AC3200 vs AC2400, what’s it all about then? What do the numbers mean? Well, in case you didn’t know, the numbers following the ’AC’ are the total cumulative amount or wireless data rate available across all bands in Mbps (Megabits per second).
Now, these numbers aren’t the actual throughput you’re going to get on the network with any one router. They are data rates.
As a general rule of thumb, you should get anywhere in between 30% and 45% of the advertised data rates on any one particular band. There are numerous reasons for this, mainly due to atmospheric conditions and the physical environment of the building the router is located. It’s also to do with the fact that Wi-Fi is still ‘half-duplex’…meaning it can only ever send or receive data at any one time (as opposed to cables that can send and receive at the same time).
AC3200 vs AC2400 – The AC3200 Routers
Nighthawk X6 – AC3200 Player
Generally speaking, AC3200 routers have the following data rates:
5GHz = 2.6Gbps (Tri Band – 1.33Gbps each)
2.4GHz = 0.6 Gbps
Total = 3.2Gbps
AC3200 routers all have one thing in common – Tri Band. By using 3 bands, as opposed to the usual 2 (Dual Band), traffic on the AC 5GHz can be balanced over two band. This is especially beneficial on networks with a high number of clients. It means that when more devices are using the network at the same time, more bandwidth is available as other clients can only hog all the bandwidth from one band, and leave the other one free.
Other AC3200 Routers
So aside from the Nighthawk, what routers are available?
With six external antennas and Smart Connect this Stealth Fighter wannabe falls within D-LInks Ultra router range.
Asus’s top-of-the-range router. A top performer, again with six external adjustable antennas
Linksys EA9200 Router
Linksys give us the EA9200 as their AC3200 offering. Another powerful contender, but quite a bit less expensive than it’s peers. One to watch!
AC3200 vs AC2400 – The AC2400 Routers
Asus RT-AC87U Router
Of course, data rates are slightly less on the AC2400 routers:
5GHz = 1.75Gbps
2.4GHz = 0.6 Gbps
Total = 2.4Gbps
However, AC2400 routers have a couple of little trick up their sleeves…..one is MU-MIMO. By using MU-MIMO, network efficiency is increased significantly.
Multiple Users (hence the ‘MU’ MIMO prefix) can be serviced with MIMO technology concurrently.
The other is 4×4 Spatial Streaming. Another throughput enhancer, that uses 4 Wi-Fi streams rather than the usual 3 streams most often found on routers these days.
So with these technologies, the AC2400 routers are actually not far behind the AC3200 big brothers when it comes to wireless speed. Unless you have a plethora of Wi-Fi clients, AC2400 could be the way to go…especially as they are easier on the wallet too.
Linksys E8350 Router
Do you agree/disagree? Why not comment below and let us know what you think…