iPad Does ac on the new iPads affect hotspot range?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Truefan31, May 11, 2015.

  1. Truefan31 macrumors 68040

    Truefan31

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
    #1
    Just wondering if I upgraded to an air 2 with ac wifi will the hotspot range be better than my retina mini.
     
  2. rgarjr macrumors 603

    rgarjr

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Location:
    Southern Cal
  3. Batavian macrumors 6502

    Batavian

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    #3
    Interesting question. I would say no as AC runs at 5GHz which has a shorter range than G which runs at 2.4GHz. By the way, N also runs at 5GHz.

    I have a dual G N router. When I sit on the patio with my iPad Air 1, I always use the slower G because of the stronger signal strength.
     
  4. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #4
    The above isn't entirely correct.

    Both N and AC can use either 2.4ghz or 5ghz. As with all wifi standards, 2.4ghz allows better wall penetration, but slower speeds due to a variety of reasons. Also as with all wifi standards, 5ghz allows faster speeds but less wall penetration. Basically, in most homes, this means 5ghz has less range.

    However, AC standardized some technologies that overcome a bit the 5ghz penetration problem. In particular, beamforming (which has existed for a while, but wasn't part of the standard before AC) increases the range of a 5ghz signal.

    From the testing I have read, range in a regular home will still be best when using the 2.4ghz bands. However, the maximum speed is much much faster on 5ghz - which is why most people configure it to use those bands.

    As for the OPs question - getting a new iPad will not help your range at all. With wireless, it takes two to tango. You would need both a new AC router and a new iPad with AC to take advantage of AC. Further, you would need to ensure that all your G or N devices either connect to a different SSID or are also upgraded to AC. If a slower G or N device connects to your new AC router, the router will step everyone down to G or N. In general, routers will use the lowest common denominator technology. This means they will use whatever the oldest or slowest of everything connected.
     
  5. Truefan31 thread starter macrumors 68040

    Truefan31

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
    #5

    I use my retina mini as a hotspot off my iPad data plan. I've got a iPhone 6. So if I update to an air 2 with ac and my 6 has ac would I see a benefit of range?
     
  6. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #6
    Probably not. If there is any increase in range, it will be minor for sure.

    Particularly with that setup, you're using a wifi antenna and chipset that is designed to be a client (iPad) as a host. While there is nothing technically wrong with that, and it's certainly possible as you know, it's not ideal. An iPad acting as a host will never have range as good as a proper wifi access point or router.
     

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