real world benefits of 802.11ac

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by 997.2, May 23, 2014.

  1. 997.2 macrumors regular


    Sep 22, 2013
    Hey guys, I don't post much but I have a quick question. The rMBP has 802.11ac, where as my current macbook has 802.11n. Is there any actual benefit of this new technology? what situations would having the new wifi help? I tried to google this and used the search function, found nothing useful on MR and google yielded stuff that was kinda tricky to understand. will i get faster internet speeds at home with the ME294LL/A that I'm buying at the end of the month?

    I'll take whatever info you guys want to spit at me.

  2. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    No, your internet speed is still limited by your ISP of choice, be it cable, xDSL or any other supplier.

    However, the speed at which you can communicate with other devices on the same network (if they have 802.11ac as well) will see a big increase in performance, as they can now get well over the 300Mbit theoretical limit of 802.11n specifications or ones connected with cable to the 802.11ac router, like a NAS or other storage solution.
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Depending on your ISP you may a little or a lot of improvement for your internet access.You'll also see an improvement on your local network, which is helpful for wireless backups or accessing a NAS.

    True but given that 802.11n is much slower then cable ISPs. So any internal network performance increases such as going to 802.11ac will be noticed. It all depends on your ISP. For instance I have DSL and I'll not really see any improvement on the internet, but my local network will as I posted :)
  4. majkom macrumors 65816

    May 3, 2011
    As said before me, if the speed of your internet connection (provided by your ISP) is faster than wifi n limits, with ac router and ac macbook, you will notice faster internet downloads. If not, with ac router and ac macbook and other ac capable devices, your intranet transfer speeds will be the difference.
  5. Richyrich1975 macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2009
    Is your broadband speed over 100Mb? If not you won't notice any difference.
  6. 997.2, May 23, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2014

    997.2 thread starter macrumors regular


    Sep 22, 2013
    thank you.
  7. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Wireless N is faster than most ISP's cable internet that I know of here in Canada, Wireless N can do 300Mbps whereas most ISPs offer between 10 and 25Mbps.
  8. Hieveryone macrumors 68040

    Apr 11, 2014
    I was wondering the exact same thing and from what I found out is that even if you have AC it won't matter because it's only useful for people who have ridiculously fast internet speeds. I have around 30 mbps for it really doesn't help me. I wanted to upgrade to 100 mbps but they said it'd cost $100 a month! :mad:
  9. wuush, May 23, 2014
    Last edited: May 23, 2014

    wuush macrumors member

    May 4, 2014
    byte =/= bit

    with DSL 50000 you can transfer 6,25 Megabyte per Second (DVD-Image @ 4,37 GiByte takes 12m 32s)
    with DSL 100000 you can transfer 12,5 Megabyte per Second (DVD-Image @4,37 GiByte takes 6m 16s)

    802.11ac can theoretically transfer 1,3 Gigabit per Second = 162,5 Megabyte per Second (DVD-Image @ 4,37 GiByte takes 29s)

    So Lets see DSL 100000 @ 12,5 Megabyte per second vs ac-wireless 162,5 Megabyte per second. (7,69%)

    Wireless AC is useful for your home network (streaming data, copying files wireless) or when your wifi reception is bad and you need better wifi (6 antennas iirc in the airport extreme ac + its 5Ghz so less interference) for your internet connection.

    Hope this helps

    Better Example: Right now my Macbook (AC) Connection to my Router (N) is @130 MBit/s
    My Q10 (N) right next to my Macbook is only connected @65Mbit/s.
    This might not apply 100% to your situation, but the better wifi module (more antennas) helps with wifi reception.
  10. Richyrich1975 macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2009
    Here in the UK Virgin do 150Mb broadband which is well on the limits of N in the real world(N will never hit it's theoretical claims in the real world). AC will hit about 450Mb in the real world.
  11. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    AFAIK, benchmarks show that the real-world 802.11ac connections are often faster than the 802.11n ones, and given that you very rarely reach the max theoretical speed, that can matter even if your ISP is a bit slower. With the 802.11ac, I see the same speeds as when connected by ethernet (my ISP is 250Mbit), this was not the case when I had my old MBP. In addition, file transfers to my Time Capsule are faster.
  12. Cythth macrumors regular


    Feb 24, 2013
    Lake Jackson, TX
    I'd pay that in a heartbeat. I'm stuck at 50 mbps with Comcast and they charge $80 for that.
  13. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    One can perfectly live without ac WiFi. But I see several situations where it can be helpful.

    1. Data transfer over WiFi. This is not bottlenecked by the ISP, so ac can shine.

    2. WiFi backups. I'm very happy with my ac TimeCapsule. Less cables. And I don't have to worry about internet slowdowns when one of the connected laptops is backing up.

    3. Fast connections further away from the router. I keep the router in a corner of the apartment, and still get a good connection on the other side, through two walls. There might be many other factors that are important here (i.e. the router quality), but a higher base speed should give more room for bad connections.

    None of these make "ac" WiFi a must have, and "n" is certainly still fine. But it is nice to know that I don't have to worry much about my router location, and my TC backups are so fast that I rarely notice when they happen.
  14. Hieveryone macrumors 68040

    Apr 11, 2014
    I pay 30 for 30mbps

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