last updated 28 June 2020

Standrds: | 802.11n vs 802.11ac | My Tests | 5 GHz vs 2.4 GHz. | Does your laptop support 802.11ac? | Designation ACxxxx | 2016-17 reviews | Tri Band Router - Ranking | SmallNetBuilder | Some router Specs | WAN to LAN thruput | Speed Examples | Personal Testing and experience | Wi-Fi Mesh Networking | Terms: | Links to related pages |

In 2020 Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) wireless routers began rolling out. See:
Wi-Fi 6, explained: how fast it really is - The Verge
Designation / Notation ACxxxx
AC1900 = AC Standard 1900 Mbps total (600 Mbps on 2.4 GHz and 1300 on 5 GHz)
To get higher than 1900 Mbps routers use 2 5Ghz radios (tri-band).
See terms below for more specifications

802.11n vs 802.11ac
802.11n and 802.11ac are both dual band routers with 2.4 and 5 GHz radios.
802.11ac can support more antennas, up to 8, and has a higher bandwidth per antenna vs 802.11n.

802.11n supportes four spatial streams (4x4 MIMO) and a channel width of 40MHz
802.11ac suports eight spatial streams and has channels up to 80MHz wide 
See MIMO: Why Multiple Antennas Matter | Cisco Meraki Blog
Does An AC Router Improve N Device Performance? - SmallNetBuilder
They compared AC routers against  the top-ranked ASUS RT-N66U as the reference N router.
Download speed improvement:

See more throughput comparisons below.

See Also What is 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and how much faster than 802.11n is it? | ExtremeTech
and Gigabit Wireless? Five 802.11ac Routers, Benchmarked - 802.11ac: Tom's Hardware

My Tests
5 GHz vs 2.4 GHz.
2.4 GHz more penetrating power to go thru walls.
   More interference from other devices, cordless phones, baby monitors, etc.
        I got mixed results with a Netgear R6250 (AC1600) at our cabin thru a
        floor and 2 walls. 2.4 was faster some times and 5 GHz was faster others
5 Ghz - More bandwidth 
      I got better throughput thru 4 walls on 5 GHz (117 Mbps) than with 2.4 GHz
      with the D-Link DIR-868L AC1750 supplied by Optimum (Cablevision).
    My cordless phone is 1.9GHz so should have not been a problem on either band.
In my tests tests thru a wall I got  
ARRIS DG1660A  802.11n  20 Mbps
Netgear R6250 (AC1600) 130 Mbps
 See Wireless Wi-Fi Testing

Does your laptop support 802.11ac? Windows: See Using Device Manager to verify a network interface card | FiOS Internet Go to Control Panel > Device Manager look under Network Adapters Or you may have to click Network Adapter You may see things like Gigabit (Ethernet ) Controller, Bluetooth Device If you see something like "Intel dual band AC3160" or "Dell Wireless 802.11b/g/n" That is your Wireless adapter - AC3160 is an 802.11ac wireless adapter Or google the model of the Network Adapter to see what it supports You may also right-click on the adaptor in Device Manager, click Properties and then switch to the Advanced tab. You'll see a list of properties, one of which should mention 5GHz for an N or AC. Mac: Go to About This Mac under the apple menu Go to "System Report > select Wi-Fi under network "Supported PHY Modes" will list which standards it supports
Old Standards

Standard Frequencies Speed Notes
802.11g 2.4GHz 54mbs
Wi-Fi 4 802.11n 2.4GHz
300 Mbps
450 mbps
300mbps with 2 antennas, 450mbps with 3 antennas.
Typical speeds are more accurately around 130mbps or less.
Wi-Fi 5 802.11ac 2.4GHz
Stronger signal strength. Up to eight spatial streams (MIMO)
Actual results showed average throughput of around 8-900 Mbps
802.11ad 2.4GHz
60GHz will not propagate thru walls. When roaming away from the main room, the protocol can switch to make use of the other lower bands.
Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax 2.4GHz
Eventually 1GHz & 6GHz
Stronger signal strength. Up to eight spatial streams (MIMO)
Actual results showed average throughput of around 8-900 Mbps

802.11 - IEEE specifications for wireless local area networking (WLAN)
DLNA - Digital Living Network Alliance - Certifies products for Audio, Video and Image 
     TVs, PCs, Mobile Phones, NAS servers, DMAs
DMA - Digital Media Adapter - Interface to devices like TVs and Stereos
DOCSIS - Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification
DOCSIS 3.0 - 2006 - IPv6 support, 4 channel, 
          download bandwidth of 1.5 Gbit/s and upload of 150 Mbit/s based
DSSS - Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum  (Radio Technology)
HTTPS - Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (uses SSL)
mDNS - multi-cast DNS
MIMO - Multiple Input, Multiple Output - Antenna technology using multiple antennas
MU-MIMO - Multi User MIMO 
NAS - Network Attached Storage (Hard drive accessible over the network)
OFDM - Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (Radio Technology)
PoE - Power over Ethernet 
SNMP - Simple Network Management Protocol - Remote management
SSID - Service Set Identifier - Network name
SSL - Secure Sockets Layer - Uses cryptographic protocols for secure network communications
UDP - User Datagram Protocol
Wave 2 - 
WPS - Wi-Fi Protected Setup

Related pages here:
Wireless Networking | Multi-Band Wi-Fi in tech | Wireless Security | Personal Testing and experience | Wireless Encription
| Wireless Networking bandwidth - configuration
Old versions of this page 2012 | 2017
Note: some of the above haven't been updated it quite a while.

Other sites:
How To Buy A Wireless Router - 2017 Edition - SmallNetBuilder
Why High Power Routers Don't Improve Range - SmallNetBuilder
Wireless B vs G vs N vs AC | What Is The Difference?
The Best Wi-Fi Mesh Networking Kits for Most People | The Wirecutter
Standard IP Addresses
IEEE 802.11 - Wikipedia,
WiFi Standards in Plain English
How to improve your wireless network and boost its signal
Routers 2012
Personal Testing and experience
Internet TV - Web TV