Get wise to the benefits of smart antenna for WiFi 6

Get wise to the benefits of smart antenna for WiFi 6

With advanced smart antenna technology and support for multi-gigabit connections, Zyxel’s flagship WAX650S WiFi 6 access point has everything needed to support higher density environments and the use of bandwidth-intensive applications, says Patrick Hirscher, EMEA Wireless Market Development Manager at Zyxel.

If you want to get the best out of WiFi you need the best equipment. And if you want the very best WiFi 6 performance, there is only one access point that you can really choose. The Zyxel WAX650S is the only WiFi 6 access point on the market today that comes with smart antenna technology. If you want to get the best WiFi 6 performance for all users who connect at all times, this is the access point you should buy.

Established customers and partners of Zyxel may well know about smart antenna technology already, as it is a key feature of our WAC6502D-S, WAC6503D-S 802.11ac (WiFi 5) Wave 1 access points and the WAC6303D-S (Wave2). But even if you are already familiar with the technology, it is worth reminding yourself of the benefits.

Big difference

The big difference that WiFi 6 makes is that it is much better for high density environments, where there are a lot of users all connecting at the same time, such as schools, conference centres, train stations or theatres. Our smart antenna technology makes this even better and ensures that everyone who connects to the access point gets the best possible signal strength and speed at all times.

It does this by constantly scanning the frequency for the best available signal and switching whenever it finds one that is better. This happens in microseconds, so it’s entirely invisible. It means that all users can move around, always stay connected and always get the best available WiFi 6 performance. It gives them excellent, 360° coverage when they are in range of the access point and with smart antenna the connection will always be excellent – especially in large, open spaces where there are a lot of people connecting to the WiFi. This also means you need fewer access points to cover a larger area.

No interference

A further advantage of this approach is that there is no danger of co-channel interference causing problems for WiFi users. With our smart antenna technology, every connection used its own unique signal. This is really important, as co-channel interference can be a real problem where more than one access point is in use and their ranges overlap, or where other devices that use radio signals (such as microwaves) are within range of the access point coverage area.

Another key point to understand is that smart antenna​ is not beamforming – that is a completely different technique and does not have the same impact. Essentially, beamforming just boosts the power of the signal between the access point and the device. That means it is still susceptible to co-channel interference, so if there is any cross-over of signals between two access points or other devices, that will cause problems.

In tests conducted by the University of Brescia in Italy, Zyxel’s access points with smart antenna technology has achieved much better results at both 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz frequencies than other vendor’s products. We can make details of this research available on request.

Zyxel know-how

It is also worth noting that you won’t find smart antenna technology on any other WiFi 6 access points on the market today. It is quite technically difficult, and therefore expensive, to build smart antenna technology into an access point. Zyxel has an exceptional R&D team and we gained a lot of experience and know-how by implementing smart antenna into our WiFi 5 access points.

We have thus been able to include the technology in the WAX650S from the outset, without making our offering prohibitively expensive. This is another example of how Zyxel’s technical capability and foresight is benefiting our customers and our partners.

On final point worth noting about the WAX650S is that it has a multi-gigabit port, so it can support connections to the network backbone at speeds of up to 5Gbps, making it perfect for today’s more bandwidth-intensive applications, such as video conferencing and cloud applications and services.

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