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Wi-Fi Capabilities Dramatically Increase with Beamforming

New things are coming in the world of Wi-Fi technology, in the form of beamforming and MU-MIMO. Beamforming makes it possible for routers to adjust their phase and power for better signal by allowing Wi-Fi routers and clients to exchange information about their locations. Beamforming, in either the explicit or implicit form, provides significantly better radio signals, faster forwarding, at greater distances. Devices manufactured in the last two years will support explicit beamforming, that allows client and Wi-Fi to communicate about their locations, and providing better steering of signals between the two. Implicit beamforming works in a similar way, steering signals based on the routers internal measurements rather than the respective locations of the router and the client. Prior to beamforming, Wi-Fi routers sent signals out in all directions. The signals need only go where Wi-Fi devices are, beamforming makes Wi-Fi capabilities more efficient by solving this problem and employing signals in the direction of devices. MU-MIMO, short for multi-user, multiple input, and multiple output, makes more bandwidth available to wireless users. Moving networking away from the one-at-a-time model to a more complex system, multiple devices can converse simultaneously.

David Newman with Network World, reviewed the MU-MIMO and beamforming capabilities within the Linksys EA-7500 and his results were noteworthy. After a quick power-up, online configuration, and downloaded firmware update, the router was up and running. Comparing transfer rates between the old 802.11n access point and the new Linksys EA-7500 router, Newman found a significant increase in results. The old 802.11n downloaded data at 25Mbps while the new Linskys EA-7500 downloaded data much faster at 58Mbps.

His conclusion is as follows:

So, can beamforming and MU-MIMO help you? The answer is “yes, for sure” if you’re in one of three categories:

  • if you’ve got devices 2 years old or newer, beamforming can help
  • if you’ve got distance issues, beamforming and MU-MIMO can help
  • if you’ve got multiple devices, MU-MIMO can help

In all these cases, we saw significant improvements using MU-MIMO and beamforming technology in the Linksys EA7500 Wi-Fi router.

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If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: Review: Wave 2 Wi-Fi delivers dramatic performance boost for home networks