What is MU-MIMO? Do You Need it in Your Router?

Linksys Max-Stream EA8500 Router: The first MU-MIMO router

The internet is now a basic need for many people as it allows them to do various things. It has come with multiple improvements and technologies that make its functionality outstanding. An excellent example of such technologies is the MU-MIMO technology.

The MU-MIMO technology role cannot be ignored as it allows the use of several devices simultaneously on your router. You can use your smart TV, computer, and other streaming devices conveniently. So long as each device is connected to a band that supports it, you will have an easy time doing your work.

A router that has the MU-MIMO technology does not get overloaded as devices get divided among the bands. Some devices that need extra internet get served by a specific band. Those that need less internet get directed to the band that will serve them conveniently.

The question that most people as is if the MU-MIMO technology is a must for their routers. Let’s understand it better and assess its importance to your internet use

What is MU-MIMO

The real meaning of the word MIMO is Multiple Input- Multiple Output. It is a word that refers to how bandwidth gets divided to accommodate devices within a connection. Modern routers have adopted the SU-MIMO, which means Single User, Multiple Input- Multiple Output

Under the SU-MIMO, a single device uses the router as the others wait for it to finish. The MU-MIMO technology prioritizes devices according to the amount of internet they consume. Each one then gets channeled to the less busy band, making the functionality outstanding.

Three flavors come along with the MU-MIMO routers. It can either be 2×2, 3×3, or 4×4, which symbolizes the number of devices you can use for each stream.

When it is at 4×4, it means that it can send four carousels at a single time, making the router deliver four load-outs at a single time.

What makes the MU-MIMO technology unique is that the connected devices enjoy the internet without compromise. The speed and the signal strength get maintained all through the devices. You will therefore do the tasks that need extra internet and those that need less conveniently.

Benefits of the MU-MIMO Technology

An essential thing about the MU-MIMO technology is that it allows a router to support multiple streaming of devices. Your Wi-Fi experience improves as many devices get access to the connection. Some of the benefits of the MU-MIMO technology include;

  • Increased efficiency of the router as many devices get connected at a single time. You will enjoy a more stable connection for many devices allowing multiple activities to happen.
  • Increased router capacity is also something that happens when you use the MU-MIMO technology. You will have a chance to do the tasks requiring extra internet, such as gaming and streaming content.
  • Increased network stability saves time as the devices get the data they need conveniently without waiting for each other.
  • Increased upload and download speeds happen due to stable connection and each device having its channel on the broadband.

Drawbacks of the MU-MIMO technology

The technology not only has benefits but also has its disadvantages. Below is a highlight of the disadvantages.

  • Works with the latest Wi-Fi technology-  The best routers with the MU-MIMO technology also have 802.11ac wireless standards.  In case you have a router with a 2.4 GHz band, then the technology won’t work. 802.11n also fails with the MU-MIMO technology.
  • Works only on the download speed- when downloading content, it happens at high speed, but when it comes to uploading, the speeds are not quite reliable.
  • Selective on devices- the MU-MIMO technology is very selective on the devices it works with. Smartphones and other devices must work with the 802.11ac to work with this technology. The same applies to the routers too. Full MU-MIMO compatibility is one thing that all devices must have.
  • Stream sharing tends to lower the speeds- currently, the MU-MIMO technology accommodates four streams. Adding a fifth device means that it will share the stream with another existing one hence lowering the speeds.

What routers support the MU-MIMO technology

To use the MIMO technology, you need a router that supports it. Many best routers support the technology as they serve multiple devices. Any router operating under the 802.11a/b/n/g does not work with the MU-MIMO technology.

The next-generation routers that have the ac and ac wave technology will work best with the MU-MIMO technology. Such routers will have a dual-band or a triband with both the 2.4GHz bands and the 5GH z bands. A dual-band will have a 2.4GHz band and 5GHz band, while the triband will combine 5GHz+5GHz+ 2.4GHz bands.  

Devices that work with MU-MIMO routers

Almost all wireless devices with the latest Wi-Fi technology will work with the MU-MIMO routers. However, the latest technology that pairs well with the technology is for 2017.

Having the latest technological standards is one thing that will make you enjoy moments with the MU-MIMO technology.

It is also important to check the devices with other latest technologies such as Beamforming, QoS, and latest security features for the best router performance.

The future of the MU-MIMO technology

We all agree that MU-MIMO technology is a new trend. It is a growing technology that will make a better improvement within a short time. Companies that have chosen to set up the pace, such as Netgear and Linksys, have employed the technology in most of their routers.

The introduction of QUALCOMM’s wave 2 MU-MIMO Wi-Fi and the Linksys max stream, which happens to be the first MU-MIMO router, has been a pace-setting technological development. More improvements are coming up day by day with regards to devices and routers.

Adopting the technology by many companies creates an urge to have more modifications to make its functionality more enhanced.

More devices are also using the technology, including the Wi-Fi boosters and client adapters. The technology is gaining more popularity, and it is becoming more adaptable hence its use in many devices.

Its future comes along with the adaptability and use by many other ISPs and devices. Therefore, we look forward to having many devices using the technology and undergoing many other modifications.

Do I need the MU-MIMO technology?

Having done the discussion about this technology, do we need it in our devices? The answer is yes. We need the MU-MIMO technology in our devices for an enhanced internet performance.  It is a technology that has come with great solutions to problems that were causing worries to the internet users.

Most modern homes have several devices that require the internet. Some support the MU-MIMO technology, while some do not. The biggest challenge has devices that support it while the technology isn’t there for the device that is supplying the internet.

The benefit of buying a router supporting the MU-MIMO technology is that you will simultaneously use most of your devices. If you have children who like gaming, you will be very safe with the service. If you run an office from home, you will not have many other devices when you begin to work.

The basic recommendation is that if you have more than 8 internet devices, you should have a router supporting the MU-MIMO technology. By doing so, you will be sure that all your devices are usable at any given time. For a modern home or office, MU-MIMO technology is a basic need.

How do I know if my router has MU-MIMO technology?

When buying a router, most people look at the specifications of the router. Some people have a habit of picking up any router so long as it has adequate upload and download speeds.

You need to look at the router’s specifications keenly to ensure that you have a router that has a clear indication that it has MU-MIMO technology.

Assessing the number of devices that the router can support is another wonderful thing. It will guarantee you that the router has some technology that works towards boosting its performance.

The most amazing thing is getting a high-quality router with the service as it will serve many devices and still deliver an outstanding service.

MU-MIMO standards

The MU-MIMO standard is another thing you need to look at closely. You can get one that has the 2×2 bidirectional design, 3×3, 4×4, and 8×8.

All these will work towards enhancing the performance. You have to select one hosted by the device that will serve you with regards t the price and the service you want to enjoy.

The most advanced technology is ideal as it allows you to upgrade your home or office service. The best you can do is look at the area you want your internet device to serve and then get a router to deliver the service.

For ease of improvement in the future, you need to get a router with the latest and most upgraded standards.

Conclusion

The MU-MIMO technology has more solutions than challenges. Adopting it for the improvement of your home or office is therefore worthy. It will allow you to have many of your devices enjoying the service it offers.

Getting the latest version of its router is excellent as it supports many devices. when buying your router, it is essential to look at the number of devices it supports and if it has the MU-MIMO technology

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