802.11ac

A wireless LAN (WLAN) specification under development by the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) that delivers wireless data transfer rates in the range of 433 Mbps (Megabits per second) per spatial stream. With support for up to eight streams, the 802.11ac specification offers a theoretical maximum data transfer speed of more than 3Gbps (Gigabits per second), and can deliver 1.3Gbps transfer speeds with a more common three-antenna (three streams) design.

Recommended Reading: See 802.11 for a complete overview of the 802.11x family of specifications.

802.11ac extends earlier 802.11 specifications, including 802.11n, and provides backwards compatibility with previous 802.11 specs. The 802.11ac specification operates only in the 5 GHz frequency range (where there is currently far less potential for interference), as opposed to the 802.11n spec, which operates in both 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz ranges.

The official working name for the 802.11ac spec is Enhancements for Very High Throughput for WLAN operation in bands below 6 GHz, and is more informally referred to as Gigabit Wi-Fi or 5G Wi-Fi. The 802.11ac specification has already received an update in the form of 802.11ac Wave 2, which utilizes MU-MIMO technology and other advancements to help increase theoretical maximum wireless speeds for the spec to 6.93 Gbps.

Also see Webopedia’s Wireless LAN Standards chart and How Wireless Networks Work.

Forrest Stroud
Forrest Stroud
Forrest is a writer for Webopedia. Experienced, entrepreneurial, and well-rounded, he has 15+ years covering technology, business software, website design, programming, and more.

Top Articles

List of Windows Operating System Versions & History [In Order]

The Windows operating system (Windows OS) refers to a family of operating systems developed by Microsoft Corporation. We look at the history of Windows...

How to Create a Website Shortcut on Your Desktop

Website Shortcut on Your Desktop reviewed by Web Webster   This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a website shortcut on your desktop using...

What are the Five Generations of Computers? (1st to 5th)

Reviewed by Web Webster Each generation of computer has brought significant advances in speed and power to computing tasks. Learn about each of the...

Hotmail [Outlook] Email Accounts

Launched in 1996, Hotmail was one of the first public webmail services that could be accessed from any web browser. At its peak in...

SHA-256

SHA-256 is an algorithm used for hash functions and is a vital component...

Document Management System

A document management system is an automated software solution businesses and organizations use...

Conti Ransomware

Conti ransomware first emerged in 2020. It uses a ransomware as a service...