Do I need AC Router Speed on slow DSL?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by tbloomq, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. tbloomq, Mar 3, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014

    tbloomq macrumors newbie

    Aug 9, 2013
    I have a really slow DSL line (8mbs down and 640kbs up). My old SMC with 802.11N router is needing to be rebooted several times a week. So I think it is maxed out or going bad. I have 4 computers (mix of Windows and OSX), 6 directv dvrs, 8 iOS devices, Netflix and a NAS device.

    Three computers and all the directv dvrs are hardwired into the router via layer 2 switches. The rest are wireless.

    All of these devices get used regularly.

    Obviously, if the existing router breaks and I don't want to throw an old backup Linksys into the mix, I have to buy something.

    Does it make sense to get a Time Capsule with 802.11AC or a 802.11AC router in general? Or stick with the 802.11N technology and just wait for high speed internet?

  2. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    AC routers apply to your speed to the router. This means that in a perfect scenario with an AC device and AC router you could exceed the speeds of Gigabit Ethernet.

    I can personally say that the AC speed Time Capsule or AirPort Extreme (tower style) does increase wireless-n speed clients. It also handles load fantastically! I have never had it drop out or stall while under heavy load.

    I have a 5th gen Extreme (wireless-n) and it handles 80+ DHCP clients across a roaming network of eight Expresses. I will personally say that I know that some router like ASUS or the Netgear Nighthawk are faster in throughput. However, I know from experience that Apple hasn't dropped the ball yet and gives me the perfect blend of speed, reliability, simplicity, and capability. I tried running a Nighthawk in place of the Extreme for kicks on my network and it lasted 5 minutes before we started having clients dropping DHCP leases, losing connection and unable to connect, and inability to connect to it's own WLAN name.

    I totally recommend the Extreme and could speak until I am blue in the face, but I trust it to run a network of 80+ bandwidth hungry clients and that says it all.

    (As a note, the 80 are not connected to the Extreme's wireless but rather spread across the roaming network. However, the Extreme functions as the router for every Express.)
  3. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    The AC router will do nothing to improve your speed to the internet. It will make things faster on your internal network. If you go with the time capsule, your backups will run faster. If there's a chance of getting faster internet connection in the future then consider it.
  4. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I recommend getting the fastest wifi router you can afford. It will not help with your internet speed, as others have already mentioned. However it will help with copying files or streaming media from one computer to another on your network. I also suggest running gigabit ethernet around your house (within reason). This takes the load off of wifi for copying large blocks of files from one computer to another. An AC class router allows you to get "near gigabit" wifi speeds but it's always best to use wired connections whenever possible.

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