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Difference between 11n,11ac and 11ad

This tutorial section on WLAN-11ad basics covers following sub topics:
Main page  11ad PHY Layer  11ad conformance tests  11ac conformance  11n vs 11ac vs 11ad 

This page compares 11n vs 11ac vs 11ad to provide difference between 11n,11ac and 11ad 802.11 standards.


It is a 802.11 family of standard which is developed to deliver high data rate and it extends capability of 11a/b/g standards. It is referred as HT(High Throughput) specification.

• Frequency range : 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
• Backward compatibility: It supports legacy fallbacks of 11a,11b,11g systems
• Modulation Scheme OFDM and DSSS/CCK
• Data modulation:Supports BPSK,QPSK,16QAM,64 QAM
• Channel Bandwidth: 20MHz and 40MHz
• OFDM data subcarriers/pilots : 48/4 ,160/6
• OFDM coding rate: 5/6
• Short guard interval : 400 ns
• Spatial streams : 4
• Max. Data rate: 600 Mbps with 40 MHz bandwidth and 4 streams
• Distance covered(appox.)- 70m (indoor),250m(outdoor)
• MIMO configuration -Most of the devices uses 2T3R(2 antennas in transmit and 3 antennas in receive),
Maximum configuration goes upto 4T4R.
• Supports many type of explicit beamforming
• Supports single user transmission
•  PHY layer frame(in HT mixed mode) consists of L-STF,L-LTF,L-SIG,HT-STF,HT-LTFs and Data


It is also falls under 802.11 family and it extends capability of 11n standard. It is referred as VHT(Very High Throughput) specification and it is maintained and developed by TGac working group. It is referred as 5G WIFI by Broadcom.

• Frequency range : 5 GHz
• Modulation Scheme: OFDM and DSSS/CCK
• Backward compatibility: It supports legacy 11n systems
• Data modulation:Supports BPSK,QPSK,16QAM,64 QAM,256QAM
• Channel Bandwidth: 20MHz,40MHz,80MHz,160MHz
• OFDM data subcarriers/pilots : 48/4 ,108/6, 234/8, 468/16
• OFDM coding rate: 5/6
• Short guard interval : 400 ns
• Spatial streams : 8
• Max. Data rate: 6.93Gbps using 160MHz bandwidth,8 spatial streams,MCS9,256QAM,with short guard interval
•  Distance: About 80 m with 3 antenna(about 10 meter more than 11n) • MIMO configuration : 4 X 4 • Supports Only NDP(Null Data Packet) explicit beamforming
• Supports single user transmission as well as multi-user transmission
•  PHY layer frame(VHT mode) consists of L-STF,L-LTF,L-SIG,VHT-SIG-A,VHT-STF,VHT-LTF,VHT-SIG-B and Data part.


Working Group TGad and Wireless Gigabit Alliance jointly developed this standard. It is referred as WiGig. The applications are digital camera and 3D video streaming

• Frequency range : unlicensed frequency allocations around 60 GHz (58.32 GHz,60.48 GHz,62.64 GHz, 64.80 GHz), check below country wide allocations.
• Backward compatibility: It is not backward compatible to 11ac and 11n but It is a completely new standard developed to cater extremely high data rate and to provide short range wireless connectivity.
• No. of channels/Channel bandwidth : 4/each 2.16 GHz wide
• Data rate:throughput of 7 Gbps
• Distance : More than about 10 meters with beamforming enabled.

802.11ad country wide frequency allocations

U.S and cannada - 57.05 GHz - 64.0 GHz
European Union - 57.0 GHz - 66.0 GHz
South Korea - 57.0 GHz - 64.0 GHz
Japan - 59.00 GHz - 66.00 GHz
Australia - 59.4 GHz - 62.90 GHz
China - 59.0 GHz - 64.0 GHz

Difference between 11a, 11b, 11g, 11n, 11ac wave-1 and 11ac wave-2

Refer difference between 11a vs 11b vs 11g vs 11n➤
Refer difference between 11ac Wave-1 vs 11ac Wave-2➤


11ac frame format  11ac physical layer  11ac MAC layer  11ac data rates  11ac spectral mask  11ac beamforming  11ac radio planning  what is wlan?  WLAN standards-11a,11b,11g,11n,11ac   WLAN Physical layer as per IEEE 802.11a standard   WLAN 11b standard and 11b physical layer   WLAN Physical layer as per 11n standard   WLAN 11-ac   802.11ad basics  WLAN router   WLAN tutorial 

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