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Difference Between These 3 Wireless Adapters And Which Is The Best For My Setup?

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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August 2, 2014 11:50:11 AM

I just got a new Wireless AC Router and I am purchased the ASUS PCE-AC68 PCI network adapter. I got that model because I had read high reviews on it and it had the two things that I require: 802.11AC and external antennas.

I installed it yesterday and it works great. Excellent signal strength, good software, etc.

I went to Newegg.com today and looked to see if there were other ASUS PCI AC adapters and there are 3 of them: PCE-AC66, PCE-AC56, and PCE-AC68. To find out the difference I went to the ASUS website and did a product comparison and I am a little confused about the results. Here is a quick summary of what the compare page listed:

Network Standard
[PCE-AC66] IEEE 802.11ac
[PCE-AC56] IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
[PCE-AC68] IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac

Antenna
[PCE-AC66] 3 x R SMA Antenna
[PCE-AC56] 2 x R SMA Antenna
[PCE-AC68] 3 x R SMA Antenna

Operating Frequency
[PCE-AC66] 2.4GHz/5.1~5.8GHz
[PCE-AC56] 2.4GHz/5GHz
[PCE-AC68] 2.4GHz/5GHz

My first question is what is the difference between 802.11ac (the AC66 model) and 802.11a/b/g/n/ac? Is the latter better because it supports more modes?

Also, would anyone mind explaining the Operating Frequency specs? Like what's the difference between those 3 and why one would want one over the other?

The prices for each are as follows:

[PCE-AC66] ~$70 USD
[PCE-AC56] ~$73 USD
[PCE-AC68] ~$100 USD

Given my home network (AC Wireless Router, Sufboard SB6121 Cable Modem) and the fact that I live in a small condo and I am the only who ever connects to the network, do you think buying the AC68 yesterday was overkill when I could have got a cheaper one?

Thank you.

Jan

[PCE-AC66] http://www.asus.com/us/Compare/Product.aspx?P_ID=BMGZHo...
[PCE-AC56] http://www.asus.com/us/Compare/Product.aspx?P_ID=ajFpUl...
[PCE-AC68] http://www.asus.com/us/Compare/Product.aspx?P_ID=5nt5Va...

Best solution

August 2, 2014 9:02:33 PM

For a small condo, this is definitely overkill. Any AC adapters will be backwards compatible to earlier standards of N, g and even a and b.

You can get away with a cheaper adapter.
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