“Mode” configuration parameter is one of the most important. In the most cases mixed b/g/n mode is set by default or ac for dual-band routers. Type range is depends on what router model and firmware you have.
IEEE 802.11 is name of Wi-Fi standard collection. Simply put, 802.11 is Wi-Fi technology.
Nowadays, there are 4 802.11 mode types: b, g, n, ac. Main difference between them is maximal speed connection. Below, I will tell you about these standards, but all mentioned values can only be achieved under ideal conditions. Let’s look each type and find out its features:
- 802.11a is one of the first types. It works in 5 GHz range and has 54 Mb/s maximal speed. In modern world, ac standard is newer and more popular in this range.
- 802.11b uses 2.4 GHz range. Speed is 11 Mb/s.
- 802.11g is more modern and modified 802.11b standard. It uses the same range as “parent”, but has higher speed connection, which can increases 54 Mb/s. Moreover, it’s compatible with 802.11b, so if your device use g standard, it could be connected to b networks.
- 802.11n is the most popular Wi-Fi standard at this moment. Speed limit in this case is 150 Mb/s in 2.4 GHz range and 600 Mb/s in 5 GHz. Compatibility with a,b,g standards.
- 802.11ac is the newest standard, which uses 5GHz range. 6.77 Gb/s is its maximal data transfer speed. This standard can be set only on dual-band routers.
In the most cases people change their wireless network router mode to increase connection speed. In practice, values mentioned above will be decreased on 50%. There are a lot of factors which interference on router signals, so, if maximal speed of standard is higher, average speed will be too.
A lot of routers have 100 Mb/s limit via WAN port. If your Internet Service Provider support 500 Mb/s speed connection, you will be limited by your device, so better to buy gigabyte WAN routers.
Nowadays, all routers, which can be found in shops, can use b, g, n standards. 802.11ac is available only for dual-band routers. Modern client devices have built-in support of all standards. Sometimes budget laptops or smartphones don’t support ac standard.
802.11n technology was invented in 2009, so you can’t find it in early 2009 and 2008 devices. Devices with b or g standard can’t connect to n standard wireless network. You will see error. This can be fixed by setting up automatic mode in router configurations.
What is the best choice?
In the most router’s settings you will see automatic mode is set (802.11b/g/n mixed or 802.11n/ac mixed). This mode was made to provide better compatibility.
If you don’t have old devices, you can set 802.11n 2.4 GHz wireless network mode. This will increase you Internet connection speed.
Mixed n/ac mode is the most preferable for 5 GHz frequency.
Anyway, you can try all modes. Use this guide to check connection speed every attempt. Don’t forget to save done changes, when set new mode, and reboot your router.
Open your router’s wireless settings. It can be done via 192.168.1.1 URL address, where you need enter credentials. Username and password can be found on device’s body sticker, on the Internet, in manual book.
Open “Wireless”, where you can find “Mode” section. If you have dual-band TP-Link, 5 GHz frequency mode can be changed in the same named tab.
Interfaces of configuration panel may vary depending on the firmware version and model, but steps are similar for all of TP-Link routers. Sometimes, there will be only “11bg mixed” or “11bgn mixed” choice, which is bad in case, when you want to set up certain wireless network mode.