MULTI-STREAM NET­WORK­ING

Why the fastest wire­less net­work is only as fast as the slow­est de­vice con­nected to it.

HWM (Malaysia) - - THINK - Az­izulRah­manIs­mail

by One can tell the speed of a wire­less router by look­ing at its model num­ber. An AC2600 wire­less router, such as the TP-LINK Archer C2600, has rated speeds of 800Mbps at 2.4GHz and 1,733Mbps at 5GHz, re­spec­tively. But try as we might, it is dif­fi­cult to achieve the rated speeds es­pe­cially when the router is con­nected to mul­ti­ple devices.

This is es­pe­cially true if one of said devices hap­pens to be a legacy de­vice fol­lows the 802.11b stan­dard. To be fair, even if you do have an 802.11b de­vice con­nected to your Wi-Fi net­work, the other 802.11g and n devices (op­er­at­ing on the 2.4GHz fre­quency) won’t be slowed down to 802.11b speeds. How­ever, hav­ing an 802.11b de­vice on your net­work will af­fect other con­nected devices on that Wi-Fi net­work to a de­gree.

To solve the is­sues caused by mul­ti­ple users mul­ti­task­ing on mul­ti­ple devices, and thus slow­ing down the net­work, routers like the Archer C2600 rely on mul­ti­ple streams and an emerg­ing tech­nol­ogy, known as MU-MIMO.

Back in 2007, the 802.11n stan­dard in­tro­duced the SU-MIMO (or sin­gle-user mul­ti­ple-in­put and mul­ti­ple-out­put) tech­nol­ogy. It al­lowed Wi-Fi routers and devices to si­mul­ta­ne­ously trans­mit or re­ceive mul­ti­ple streams of data be­tween each other, in­creas­ing the speed of the con­nec­tion.

It also re­quires the Wi-Fi devices to have mul­ti­ple an­ten­nas, in or­der to sup­port the send­ing and re­ceiv­ing of mul­ti­ple streams. How­ever, the ma­jor­ity of Wi-Fi devices are 1x1 devices, which mean they sup­port one trans­mit stream and one re­ceive stream.

MU-MIMO (or multi-user MIMO), on the other hand, al­lows wire­less routers to trans­mit and re­ceive data from mul­ti­ple Wi-Fi devices at the same time. The re­sult is greater ef­fi­ciency and data trans­fer speeds.

The Archer C2600 takes ad­van­tage of both ex­ist­ing and new tech­nolo­gies. It comes equipped with four an­ten­nas for four si­mul­ta­ne­ous trans­mis­sion and re­cep­tion of mul­ti­ple streams of data, and is MU-MIMO com­pat­i­ble, which gives it greater per­for­mance with a greater num­ber of devices.

On top of that, the four an­ten­nas al­low for im­proved wire­less range, and with its 1.4Ghz dual-core pro­ces­sor, you know it’ll be able to han­dle the mul­ti­ple streams and all the tasks ex­pected of it. Fur­ther­more, beam­form­ing tech­nol­ogy helps max­i­mize its wire­less range to ar­eas where it is needed the most.

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