Yes, 802.11ac is the latest wi-fi protocol and is the 5th generation of wi-fi protocol. Here is some technical information on how 802.11ac achieves its raw speed increase by pushing on three different dimensions:
● More channel bonding, increased from a maximum of 40 MHz with 802.11n up to 80 or even 160 MHz (for speed increases of 117 or 333 percent, respectively).
● Denser modulation, now using 256 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM), up from 64QAM in 802.11n (for a 33 percent speed burst at shorter, yet still usable, ranges).
● More multiple input, multiple output (MIMO). Whereas 802.11n stopped at four spatial streams, 802.11ac goes all the way to eight (for another 100 percent speed increase).
So 802.11ac wireless is the newest and is just hitting it's stride with incorporation into existing networks.
As to your mid-2010 MBPro, it has the older 802.11n wireless protocol. Here is a link showing a comparison with n versus ac:
802.11ac Definition from PC Magazine Encyclopedia
Regardless of the comparison of the two, on your MBPro with the N protocol, you will not see a huge advantage to N over AC on a home network. The biggest bottle neck on any network is at the internet connection. The average home owner even with a fiber optic connection will never hit the speeds that the wireless 802.11ac is capable of. Also keep in mind wireless speed reduces in proportion to the amount of interference it encounters. Walls, EMF's, number of machines using the network - the more interference the more resends of requests for and of data that occurs. On a gigabit work INTRAnet there can be amazing speeds but on the INTERnet speeds are reduced by the bottleneck at the incoming router/firewall/modem.
Hope this helps.