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