What is MU-MIMO? Why would you want to have it on your wireless router?
As the days go by, internet is becoming more and more important in our daily life. The internet is all about watching movies, playing games, video chatting with family members abroad or checking on social media. And with wireless internet or the 3G / 4G network provided by the mobile company, we can meet our internet needs on smartphones, but there is no alternative to broadband internet connection to meet the needs of all digital devices in a whole house.
You need a broadband internet connection to run your home computer, your personal laptop, smartphone, smart TV and other modern devices through the internet. And wherever there is broadband internet, there is a router. And today I will talk about a modern feature of this broadband router called MU-MIMO. In today’s post I will try to explain in simple language what this MU-MIMO is and whether it should be used on your router.
What does a broadband router do?
The simple answer is to add Wi-Fi service to your broadband internet line so that you can enjoy internet service from the same broadband line on all the digital devices in your home. But have you ever noticed that your internet bandwidth is reaching all the connected devices at the right level in the right way? This is where the MU-MIMO feature comes in.
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What is MU-MIMO?
The full form of MIMO is “Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output”. MIMO is the feature of splitting Internet bandwidth on a router and spreading it across multiple devices. Most modern routers of the present era have SU-MIMO features. This means that these are “Single User, Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output” with these routers can enjoy the speed of the Internet streaming on only one device at a time.
Suppose your home router has SU-MIMO feature. Now you and your younger brother are both surfing the net with smartphones and both are watching YouTube. Now if you both start watching YouTube videos at the same time then you will see for this kind of router that one of you is taking a moment light time to load YouTube videos. In simple terms, if two devices are to be used simultaneously in the SU-MIMO router, the first device will get more “priority” in terms of net usage.
However, if the speed of your broadband line is high then you will not be able to catch the breakdown of this speed. But when you go to play games on the internet on two computers with this kind of router, you will see that the ping of one computer is very good and the condition of ping on the other computer is very bad.
On the other hand, MU-MIMO is “Multiple User, Multiple-Input, Multiple Output”. This feature allows you to share your Internet bandwidth equally across all your devices. These routers are available in the market in three parts, they are 2 × 2, 3 × 3 and 4 × 4. This means that it is segmented based on how many devices this router can stream to simultaneously. This means that on this type of router you can enjoy the same bandwidth internet service on 2 to 4 devices. You will not find any problems like lag, package loss, ping bad etc. on this router.
The type of work of the MU-MIMO feature
MU-MIMO feature routers have been on the market since 2015. So if your digital device (laptop or smartphone or something else) has been around since 2014/2015, there is no reason to worry about compatibility.
The 802.11 protocol was used on SU-MIMO routers. The 802.11 protocol provides Internet service on a “first-come, first-serve” basis, so if multiple devices are connected to Wifi at the same time on this type of router, there is a lot of difference in net bandwidth between them.
MU-MIMO routers, on the other hand, use the new generation 802.11ac protocol (also known as Next-Gen AC or AC Wave 2). This protocol does not have the “come first, get first” system as before, so all devices connected to the router are provided with the same bandwidth internet at the same time.
How do you know if your router is MU-MIMO?
Simply put, you can tell if your router is MU-MIMO by looking at your router’s antenna. If your router has 2 or more antennas, it will be a router with MU-MIMO feature. You will get 1 antenna router in the market starting from 4 antenna router at different prices. 1 antenna routers have SU-MIMO feature and 2 and more antenna routers are MU-MIMO. The more antennas, the more streaming devices = you can easily identify your router by remembering this calculation. At the end of this year or at the beginning of next year, you will also find 6 antenna routers in the market where you can stream 6 devices simultaneously.
Most people think that the more antennas there are on the router, the larger the Wi-Fi signal area. This is a misconception. The router’s antenna has nothing to do with the WiFi signal!
Should you use a MU-MIMO router?
Naturally speaking, yes must be done. Because the routers in the SU-MIMO protocol are pre-2015 technologies; That means they are already 5 years old. You should use MU-MIMO routers to keep up with the latest generation of new devices. But ultimately this decision is up to you. If you use a router in a small store where no device other than your smartphone and store PC will use WIFI, you will not notice any difference whether you use SU-MIMO or MU-MIMO type of router.
But speaking of an office or gaming cafe; This means that where multiple computers and devices are used in one router, there is no alternative to MU-MIMO type routers. While you were playing games on the computer, your younger brother got into Wi-Fi on his smartphone and started watching YouTube, and the ping of your game was going up and down because of the SU-MIMO router! How do you feel then?