Office networks: what you need to know about 802.11ac

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Office networks: what you need to know about 802.11ac

If you are buying wireless networking equipment for your office, consider future proofing your network with an 802.11ac router.


Wireless networking has made the leap from geeky gimmick to business essential. One of the problems has been that wireless has always meant compromising on speed but the new 801.11ac standard lifts wireless speeds from 600 Mbps with 802.11n to 1000Mbps, or 1Gbps, although that can be almost quadrupled when using multiple antennae.
So, what's this mean for your business?
The 802.11ac standard operates at 5GHz unlike 802.11n that can run on 5Ghz and/or 2.4GHz (depending on whether your gear has two radios or one). While it's faster, the benefits won't be realised until the wireless devices you connect, like tablets and computers, come with or can be upgraded with new radios.
In the next few months the first devices running on 802.11ac will come to market. For example, the DLink DIR-865L Wireless AC1750 Dual Band Cloud Router is expected to hit the market in a few weeks. It supports the full gamut of WiFi standards - 802.11a/b/g/n/ac - although you don't get the benefit of 802.11ac unless your devices support it either by connecting a USB adaptor or by waiting for new hardware with integrated 802.11ac to become available.
BIT's advice
If you desperately crave faster wireless and are happy to use USB adaptors then 802.11ac gear could be a viable option although we'd suggest waiting a little while for the IEEE to finalise the standard later this year - it's an official draft at the moment but significant changes are unlikely. By this time next year computers and other devices with integrated are expected, the standard will be settled and there will be plenty of product options to choose from.
Copyright © BIT (Business IT). All rights reserved.

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