Question WiFi clarification needed, plz!

darclove

Novice Member
If a smartphone states that it supports 802.11 a/b/g/n (notice it includes the "a" specification), but does NOT support 802.11 a/c, can it still connect to a 5GHz network? If so, are there any performance disadvantages that would be noticed without the a/c specification? TIA!
 
Last edited:

youngsyp

Distinguished Member
If a smartphone states that it supports 802.11 a/b/g/n (notice it includes the "a" specification), but does NOT support 802.11 a/c, can it still connect to a 5GHz network? If so, are there any performance disadvantages that would be noticed without the a/c specification? TIA!
If it supports 802.11a then yes, it would connect at 5GHz to a compatible WiFi network. It's worth pointing out that the access point would also need to support 802.11a for the phone to be able to use that standard.

There's always a load of misinformation around any benefits a 5GHz connection has over a 2.4GHz connection. Yes it can allow faster data transfer but, 5GHz is also less able to penetrate obstacles, like walls etc. And unless you have mega fast broadband and a load of other users on the network, 5GHz speeds aren't necessary.
5GHz networks would have been less congested than 2.4GHz networks, when the former was in its infancy. However, as more and more devices support the band, more and more people will use it and thus congestion increases. I'd wager the vast majority of 5GHz users don't change the channel used by the access point(s) either, further exacerbating the issue.

To some up, let the phone decide which network it connects to and you'll likely get the best experience.

Paul
 

darclove

Novice Member
If it supports 802.11a then yes, it would connect at 5GHz to a compatible WiFi network. It's worth pointing out that the access point would also need to support 802.11a for the phone to be able to use that standard.

There's always a load of misinformation around any benefits a 5GHz connection has over a 2.4GHz connection. Yes it can allow faster data transfer but, 5GHz is also less able to penetrate obstacles, like walls etc. And unless you have mega fast broadband and a load of other users on the network, 5GHz speeds aren't necessary.
5GHz networks would have been less congested than 2.4GHz networks, when the former was in its infancy. However, as more and more devices support the band, more and more people will use it and thus congestion increases. I'd wager the vast majority of 5GHz users don't change the channel used by the access point(s) either, further exacerbating the issue.

To some up, let the phone decide which network it connects to and you'll likely get the best experience.

Paul

Thank you, Paul. I was familiar with the key differences between 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks, so what I really wanted to know was if there would be any difference in speed from a phone connecting to a 5GHz network through the 802.11 "a" and "n" specifications, vs through the "a/c" specification. Thanks again.
 

youngsyp

Distinguished Member
Thank you, Paul. I was familiar with the key differences between 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks, so what I really wanted to know was if there would be any difference in speed from a phone connecting to a 5GHz network through the 802.11 "a" and "n" specifications, vs through the "a/c" specification. Thanks again.
That depends on a whole heap of factors. In perfect conditions, yes there would be an improvement in data rates. With 5Ghz, 802.11 n supports up to 450Mb/s I believe, where as a/c up to just under 2Gb/s with the same number of streams (3x3).

Paul
 

The latest video from AVForums

Star Wars Andor, Woman King, more Star Trek 4K, Rings of Power & the latest TV, movies & 4K releases
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom