Don't bother with wireless AC

Patrick G

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 12, 2014
134
10
So, as soon as I preordered my 6 Plus, I upgraded my wireless router to a new flagship 802.11ac model. Problem is, there's no way to prioritize wireless networks on the iPhone. And since the 5GHz AC signal range is shorter than the 2.4GHz N range, my iPhone always eventually moves from the AC network to the N network because the N signal is stronger. I was really hoping to take advantage of the AC speeds, but unless you're in the same room with the router (rarely for me), iPhone prefers the 2.4GHz band.
 

lienhart

macrumors 6502
Jun 24, 2013
322
116
What about the new Apple routers? Aren't those supposed to be really good? i actually want one but not if the signal is worse than my current N; I'm always kinda far from the router.
 

SnowLeopard2008

macrumors 604
Jul 4, 2008
6,772
8
Silicon Valley
What about the new Apple routers? Aren't those supposed to be really good? i actually want one but not if the signal is worse than my current N; I'm always kinda far from the router.
I have one. They are the best. Signal is better than any other router I've used (mostly high-end Netgear models). I get AC even though I'm on second floor, opposite end of house from where the router is. Depends on the size of your house. If you got a mansion, then obviously the signal won't be 100% everywhere.

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I think the point is to name them differently and only setup the AC one on your iPhone. That way it can't connect to any other network SSID.
 

ZombiePete

macrumors 68020
Aug 6, 2008
2,251
973
San Antonio, TX
What about the new Apple routers? Aren't those supposed to be really good? i actually want one but not if the signal is worse than my current N; I'm always kinda far from the router.
Best router I've ever owned. Range is great for me; I live on a five acre hobby farm and the signal has a great radius within my property.
 

hypno

macrumors regular
Oct 30, 2012
181
1
Don't let your iPhone know the password to the 2.4ghz network and it won't be able to join it. There is a chance, and you'll need to test in your own situation, that you might get faster speeds from the 5ghz with less signal.

I definitely disagree with the OP. My iPhone 6+ has been on my AC router's 5ghz band for 3 days without problems. Granted my house isn't enormous (standard 2 story) but it works just fine.
 

Patrick G

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 12, 2014
134
10
What router?

On my Asus AC66U, set X for 2.4GHz and Y to 5GHz. Only have Y setup on the 6+ so it always only connect to Y.
Linksys WRT1900AC

Setting up only the 5GHz band on the phone is an option, but not sure if I'm ready to do that yet. I like having the other band as an automatic backup/failover.
 

brand

macrumors 601
Oct 3, 2006
4,361
401
127.0.0.1
there's no way to prioritize wireless networks on the iPhone
That is usually a feature of the wireless access point and not the end device. The Cisco Meraki MR Wireless Access Points have a feature called Dual band operation with Band Steering. Band Steering detects clients capable of 5 GHz operation and steers them to that frequency, while leaving 2.4 GHz available for legacy clients. I ordered my iPhone 6+ on release day at 5am PDT from Apple online store and am not scheduled to receive it until October 20. When I do receive it I can test it on the Meraki MR34 wireless access points at work and the one I have at home.
 

hypno

macrumors regular
Oct 30, 2012
181
1
Linksys WRT1900AC

Setting up only the 5GHz band on the phone is an option, but not sure if I'm ready to do that yet. I like having the other band as an automatic backup/failover.
Well that's an odd rationale to make a blatant recommendation for EVERYONE over :)
 

newone757

macrumors 6502
Apr 5, 2011
316
4
I agree with op. I love in a small one story home and the 5ghz network is basically line of sight. If I can't see the router then I don't have any signal. The higher frequencies are terrible at penetrating walls. This isn't necessarily an AC thing though
 

hypno

macrumors regular
Oct 30, 2012
181
1
I agree with op. I love in a small one story home and the 5ghz network is basically line of sight. If I can't see the router then I don't have any signal. The higher frequencies are terrible at penetrating walls. This isn't necessarily an AC thing though
This is so situational and router dependent. I have an R7000 Nighthawk on my second floor and it makes it through 3 walls and the upstairs floor to my downstairs rooms with 3-4 bars signal all day long. Smallnetbuilder is an excellent resource to see which routers are better performers, and perhaps where your own router falls on the list.
 

BrettDS

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2012
1,089
224
Orlando
I was really hoping to take advantage of the AC speeds
Out of curiosity, what were you hoping to do to take advantage of the AC speeds? Unless you're connecting to something on your own local network and transferring a crap ton of data then you're probably not going to see any speed difference between AC and N (or even G, for that matter). If you're just using it for internet access then your internet connection is the bottleneck, not your wireless connection.
 

Patrick G

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 12, 2014
134
10
Out of curiosity, what were you hoping to do to take advantage of the AC speeds? Unless you're connecting to something on your own local network and transferring a crap ton of data then you're probably not going to see any speed difference between AC and N (or even G, for that matter). If you're just using it for internet access then your internet connection is the bottleneck, not your wireless connection.

1. Noticeably faster web browsing (my internet connection is not always the bottleneck)

2. LAN video streaming
 

GmDude66

macrumors 6502
Jul 29, 2010
312
26
PA, USA
I just pulled 120mbps down and 12mbps up, across my house over 802.11ac 5ghz (RT-AC66R). Have two separate network names and you'll be fine.
 

SK360

macrumors 6502
Jun 7, 2010
277
96
Pittsburgh, PA
My iPhone pulls 120mbps down via speedtest.net anywhere in my house on the 5ghz band with my asus AC56R router. Couldn't be happier.
 

SnowLeopard2008

macrumors 604
Jul 4, 2008
6,772
8
Silicon Valley
Out of curiosity, what were you hoping to do to take advantage of the AC speeds? Unless you're connecting to something on your own local network and transferring a crap ton of data then you're probably not going to see any speed difference between AC and N (or even G, for that matter). If you're just using it for internet access then your internet connection is the bottleneck, not your wireless connection.
Some of the faster broadband/DSL packages will saturate 802.11G and single band N. Mine saturates dual band N and with Apple's AirPort Extreme AC, my ISP is no longer the bottleneck.
 

JoeTomasone

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2014
513
78
I have one. They are the best. Signal is better than any other router I've used (mostly high-end Netgear models). I get AC even though I'm on second floor, opposite end of house from where the router is. Depends on the size of your house. If you got a mansion, then obviously the signal won't be 100% everywhere.
Same here. And I get better signal on 5Ghz with the 6 than I did with the 5S.
 

newone757

macrumors 6502
Apr 5, 2011
316
4
This is so situational and router dependent. I have an R7000 Nighthawk on my second floor and it makes it through 3 walls and the upstairs floor to my downstairs rooms with 3-4 bars signal all day long. Smallnetbuilder is an excellent resource to see which routers are better performers, and perhaps where your own router falls on the list.

I agree it is. And I am definitely aware my router is not the best, not even close (AirPort Extreme), possibly towards the worst of the AC routers-- performance wise
 

ericschmerick

macrumors regular
Dec 18, 2004
149
17
Out of curiosity, what were you hoping to do to take advantage of the AC speeds? Unless you're connecting to something on your own local network and transferring a crap ton of data then you're probably not going to see any speed difference between AC and N (or even G, for that matter). If you're just using it for internet access then your internet connection is the bottleneck, not your wireless connection.
I get 120Mbs on AC. I get 50Mbs on N.
 
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