More Devices, Slow WiFi? Step up to Wireless AC Technology

Abhay Bhorkar Portrait

Abhay Bhorkar, Senior Director, Product and Services,

Did you know that adding more devices to your network (and yes, that thermostat counts!) slows your WiFi network?

The number of IoT devices in the average home is on the rise. There’s no doubt that in present to near future, you will be connecting your security cameras, thermostat, lights, laptops, smartphones, smart TVs and much more to your network. Now, what’s really happening when all these devices connect to your home network?

  • When multiple devices use the same network, overcrowding occurs as they all compete with each other to connect to the same router. This means low quality or buffering during streaming, latency during gaming, and frustratingly slow browsing speeds. In simple terms, the more devices you bring, the slower the network becomes for all devices.
  • You share the same WiFi spectrum with your neighbors – so their network with all of their WiFi devices also impacts your network.

How can you maximize your network’s potential?

Here are a few things to know that will help you in optimizing your network performance:

AC WiFi & WiFI 6

Innovations in wireless technology, like AC WiFi, WiFi 6, and multi-band wireless technology, can help solve your network woes. AC is almost 3x faster than N WiFi, it uses less time to transmit the same data and frees up bandwidth for everyone else, and WiFi 6 (AX WiFi) is even faster still! Finally for the ultimate experience BE WiFi 7 is upon us.

Imagine if you are trying to download music on your latest iPhone (which, by the way, has latest AX technology). With AC and N technology on your older router, it takes longer to download. Other devices trying to access the network also suffer along with your iPhone. By using a router that uses AC or AX technology, you download and enjoy your music sooner while continuing to stream 4k on your TV without any interruptions.

Want to easily find out if your network is suffering because of your router? Check your router’s label – if it says N150, N300, N600, etc., it’s using N technology. And if you want your WiFi to work at the best potential to handle all your devices, it’s time for an upgrade. The following information will help you learn more about the latest generation routers and WiFi technology.

Multi-Band WiFi Routers

Typical older routers also use only one frequency band, 2.4GHz. The 2.4GHz band today is akin to having only one crowded, narrow freeway– all the cars are in bumper-to-bumper traffic and causing fender-benders all the time. AC routers, on the other hand, have 2 bands while some premium routers even have 3 bands. Every additional band essentially adds a newer, and wider, highway lane. With a 5GHz band, which is not as crowded as a 2.4GHz band, more cars or devices can coexist in harmony without bumping into each other. A router with 3 bands is essential when the number of IoT devices in your house reaches beyond 15.

Tri-Band WiFi Routers

What’s better and ideal for a smart home with multiple new generation devices is a tri-band WiFi that adds a second 5GHz WiFi band to the network. Think of it as another lane added to the highway that increases the available WiFi bandwidth to further reduce network congestion.

Tri-band WiFi

Check out this article to know more about how tri-band WiFi technology improves speed and performance of a device.