What Problem Is 80211ax Trying To Solve
The fundamental problems with Wi-Fi are that bandwidth is shared among endpoint devices, access points can have overlapping coverage areas, especially in dense deployments, and end users can be moving between access points.
The current solution, based on a technology from the old shared Ethernet days called Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance , requires endpoints to listen for an all-clear signal before transmitting. In the event of interference, congestion or collision, the endpoint goes into a back-off procedure, waits for the all-clear, then transmits.
In a crowded stadium, a busy airport or a packed train with hundreds, even thousands, of end users attempting to stream video at the same time, the system loses efficiency and performance suffers.
The good news is that 802.11ax promises improved performance, extended coverage and longer battery life. 802.11ax can deliver a single stream at 3.5Gbps, and with new multiplexing technology borrowed from the world of LTE cellular, can deliver four simultaneous streams to a single endpoint for a total theoretical bandwidth of an astounding 14Gbps.
Is Ofdma The Same Thing As Mu
No! Do not confuse OFDMA with MU-MIMO. OFDMA allows for multiple-user access by subdividing a channel. MU-MIMO allows for multiple-user access by using different spatial streams. Access points send unique steams of data to multiple clients simultaneously. The 802.11ax standard also provides for the combined use of MU-MIMO and OFDMA, but it is not expected to be widely implemented.
What’s New And Why You Might Be Interested
The latest generation of Wi-Fi, known as Wi-Fi 6, brings with it some significant performance improvements that aim to address limitations in older generations. While plenty of routers and clients are already available with chips using the 802.11ax certification, Wi-Fi 6 is just beginning its rollout. It will become part of the official IEEE specification in September 2020. This is ushering in a wave of updated devices touting new wireless capabilities that will contribute toward next-generation networks with more speed and less congestion.
Before we get too far, it’s important to understand that 802.11ax, also known as “high-efficiency wireless,” is the same thing as Wi-Fi 6. It’s just easier to say Wi-Fi 6 than 802.11ax.
This is a new naming standard set by the Wi-Fi Alliance, with previous generations now being known as Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 4 . This labeling convention is expected to appear on devices as shown below.
Technically, Wi-Fi 6 has a single-user data rate that is 37% faster than 802.11ac, but what’s more significant is that the updated specification will offer four times the throughput per user in crowded environments, as well as better power efficiency which should translate to a boost in device battery life.
Home users who upgrade their hardware can look forward to some improvements from these technologies, especially over time as the number of devices per household increases – some estimates suggest there will be as many as 50 nodes per home by 2022.
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Wifi Extenders Vs Mesh Networks
If the 2.4GHz channel of your router isn’t enough range by itself, consider weighing the costs and benefits of WiFi extenders vs. mesh networks. These types of hardware increase the signal range of your network. Both are a valid option if you’re looking to increase the square footage of your network coverage, but each option has its own benefits and drawbacks.
WiFi extenders can be placed further from your router to rebroadcast the signal it receives and manage network traffic as a mediator. Many people enjoy them since they’re a more inexpensive option compared to mesh networks, but the savings comes at a price. Devices recognize the extender as a separate network, so you’ll have to manually switch between the router and the extender depending on your proximity. They’re also not designed for larger, multi-floored homes, and some users run into issues with configuration.
While mesh networks are more costly, the reward can be a WiFi network that covers up to 9,000 square feet. The network nodes merge to create a single WiFi network, and devices will switch automatically to the optimal node as you move. Setup is simple and many come with mobile apps for network customization. The only downside is the higher cost for this reason, single-floor homes with less square footage might be better off with a WiFi extender.
For visual representations and a comparison of extenders to mesh networks, try this video from Techquickie.
Wireless Network Standards And Their Signal Strengths
The wireless standard 802.11 was created and is currently maintained by IEEE. Each version has a different range so will have an effect on your wireless signal. Currently, there are 802.11a, 802.11ac, 802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11n. There is 802.11x, but thats more of an added layer of security to networks than a wireless network standard.
- 11a has an 115ft range indoors and 390ft outdoors.
- 11b has an 115ft range indoors and 460ft outdoors.
- 11g has an 125ft range indoors and 460ft outdoors.
- 11n has an 230ft range indoors and 820ft outdoors.
- 11ac has an 115ft range indoors.
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How Can Businesses Take Advantage Of Wi
The uses for Wi-Fi in the office and remote won’t change much under Wi-Fi 6, outside of increased performance.
That doesn’t mean Wi-Fi 6 won’t be a boon to businesses–on the contrary Wi-Fi 6’s new capabilities will be felt by employees and customers in multiple ways, including:
- 30% faster speeds will mean users are getting their content in less time
- increased throughput will allow more simultaneous users
- reduced latency means an increase in users won’t necessarily kill speeds
- Wi-Fi 6 APs operating in areas with high signal congestion won’t be as affected by it, so users will experience a more reliable connection even in crowded environments and
- superior outdoor service and increased range means Wi-Fi 6 networks will have fewer dead spots that interfere with both professional and customer Wi-Fi use.
Business leaders, as well as home users, shouldn’t assume that it’s going to be fast or easy to get the benefits of Wi-Fi 6. APs and routers that support Wi-Fi 6 should begin appearing soon, but without Wi-Fi 6 compatible devices to take advantage of all the new features, the visible improvements will be minimal.
When Did We Get To Wi
If youve ever bought a wireless router, youve almost certainly spent some time puzzling over the different Wi-Fi standards like 802.11ac and 802.11n, wondering what they mean, where they come from, and which one is fastest. The confusing range of Wi-Fi standards was created by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers , the worlds largest professional association of engineers that, among other things, develops hardware and technical standards for a wide range of fields to ensure global interoperability and advancement for technology. The Wi-Fi standards in particular are then further maintained and upheld by a trade group called the Wi-Fi Alliance, which certifies devices to the IEEEs standards and holds the trademark on Wi-Fi.
As part of its public-facing duties, the Wi-Fi Alliance has intervened and retroactively applied a simpler, generational numbering system for consumer-facing products. Wi-Fi 6, the newest standard, started to roll out in 2019. It corresponds to the IEEEs 802.11ax standard. If you want to track backward, each of the IEEEs previous standards has a corresponding number: Wi-Fi 5 refers to 802.11ac, and you can count down from there through the confounding lettered system802.11n, -g, -a, and -b.
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Access Points For Wifi 6
A wireless access point for WiFi 6 is a networking device that enables smart devices to connect to a wired network. It is easier and simpler to install a wireless access point to connect all the devices and computers in your network than to use cables and wires. If you use a wireless access point with WiFi 6 certification or support for 802.11ax, you will have a WiFi 6 network.
Using a WAP lets you establish a wireless network within your existingwired network, allowing you to accommodate wireless devices. The best part isthat you can use a WAP to extend the WiFi 6 signal strength and range toprovide complete wireless coverage and eliminate dead spots.
Access points for WiFi can provide a maximum data rate of up to 1775 Mbps. Many economic access points are available for WiFi 6 networks that allow you to utilise the full range of WiFi 6 technologies, including MU-MIMO and OFDMA.
How Fast Is Wifi 6
WiFi 6 is the latest generation of WiFi, built off of the 802.11ac standard for wireless network transmissions. The new 802.11ax standard promises faster throughput speeds, WiFi spectrum efficiency, and less bandwidth congestion.
To summarize, WiFi 6 expands to be better suited forhandling large crowds vying for data simultaneously. This includes expansivepublic events.
Theoretically, it can handle speeds up to 9.6Gbps, three times higher than WiFi 5s current maximum theoretical speed limit. The sixth generation of WiFi networks offers potential performance gains of up to 40% compared to WiFi 5 routers and devices.
This is because WiFi 6 can pack more data into each packet, working on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.
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How Does 80211ax Work
The 802.11ax standard takes a variety of well-understood wireless techniques and combines them in a way that achieves a significant advance over previous standards, yet maintains backward compatibility with 802.11ac and 802.11n.
802.11ax delivers a nearly 40 percent increase in pure throughput thanks to higher order QAM modulation, which allows for more data to be transmitted per packet. It also achieves more efficient spectrum utilization. For example, 802.11ax creates broader channels and splits those channels into narrower sub-channels. This increases the total number of available channels, making it easier for endpoints to find a clear path to the access point.
When it comes to downloads from the access point to the end user, early Wi-Fi standards only permitted one transmission at a time per access point. The Wave 2 version of 802.11ac began using Multi-User, Multi-Input, Multiple Output , which allowed access points to send up to four streams simultaneously. 802.11ax allows for eight simultaneous streams and makes use of explicit beamforming technology to aim those streams more accurately at the receivers antenna.
Even more importantly, 802.11ax piggybacks on MU-MIMO with an LTE cellular base station technology called Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access . This allows each MU-MIMO stream to be split in four additional streams, boosting the effective bandwidth per user by four times.
What About Wifi 6e
The new WiFi 6E speed stems from its high-frequency 6GHz band for gigabit performance, but the incredible data transfer rate comes at the cost of a shorter range. Wavelengths in higher frequency bands cover shorter distances, meaning the coverage won’t extend as far as the 2.4GHz band. Moreover, even though the FCC has allowed unlicensed use of the 6GHz airwaves indoors, there are still licensed users of the spectrum. This means that WiFi 6E routers will be restricted by “automated frequency control” to keep them from interfering with outdoor 6GHz broadcast signals, and the short-range superhero will be best utilized indoors.
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Is A Good Wifi Range Really Important
If you frequently experience internet connection drop outs, rather than blaming your internet provider, you might want to first check if its an issue with your internet router range. Consider how close your device is to the router, if there are any obstacles and look at how strong the WiFi signal is. If the signal is down to a couple of bars when you experience slow internet, you may need to look into optimising your WiFi range.
Following the tips in this guide may help you to get to the bottom of why you are having issues with your WiFi connections however, if you are still having problems despite minimising obstructions and disruptions to the signal, there might be another issue. When troubleshooting, make sure you also test connections on different devices and at different locations within the home to ensure its not an issue with the device itself.
You might need to look into boosters or adaptors, but also consider the age of your router as another reason for slow performance and whether you might need to upgrade. If its clear that the issue isnt with your WiFi signal distance or router, you may need to have a chat to your internet provider and see if there are any issues with your homes internet connection.
The Key Technological Features That Make 80211ax Standard The Best Wifi Connection Are:
- Denser modulation WiFi 6 uses a denser quadrature amplitude modulation , moving from 256 QAM to 1024 QAM. This translates to higher throughput and 25% enhanced capacity with 10 bits per symbol. Each symbol encodes more data bits, enabling a 25% data rate increase in a WiFi 6 wireless access point. 1024 QAM is vital in ensuring the quality of services in high-density locations like convention centres, auditoriums, stadiums, and transportation hubs. Moreover, applications like 4K video streaming will benefit from this denser modulation.
- Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access OFDMA is arguably the most important new feature of WiFi 6. The technology allows one transmission to transmit data to numerous devices at once. OFDMA enables WiFi 6 routers and their connected devices to use bandwidth more efficiently by lowering the time between data transmissions. As a result, more bandwidth is available for other WiFi-enabled devices.
- Robust high-efficiency signalling for better operation The development of the new WiFi 6 802.11ax wireless standard is also called H0gh-Efficiency Wireless . With this, WiFi 6 aspires to offer robust high-efficiency signalling for better operation. The technology used quadruples the average throughput per user, providing a reliable and consistent data stream for every user connected to the same WiFi 6 network, regardless of whether the router is jam-packed with users.
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Ofdma Makes Your Router A Better Multitasker
Remember Goro’s four arms? Of course you do, it’s his defining characteristic Well, for the purpose of my bartending analogy, you can think of those four arms as something called orthogonal frequency division multiple access, or OFDMA.
Put simply, OFDMA is a new feature with Wi-Fi 6 that gives your router the ability to serve multiple clients at once within a single channel. More specifically, OFDMA allows your router to divide whatever channel it’s using to send its signals on the 2.4 or 5GHz frequency band into smaller frequency allocations called resource units, or RUs. Each one of these RUs is sort of like one of Goro’s extra arms — they give your router another avenue with which to dish out information, which in turn, reduces latency.
So, as an example, if you’re sitting in your living room checking Twitter for Baby Yoda theories while streaming The Mandalorian, your Wi-Fi 6 router might allocate one RU to your streaming device and another to your phone, or divide the data each device requires between multiple RUs. Either way, they’ll both get service from the router simultaneously. OFDMA is flexible like that .
OFDMA will complement another feature worth mentioning that’s called multi-user, multiple input multiple output, or MU-MIMO for short. Like OFDMA, MU-MIMO lets your router communicate with multiple devices at once, but instead of dividing channels into resource units, MU-MIMO uses spatial differences between devices to divide attention between them.