802.11ax Wi-Fi Explained - GoTechTalk


Friday, June 29, 2018

802.11ax Wi-Fi Explained

What I think Wifi revision nomenclature may be even worse, I mean seriously they started  out with 802.11, which to the average person is about as meaningless as a promise bout political campaign finance reform and then they stuck a bunch of seemingly random letters on the end like B G N AC and AC wave 2  of all things.

Now the powers that we are giving us 802.11ax as our next Wi-Fi standard so either they threw in an X to appeal to the younger generation or there were in between revisions that never made it into an end-user product we'll never know, what we do know is that Wireless X does look like it's going to bring some exciting improvements to your Wi-Fi experience starting perhaps unsurprisingly with speed, now if you look at the spec on paper you might notice that the maximum theoretical speed for the previous standard wireless AC wave 2 is 866 megabits per second for a single stream and then only 1201 for wireless AX so it's higher but not a nearly six-fold increase like when we went from N to AC but that is actually okay because as some of you probably know the theoretical maximum speeds for Wi-Fi are notoriously inaccurate anyway and real-world performance can vary widely depending on range obstacles other signals in the air and the quality of your access point and your device, so to address this wireless ax aims to improve efficiency in a number of ways to give you consistently higher real-world speeds than what you'd get with AC.

Perhaps the biggest change is a feature called OFDMA (Orthogonal frequency-division multiple access ) well however you say it what it does is chop up each wireless Channel into many smaller partial channels which allows up to 30 different gadgets to talk to the access point at once over a single channel instead of just one, even though these sub channels are smaller than the main channel the access point gets more flexibility allowing it to allocate bandwidth to each device based on its data needs this should increase performance over all.

OFDMA also works in tandem with multi-user MIMO but the gist of it is that multi-user MIMO allows an access point to address multiple devices simultaneously instead of one at a time sequentially and while multi-user MIMO was introduced for consumers with last gen wireless AC wireless AX improves on it not only by allowing 8 simultaneous streams instead of just 4 but also by enabling it for both uploads and downloads so uploading photos or streaming video from a crowded area like a trade show or a concert venue with Wireless AX support should get a fair bit easier, another cool feature is the addition of color and oh I don't mean that wireless AX will make the color on your $200 notebook screen look better instead it supports a feature called BSS color which is an identifier that is attached to each data chunk or frame to indicate what wireless network it came from, you see access points typically wait to transmit if there's already another frame flying through the air with BSS color and AP can tell which frames are coming from other networks and ignore them as long as they're below a threshold of weakness to prevent interference this should help avoid unnecessary slowdowns and if all these improvements aren't enough wireless ax can utilize both 2.4 and 5 gigahertz bands with tech companies currently trying to get even more spectrum in the 6 gigahertz range allocated to Wi-Fi and for your battery-powered devices it supports yet another new feature called target wakeup time that allows gadgets to negotiate how often and for how long they will need to transmit or receive data this allows the Wi-Fi transponder to sleep when transmission isn't necessary which should help to preserve precious battery life once AX devices are available but when will that be ah I'm glad you asked well the first devices will be routers as usual with early bird network vendors like a Asus planning mid 2018 launches so since the new standard is backwards compatible you could make the upgrade early if you wanted to and as for client devices well the word on the street is that phones and laptops will probably start hitting the consumer market sometime in 2019.

 Alright, guys, that's the end of the blog, thanks for reading the whole way through if you enjoyed this blog please share it with someone who would be interested and leave a comment, Thanks for reading guys.

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