Air Port Utility shows a graphical overview of your Wi-Fi network and any base stations connected to it.The primary base station (Home, in this example) is connected to the Internet via your modem or router.
If you're using newer devices equipped with 802.11ac Wi-Fi adapters, you'll need an 802.11ac router to take advantage of the increased speed and bandwidth that this Wi-Fi protocol delivers.
For example, an AC1750 dual-band router can achieve a maximum link rate of 450Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 1,300Mbps on the 5GHz band, while a tri-band AC3200 router can reach speeds of 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 1,300Mbps on each of the two 5GHz bands.
They operate on the 2.4GHz radio band and are generally well suited for Web browsing, connecting to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, and wireless printing.
But they have to compete with other 2.4GHz devices such as microwave ovens, cordless phones, and Bluetooth hardware.
Expect to pay upward of $150 for a multi-band router.
If You Can Afford It, Futureproof With Advanced Features When shopping for a router you'll have to decide if you want an 802.11n model or an 802.11ac model.
In addition to faster link speeds, 802.11ac routers offer several new networking technologies that help increase throughput performance and wireless range.
Beamforming is a technology that sends Wi-Fi signals directly to a client device rather than broadcasting them in all directions, and Multi User-Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO) technology can serve multiple devices simultaneously rather than sequentially.
Not long ago most households could get by with a basic single-band router to keep a handful of devices connected to the home network.