• By RFManDan - edited: May 11, 2015

    Which AP would you prefer and why - 3x3 n radio or 2x2 802.11ac?

  • Given that the 802.11n is a little more flexible, as far as  band usage, and that my home network can't handle the higher rates in ac anyway, I'll take a 3x3n AP.   They're cheaper too, but probably not for long.

    Many companys just got done installing "n" networks, and I doubt that many can justify the cost of another upgrade.

    I also think the 160 MHz wide channels of Wave 2 will be relatively unused, and roaming will be tougher.

  • It depends! As always.

    What clients will it be serving firstly.

    What other features does it have. Is it simply a 3x3 or a 4x4:3 same with the 3x3. DO we have any diversity.

    Are we talking about home use? I just upgraded my router to an n router but its a Cisco 897W from an 877W. Huge difference but can't see me rushing for ac at home just yet. In the enterprise again it depends. 

  • So why do you think 802.11n is more flexible on band usage? Even the the most  common SoHo market variety 802.11ac ap will support 2.4GHz n and 5Ghz n.

    Give me the ac anyday and let the protocol do what it does to free up that airtime particularly in a "come as you are" /BYOD network You gotta love airtime fairness

  • I was speaking from a strictly technical standpoint, as per the standard, "ac" only exists in the 5Ghz band.

    As you correctly infer, all WFA "ac" certified AP's must also support "n".  That does not automatically imply that they are all dual band.  There is still a handful (literally) of "ac" AP's that do not support 2.4 GHz.

    I'm happy with my home broadband wireless which gets about 100 Mbps throughput, on either 2.4 or 5 GHz (n).   

    If you REALLy need the speed, go for it.  But I can spend the dollars I save on other interests.

    As far as airtime fairness goes, I agree whole heartedly, especially in a crowded environment.

  • The question was 3x3 n or 2x2 ac.   Now as a does not support 2.4 we can't assume that it also supports 2.4 from the question. We souldbnt assume it's 802.11n dual band either however which 802.11n and which 802.11ac? What client devices and capabilities.

    With ac you can't use 2.4 so you will choose n if you need 2.4. What if I want 3 spatial streams the 3x3 will best the ac access point. 

    If you have just single stream smartphones that support ac then probably the ac unit.

    As I said it all depends.

  • After hundreds of thorough range tests, I have come to the conclusion that even small improvememnts in receive sensitivity are much more important than a few dB increase in output power.  I have also found that each increment of the standard(s), g-->n-->ac has brought along improvements in sensitivity.

    So, generally speaking, I would hope that ac radios running at only n rates would be more sensitive than the previous n radio from the same manufacturer and get better range at those lower rates than they did previously.

    This was not true for the b-->g transition, where Sensitivity and EVM measurements indicated that the b portions of most radios were left as is, without improvement, once g was added.

    If absolutely EVERY element of the entire WLAN chain of devices, ISP, Ethernet switches, routers, cables, etc is up to it, including most importantly the Wi-Fi client device, then you can expect good results.   But if even one element in the chain is missing some of the special sauce ac requires, you wont be especially happy.

    This seems obvious to us here, but you would never know that listening to salesmen at either Frys, or one of the other big chain stores.   More than half of their customers that I speak to have been disappointed, and ended up upgrading , ie spending much more than they originally had planned on.

    As always, try to get a warranty that if the speed doesn't improve, that you get your $ back.

  • I like 2x2 11ac. 

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