi-Fi 5. The Wi-Fi alliance changed the naming scheme, yet still, some people refer to it as 802.11.ac.
AC in ACXXXX represents that the router is of 802.11.ac standard. Almost all of the latest routers support 802.11.ac, but be careful to check. Now that this is clear, let’s discuss what the numbers after AC in ACXXXX represent.
What does XXXX represent in ACXXXX?
Now that it’s clear what AC represents let’s talk about the numbers which follow after AC. These numbers present the total maximum sum of bandwidth, which the router is capable of offering. Don’t confuse the ISP’s bandwidth speed with the router’s capable bandwidth speed.
The speed which your ISP has provided you are separate. It can be in the range of 1, 2, 4, 10, 50, or even 100 Mbps. The numbers after AC denotes the maximum speed that your router can offer. This is the capability of your router and has nothing to do with your ISP’s provided speed.
There are following variations in routers regarding speed:
As we stated that the numbers present the total sum of maximum speed. The sum is of the speed offered through the 5 GHz band and the 2.4 GHz band. All of the routers are a dual-band or triple band. Routers can have a 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz band, or a single 2.4 GHz band with two 5 GHz bands.
Difference between 2.4 GHz band and 5 GHz band:
The main difference is evident from the name. Both of these bands operate at different frequencies, and both have their pros and cons.
The 2.4 GHz band is jam-packed as many devices operate on this frequency, such as ovens, cordless phones, microwaves, Bluetooth devices, etc. In contrast to 2.4 GHz, the 5 GHz band is far less crowded.
The 2.4 GHz has a broader range than 5 GHz, so in large areas, 2.4 GHz is preferable over 5 GHz, as it can pass through walls and travel further. The 5 GHz band can offer far higher speeds than the 2.4 GHz band. 5 GHz has another drawback that it can’t penetrate walls with the same power as the 2.4 GHz band, so it is used in smaller areas.
AC1200 or AC1750?
Now comes the main question. Should you purchase AC1200 or AC1750 before deciding that let’s look at their differences.
AC1200 is capable of offering a total theoretical speed of 1200 Mbps, as the name states. It can provide 300 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 867 Mbps on the 5 GHz band. Similarly, the AC1750 can offer a total maximum speed of 1750 Mbps. It can deliver 450 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 1300 Mbps on the 5 GHz band.
If your ISP speeds are over 300 Mbps, then you’ll benefit from these routers with either AC1200 or AC1750.
The speed is the sole difference between both of them. Now it comes to the consumer, which he thinks is better for him. We recommend future proofing by purchasing the AC1750 as it offers higher speed on both 2.4 and 5 GHz bands.