Is it better to have an 11ac client or an 11n client?

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Will clients be better off with n or ac implemented in their chips?
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Primož Marinšek

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Posted 5 years ago

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Matthew Gast

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It's better to have an 11ac client! You get faster speed when you're around the right kind of AP, and newer chips are typically more power-efficient. Plus, with 11ac you can get off the air quicker and make life better for everybody else on the same network. I've written about the effects of 11ac on existing networks on the Aerohive blog: http://blogs.aerohive.com/blog/the-wi...
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Primož Marinšek

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So it's better to have an ac client even on a pure 11n AP?
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Craig Mathias

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We are likely to see "better n than n" performance for .11ac clients operating in .11n mode. Each new client generation gets better, and chipset vendors will be putting all future innovations into .11ac products, not new .11n chips. There really won't be all that many new .11n chips in the future anyway...
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Matthew Gast

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Exactly - Craig says it better than I probably would have. 11n-only chips will get pretty rare in a few years. Fortunately, backwards compatibility rules in the 11ac spec mean that 11ac works fine with anything that has come before it, whether it's an 11ac AP serving an 11b client, or an 11ac client getting service from an 11b AP.
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Primož Marinšek

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How will an 11b client be serviced by 11ac AP?
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Matthew Gast

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Very slowly! :)

You won't be able to use any of the cool 11ac features, but you will be able to get basic packets through. Just not very fast...
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Craig Mathias

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Anyone still using .11b should seriously rethink their operations...