Ever since the inception of wireless networking light and power users alike have always considered a wired connection the ultimate link for productivity. Despite being tied down to a certain location by wires it still made more sense in a user’s workflow because of the enormous speed advantage offered by a gigabit Ethernet connection. However, things have been changing in recent years, and for the better. Wireless-AC capable devices are now much more widely available, and this is a game changer that opens up a new discussion on the merits of wired versus wireless connection in any professional’s daily workflow.
Up until now the two biggest downsides of wireless have been speed and reliability. Even with the latest Wireless-N connection real-world throughput typically plateaued around 50 Mbps. Depending on your signal and wireless congestion in the area this could be greatly impacted or sometimes drop off altogether.
Wireless-AC aims to address these issues by shifting out of the very narrow and congested 2.4GHz spectrum and into the much clearer and wider 5GHz frequency range. This alone can mean the difference between a usable signal or not for companies working in an office space with numerous wireless networks in range. 802.11ac also brings transfer rates to a whole new level. Where 802.11n can link at a transmission rate of 450 Mbps for most clients, 802.11ac can achieve transmission rates in excess of 1.3 Gbps. What’s more, real world throughput beyond 500 Mbps can be observed with an 802.11ac equipped laptop!
There is no denying that a gigabit wired Ethernet connection will still have lower latency, better reliability and higher throughput. However, many professionals will likely concede that working wirelessly with the freedom it affords for mobility, collaboration, etc. is now a viable option with 802.11ac enabled wireless network infrastructure.