Should You Care About Beamforming, the Futuristic Faster Version of Wi-Fi?

Should You Care About Beamforming, the Futuristic Faster Version of Wi-Fi?

If you’re happy with your Wi-Fi speeds all the time, then I envy you. But I also think you’re a liar. Let’s be honest: most people aren’t very happy with their internet speeds at all times of the day and at every point in their home.

That’s why Beamforming is getting a lot of people excited. Beamforming has been advertised as the futuristic, faster version of Wi-Fi technology. While most futuristic technologies are difficult to explain in layman’s terms, Beamforming is actually quite simple. Here’s how it works:

-Wi-Fi networks broadcast signals to a wide area and all devices in that wide area can connect to the network

-Instead of casting a large net, Beamforming casts specific signals at specific devices, which is designed to concentrate the signal and aim it directly at its target

beamforming 3

Sounds great, right? It is. And even better, Beamforming is becoming more and more commonplace on today’s routers, including many 802.11ac Wi-Fi routers being released today.

Surprisingly, many routers have had this ability for a little while, but laptops and network interface cards never took advantage of it. Today, manufacturers are realizing that Beamforming is an excellent way to access the following advantages:

-Improve wireless bandwidth utilization

-Increase throughput and range using multiple antennas

-Enjoy better speeds throughout the home or business, including locations where internet could not previously be accessed

The flashlight versus lampshade example

beamforming

Think of a traditional Wi-Fi router like a lamp with a lampshade. When turned on, the lamp does a decent job of bathing the room in light.

However, how much better would it be if you were able to shine a flashlight in each specific direction where light is needed? This concentrated beam of light is more powerful and easier to use to pinpoint targets.

It’s not a perfect example, but hopefully, you get what I’m saying and understand the potential of Beamforming as a wireless technology.

So should you care?

You should absolutely care about Beamforming. Fortunately, it looks like you won’t have to care very much to get Beamforming implemented on your next router because it may already be there. Today’s newest Beamforming routers cost approximately $200, but that number is expected to drop in the near future just like it drops with everything else in the tech world.

Want to buy a Beamforming router?

netgear beamforming router

Today’s Beamforming routers, like the Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 Smart WiFi Router, may not use the term ‘Beamforming’ in their product names. However, that’s just because most people have never heard the term ‘Beamforming’ before.

If you look at the product descriptions for these so-called ‘Smart’ routers, then you may see the term Beamforming mentioned. The next time you buy a router and want to access the best possible speeds, Beamforming can be an excellent way to do that.

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