Picture this: a group of uni housemates all have the latest notebooks, Smartphones, and tablets. There’s probably an X-Box or PS3 in there, too. Some of them download large files regularly, others stream media, or play online games, or do all of these things at the same time. The results aren’t pretty: file transfers slow down, movies skip, games lag or even drop entirely. Even access to simple stuff like YouTube or Facebook stops being fun, and becomes frustrating.
Wireless network problems aren’t limited to a bunch of students living in the same house. Now that mobile devices are so popular, it’s not unusual for each family member to have a smartphone or tablet, maybe even more than one. Letting the kids go online is all fun and games until their activities interfere with dad’s VPN connection or keep mum from sending her big presentation to the office.
Even those who live alone are not immune to WiFi problems. One big issue in blocks of flats is overlapping wireless networks, running on the same channel. Interference among them can make it impossible to get online, especially for anything that requires a stable connection, like streaming video, video chat, or online games.
In all these cases, the basic problem is that we have essentially outgrown our existing WiFi networks. Fortunately, there is a solution: it’s Wireless AC, the next-generation standard for high-speed wireless internet. It promises a utopia in which every device in the house connects to the network with maximum speed and reliability, no matter what anyone else is doing on the network or how many other networks are in the vicinity. The benefits of Wireless AC are considerable.
First, and most obvious, is better performance. Older wireless networks utilise the 2.4 GHz frequency, which has become cluttered with too many wireless devices (and possibly your neighbour’s wireless network as well). It’s also prone to interference from electrical devices like cordless phones and microwaves. As a result, WiFi connections often seem to drop for no reason, usually at the worst possible time. By contrast, Wireless AC utilises the 5 GHz band. With fewer devices and other networks using it, it is relatively free from congestion, so high performance is maintained. To understand this difference, imagine other cars caught in a traffic jam, while you speed through the empty bus lane.
The other side of this improved performance coin is that Wireless AC offers greater channel bandwidth. Continuing with our driving analogy, older networks resemble a three-lane motorway, whereas Wireless AC is a six-lane one. Naturally traffic – your data – can pass through more quickly. The result is that new applications like streaming HD media over the local network become possible, so for instance you can connect a digital video recorder (DVR) wirelessly in any room of the house to stream HD media, or synch your files wirelessly in a fraction of the time it takes now.
These enhancements also mean that more of your existing WiFi devices can connect at their maximum rated speed. They can even be separated by frequency for better performance: your current computers, consoles, IP cameras, and the like can use the 2.4 GHz band, while newer Wireless AC enabled ones connect at 5.0 GHz. There’s a good chance that your next smartphone, tablet, or other wireless device will support Wireless AC, too. It’s already being included on laptops and popular handsets from Samsung and HTC. If you’d rather not wait, you can also add a USB Wireless AC adapter like the D-Link DWA-182 to your notebook or desktop computer.
Less obviously, Wireless AC in mobile devices is also good for battery life. When your smartphone or tablet connects to a Wireless AC network, your data is transmitted faster, making your device more energy-efficient. With more battery life and faster data transfer rates, you can get more done in the same period of time, and use your device longer.
So, are you ready to upgrade to the future of wireless? D-Link offers the widest range of Wireless AC Cloud Routers on the market, from the fully-loaded DIR-865L, which boasts maximum performance and an industry-leading set of features, all the way down to entry-level models. Whether you’re a technology enthusiast who wants the latest and greatest, a parent who wants a way for the whole family to connect without hassles, or a student on a limited budget, D-Link makes a router just for you, so you pay for only the performance and features you need, and always get a router that’s attractive and future-proof.