Probably a basic question about wifi - N , G, A and any other letters.

Sorry, I guess I am behind the times.  Correct my thinking concerning wifi standards.

Some of the newer wifi devices like routers and access points can do other standards besides G and N (ac? a?)

but those extra letters are worthless if the computer / phone can't do those extra letters also, right?

do the common laptops / phones these days do those newer letters?  I guess AC is the next step above N?  

And N can do 2.5 and? or? 5 GHZ if both ends of the connection (access point and wireless device) can do them?  But some N devices are only single band?

I guess the question is - does it pay to get an AC capable router / access point not knowing what devices will connect to it?  what do you get with AC?  more range?  or faster throughput?  Most of my dealings is just people using wifi to get on the web, so the internet connection is really the weak link in the chain of connection speeds.

thanks!
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
They are all backward compatible.  So from that standpoint, it doesn't matter.  Getting a router that supports AC will allow for the fastest possible (today) speeds.  If they aren't sharing files however, it may not help all that much.  5GHz is less crowded but also shorter range.

If your internet speeds will never exceed 10-20 Mbit, then you probably don't need more than a G capable router.  If you get higher speed from FiOS or a cable provider, than you might find it beneficial to get an N class router.  Also, WHO is your client base?  Guests you're providing internet to or employees?  What are the employees using the internet for (if employees) and will that change any time in the foreseeable future?
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Craig BeckCommented:
B is the slowest, then G.  They both work at 2.4GHz.  A is slightly faster than G as it works at 5GHz, although the maximum data-rate is the same (54Mbps).

N is an extension of G and A and as you rightly said, works at either 2.4GHz or 5GHz.
AC is a further extension of N but works at 5GHz only.

AC will give roughly the same range as N but at faster speeds.  Obviously only AC devices can achieve those faster speeds.  Nowadays you'd be extremely unlucky if you bought a new device which didn't support at least N at 2.4GHz.
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