Discover the exciting and extensive ways you can put your Wi-Fi network to greater use
Ever since Apple introduced AirPort in 1999, it has been at the forefront of wireless technology, making it easy to shuttle files back and forwards between all your devices cable-free. It’s hard to imagine using a Mac, iPhone, iPad or iPod touch without it.
Wireless technology hasn’t stood still in the years since then. The original AirPort brought us the IEEE 802.11b networking standard with a theoretical maximum bandwidth of 11Mbps, and since then we’ve had 802.11g (54Mbps), 802.11n (600Mbps), and now 802.11ac (1.3Gbps), found in all new Mac and iOS devices.
802.11ac brings more than just a huge boost to transmission rates. It’s also more robust over longer distances and when passing through walls and other obstacles, so you’re less likely to experience dead zones around your home.
Most wireless devices uses different parts of the radio spectrum, typically either 2.4GHz or 5GHz. 2.4GHz is the most common and crowded in terms of Wi-Fi traffic, while 5GHz is still relatively unused. The good news is that 802.11ac routers such as the latest AirPort Extreme can simultaneously broadcast in both bands, with the 2.4GHz one offering a slower yet more compatible connection for your older hardware to use, making it easy all of your devices to get online.
The other good news is that while there are other Wi-Fi standards on the horizon, including 802.11ax with up to 10Gbps transfers, 802.11ac is still relatively new, so your Mac, iOS devices and AirPort Extreme or Time Capsule equipped with it should last you a good few years yet.
New network device