Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac

Another leap forward for Wi-Fi®

Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac is the latest generation of Wi-Fi which delivers up to gigabit per second data rates, enabling devices to handle demanding applications such as Ultra HD and 4K video, multimedia streaming and rapid file transfer on tablets, gaming devices, handsets and many other devices. Based on IEEE 802.11ac, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac devices offer higher capacity, improved power management, and lower latency to readily handle today’s demanding applications while paving the way for new products and services at home, in public places, and in enterprise networks alike.

Dual-band doubles network capacity

Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac builds on the high-performance foundation of Wi-Fi CERTIFIED n and operates in 5 GHz, where devices can make use of increased bandwidth to achieve a higher data rate. Most Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac products are dual-band, operating in both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, and support Wi-Fi CERTIFIED n in the 2.4 GHz frequency band. User adoption of dual-band networking has been on the rise in recent years, and is expected to increase significantly in the next few years following the introduction of Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac. Dual-band networks double capacity, because devices can use the less crowded 5 GHz band for high performance applications, and the 2.4 GHz band for basic needs.

Wi-Fi has continued to evolve to meet users’ data and usage demands and to improve access to content, without sacrificing core competencies like interoperability and security. ABI Research predicts that shipments of dual-band Wi-Fi chipsets – including both Wi-Fi CERTIFIED n and Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac - will exceed 1.5 billion by the end of 2014.

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Frequently Asked Questions
  • What performance advances are enabled by Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac?

    Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac enables higher data rates, higher capacity and lower latency.  Products implementing the technology behind Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac are capable of data rates of up to 1.3 Gbps – nearly double that of a typical Wi-Fi CERTIFIED n network.

  • What new applications are enabled with Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac?

    Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac handles today’s demanding applications and paves the way for new applications in the future.  Certified-ac devices are more robust and offer a greater user experience including:

    • Transferring an HD movie to a tablet in under 4 minutes
    • Sharing photo albums with friends in seconds
    • Streaming three HD quality videos at one time

    Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac devices also improve wireless performance in the enterprise in the following ways:

    • Enhanced user experience for teleconference meetings
    • Delivering greater in-office networking coverage – more clients for the same number of APs per office area
    • Projecting graphics, video and audio to a large screen in a conference room or auditorium
  • Are Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac devices dual-band?

    Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac operates in the 5 GHz band, but devices support the 2.4 GHz band by integrating Wi-Fi CERTIFIED n.  Dual-band devices switch between the more crowded but popular 2.4 GHz frequency band, to the cleaner 5 GHz frequency band to connect more demanding applications and avoid interference from other devices.

  • Is Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac interoperable with previous versions of Wi-Fi?

    As with all Wi-Fi CERTIFIED devices, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac products are tested to ensure interoperability with legacy Wi-Fi CERTIFIED products. Products must operate in the same frequency band in order to connect.

  • What is WMM?

    Wi-Fi CERTIFIED for WMM (Wi-Fi Multimedia) provides multimedia enhancements for Wi-Fi networks that improve the user experience for audio, video, and voice applications.

  • How do I make my wireless network secure?

    Wireless security is important, and Wi-Fi wireless networks can enable WPA2, a sophisticated encryption technology that protects data flowing between Wi-Fi radios and access points. Wi-Fi devices are shipped with settings that will make setting up your Wi-Fi network as easy as possible - security is generally disabled. We recommend you take the following steps:

    First, change the default network name (SSID) and credentials (username and password) used to manage the settings on your Access Point/Router/Gateway. This helps keep unauthorized users from getting access to your network. Wi-Fi equipment usually ships with a default network name out of the box. This should be changed immediately to make it easy to identify. Equipment also usually ships with default credentials (username and password) to make accessing the device's configuration settings easy. These default credentials should be changed as soon as you set up your network.

    Second, enable strong encryption for your network: WPA2 security with AES. WPA2 security features support AES - a sophisticated form of encryption that is suitable for sensitive data communications. When WPA2 security features are enabled, the stream of communication between client devices (e.g. laptop, phone, printer, etc) and Access Points/Routers/Gateways is protected using AES.

    These measures complement each other - implementing them all is the best way to protect your network. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED equipment comes with default settings that help you establish your network quickly and easily - it's important to enable the built-in security measures as soon as possible to protect your network.

  • How does Wi-Fi Alliance help ensure product compatibility and a good user experience for certified products?

    This is achieved through rigorous testing of Wi-Fi products that are based on the 802.11 standards. Consumers should always look for the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED logo to ensure the best user experience possible.