By definition, the 802.11ac standard improves range and bandwidth by offering dual-band support, beamforming and improved performance over its predecessors. (You can get more information on the technical aspects of 802.11ac in our story on 802.11ac-capable routers.) Just remember that optimal performance on ac's 5GHz band requires a strong signal, which limits range compared to 2.4GHz. A potential solution to this conundrum is to implement an 802.11ac-capable wireless range extender, which will expand the reach of your network to the dark corners of your home.
802.11ac-enabled routers come in various speed ratings determined by the Mb/s transmission of the combined 2.4 and 5GHz frequencies.
802.11ac range extenders support 2.4 and 5GHz, both for connecting to existing wireless networks and ensuring client connectivity. In most cases, range extenders pass network traffic using the wireless client's band – 2.4GHz devices naturally go through the 2.4GHz connection and 5GHz clients through a 5GHz link to the router (though in some cases you can configure the range extender to use one band or clients and the other for connectivity back to the router). 802.11ac range extenders, like wireless routers and other Wi-Fi hardware, are marketed based on their advertised data rates. AC750 devices support 300Mb/s through 2.4GHz and 433Mb/s using the 5GHz signal, while AC1200 offers 300Mb/s for 2.4GHz and 867 Mb/s on 5GHz, though actual data rates are a fraction of those advertised rates.
802.11ac Speed Ratings
|Type||2.4GHz Mb/s||5GHz Mb/s|