Internet connectivity is increasingly playing an essential role in all of our lives today. To enjoy the best of the internet, it’s vital that we own the appropriate connectivity devices. Perhaps the most important of them all is the router. The router is responsible for managing the devices and internet signal. It has the responsibility of managing several devices on a network, while also providing optimal internet connection. To achieve this goal, the routers are incorporated with specialized algorithms and techniques such as the MU-MIMO.
Otherwise referred to as MU-MIMO, this is a set of several multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) resources to support wireless internet connections. The setup often involves a set of users or wireless devices, which have one or many antennas, that are involved in communication. Furthermore, the single MIMO includes a single multi-antenna transmitter that is equipped with a single multi-receiver antenna. While MIMO technology involves expensive signal processing, it can make effective use of spatially distributed transmission technologies. However, the single-user MIMO only involves the several antenna dimensions of a local device. Special algorithms are produced to help enhance the MIMO systems when many terminals require connections.
How MU-MIMO Works With Wireless Devices
The MU-MIMO technologies were developed to improve connections where several terminals require access to a wireless network at the same time. The basis of the 802.11 protocol, is that terminals gain access to the wireless network in order. If multiple devices request access the router at the same time, this can lead to a bottleneck of resources. The router has to determine the best way to address the requests of all these users. Moreover, it also has to regulate the connection quality. In some cases, the burden increases when other devices such as smartphones seek access to the router. However, the MU-MIMO technology plays a significant role in eliminating this issue.
Caveats of MU-MIMO
MUMO technology works in a few various methods. In particular, the technology works by dividing the internet connection into specific individual streams. The devices will then share the internet connection equally. The MU-MION router can be available in either the 2×2, 3×3 or 4×4 configurations. These refer to the number of streams the router can produce at any given time. The MU-MIMO technology is simple to a car wash, whereby cars get washed after the people ahead of you get their car cleaned. With MU-MIMO, instead of one carwash port, there are several ports, and as many as four vehicles can be washed at the same time.
However, there are some important rules to consider before leveraging the benefits of this technology. Among some of these significant benefits include:
Devices Don’t Require Several Antennas
Similar to SU-MIMO technology, only devices that are developed to support the MU-MIMO technology can access the given signals. However, unlike SU-MIMO, wireless devices don’t need to have several antennas to access the MU-MIMO signals from the router. Even devices that have one antenna can still access the MU-MIMO signal. A device with several antennas would be able to access various types of streams at the same time. Such a benefit would play a significant role in improving the performance of the Wi-Fi. That said, a device with several antennas requires more space and power, and this might affect the cost.
Access Points are Responsible for Much of the Workload
Designed to eliminate the caveats for terminals to access a signal, the access points in the MU-MIMO technology are responsible for processing most of the signals. This is one of the main benefits over the SU-MIMO technology – where most of the bulk of signal processing goes to the devices. This way, brand manufacturers have improved freedom in terms of the diversity of features they can incorporate in a router.
It only Works on the 5 GHz Wi-Fi Band
While the SU-MIMO can work both in the 2.4GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi bands, the MU-MIMO is not so dynamic. The wireless routers are only able to accommodate several terminals on a higher bandwidth level. However, the lower and more congested bandwidth can`t leverage the benefits of the technology. The only issue is that not many users have reliable access to high quality internet.
MU-MIMO Does Not Support Infinite Streams or Devices
Even if most users want a router than support multiple devices, this wouldn’t be feasible due to the high levels of traffic and congestion. As such, an MU-MIMO router or access point is not able to deliver an infinite number of streams. A conventional router or access point often has a maximum limit of about five devices, that it can serve at any given point. That said, the MU-MIMO router can send different streams to different devices. For example, a four-stream device can serve as many as four devices at the same time.
Why is MU-MIMO Important When Buying a Router?
Similar to investing in any form of I.T technology, it’s crucial that you make informed decisions for the best user experiences. In particular, it’s essential to consider the MU-MIMO protocol because it will allow you to enjoy reliable internet connectivity. With a traditional SU-MIMO router, you might have had to wait for the request from your terminal to be processed gradually. Furthermore, most of the workload in processing internet signals is done by the access point. This way, brand manufacturers have more “space and freedom” to incorporate routers with enhanced features. However, there are some downfalls to owning the MU-MIMO router, though not significant. For instance, you can only enjoy the benefits of such technology of the 5GHz band signal.
Overall, ever since the advent of Wi-Fi, the typical functionality of supporting devices such as routers and access points has evolved significantly. Gone are the days when you had to struggle to get a reliable internet connection from your home or office router. A good MU-MIMO router lets several devices enjoy quality internet connectivity, and without any bottlenecks. Thus, you can experience improved productivity or internet access, as your router provides reliable connectivity.