It is becoming more and more common to find devices that only allow Wi-Fi wireless connection, regardless of the connectivity via cable that is gradually losing use in favor of wireless connections. As new laptops are getting smaller and smaller, the RJ-45 connector does not directly “fit” into the case, and it is much better to incorporate a WiFi card with multiple antennas and MIMO technology. Today in this article we are going to explain in detail what MIMO technology is and how it benefits us.
What is MIMO technology
MIMO is the acronym for Multiple-input Multiple-output . In Spanish we could translate it as Multiple input and multiple output. It is a technology that helps to improve wireless networks, since it allows greater coverage because we emit a wireless signal simultaneously with several antennas that the router or WiFi access point has, thanks to MIMO, we will achieve a little more coverage than if we only had an antenna.
Another feature of MIMO technology is that it is capable of taking advantage of Wi-Fi signal bounces to increase wireless speed, preventing signal bounces from being detrimental to the connection. Thanks to MIMO, we can simultaneously broadcast from several antennas and the signal travels different paths to reach the destination, this is achieved through a signal lag. We can say that the signal, thanks to MIMO technology, does not need to reach us directly, but could also reach us by bouncing off walls or any other obstacle. Thus, that bounce can be used to enhance WiFi performance. Without this technology, that bouncing signal is destroyed and cannot be harnessed.
MIMO technology is linked to the 802.11n standard or also known as Wi-Fi 4, one of the great advances that the Wi-Fi 4 standard meant was MIMO technology, which will allow us to increase the maximum bandwidth by adding two or more antennas . Today we can say that the vast majority of routers are compatible with MIMO, as long as they are WiFi 4 or higher, they incorporate this technology, and allow the signal to be optimized to the maximum to achieve better speed, stability and quality of the connection. This MIMO technology was created to offer a considerable improvement in terms of transfer speed, greater coverage, capacity for more connected users and greater stability.
Most modern routers have MIMO
It should be noted that today most routers have MIMO technology . In fact, all those that are compatible with the 802.11n standard onwards (WiFi AC and WiFi AX) will have it. Therefore, all routers on the market that have WiFi N technology will have this feature incorporated.
With MIMO, WiFi routers and access points went from having a single transmitting and receiving WiFi antenna to having two or more antennas. For example, it is very common to find routers with 2, 3 and even 4 antennas with a total of four spatial flows to achieve an increase of up to four times the real speed that we will achieve via Wi-Fi. For example, with a typical Wi-Fi 4 router and an antenna, we can achieve a theoretical speed of 150Mbps (with 40MHz channel width and 64QAM), however, having MIMO and being able to incorporate more antennas, if we incorporate a total of four antennas could achieve a theoretical speed of 600Mbps (with 40MHz of channel width and 64QAM).
In short, MIMO technology allows improving wireless coverage, as well as the quality and real speed of connections. It is not something new, since it has been with us for many years, so it is a basic thing in modern devices.
We have seen what MIMO technology is and how it works to improve wireless connections. We mentioned that it came with the 802.11n standard and has been around for many years. However, more recent is the MU-MIMO technology, which is the technology that was born in Wi-Fi 5 and has been democratized with Wi-Fi 6. MU-MIMO means that multiple devices will be able to receive different devices simultaneously. data flows, and thus increase the speed and performance of the entire network globally. MU-MIMO is part of the Wi-FI 5 standard, but we also have it available natively on Wi-Fi 6.
Beyond allowing data to be sent simultaneously to several wireless clients, it should also be noted that it makes the most of the bandwidth. In this way, customers get the maximum speed and it is essential to use certain applications and services such as video calls or playing online. In short, MU-MIMO improves on MIMO technology since it supports multiple simultaneous users (up to 4 currently). In both cases, we are facing an improvement in the wireless network, something so important today when using many devices connected to the network without using cables.