I am planning to build a gaming PC/HTPC for around $2,000 sometime next year. I am looking for both a router and adapter that support the 802.11ac protocol with data speeds up to 1.75 Gbps. I have a question about wireless compatibility between components of different brands. My dad's home currently has a wireless network using a Linksys E4200 router, which I am concerned will not meet my online gaming needs and will have to be replaced. Both my aunt and dad's office computers use external Linksys wireless adapters. Currently I use my laptop's internal Wi-Fi adapter to connect to the router. Is it possible for an adapter such as the ASUS PCE-AC66 wireless adapter to communicate with a Linksys EA6500 router? I am asking this because my aunt doesn't want to replace the wireless adapters on the office computers and my concern's are that both the adapters and router have to be from the same manufacturer and I am leaning toward ASUS over Linksys. I am willing to make a compromise if the ASUS Adapter can communicate with a Linksys EA6500 router so both my dad and aunt can continue using their current Linksys adapters.
You don't have to match brands when you have a wireless setup , you just have to match the wireless band that being used. So if you get a wireless router that is backwards compatable to the wireless frequency then it doesn't matter who made it. As long as the new router has the 2.4 and the 5.0 signal frequency along with the new 802.11ac then your good to go.