Reply

Netgear hyping STREAMS in Wi-Fi 6 routers is nonsense

duckware
Prodigy

Netgear hyping STREAMS in Wi-Fi 6 routers is nonsense

Wow, 12 streams in the RAX120.  Complete nonsense and meaningless (and computed wrong; there are 8 antennas).

 

Kudos to the first person that explains to the community (the correct answer) why streams in 802.11ax don't matter that much anymore.

 

Clue: In Wi-Fi 6, why will a 4x4 AP perform the same as an 8x8 AP to 100 Wi-Fi 6 2x2 clients all downloading at the same time.

Message 1 of 10
schumaku
Guru

Re: Netgear hyping STREAMS in Wi-Fi 6 routers is nonsense

All these new wireless standards were abused by (consumer) marketing for years if not decades. When I think on how lazy multiple interfaces were simply added to create ACnnnnnnnnn and nobody ever cared. And buddy, the equation one antenna == on stream is certainly wrong.

I've seen the internals of another vendor device using the same Qualcomm platform - there were four 2.4 GHz and four 5 GHz antennas. And indeed, the Qualcomm platform can handle 12 streams.

Message 2 of 10
schumaku
Guru

Re: Netgear hyping STREAMS in Wi-Fi 6 routers is nonsense

FWIW 12 stream are implemented  4x 2.4GHz and 8x 5GHz

Message 3 of 10
duckware
Prodigy

Re: Netgear hyping STREAMS in Wi-Fi 6 routers is nonsense

Yes.  But why does that not matter for 802.11ax for the situation described?  That is the point.  Why is Netgear hyping something that really does not matter.  802.11ax is a game changer for the reason why.

 

A clue: Even a 2x2 802.11ax AP would be just as capable.

Message 4 of 10
avtella
Prodigy

Re: Netgear hyping STREAMS in Wi-Fi 6 routers is nonsense

I beliee the AX120 can either operate the 5Ghz band as 8 streams or split into 2 bands of 4x4 like a triband effectively. The 8x8 mode wont be very useful till MU-MIMO is more widely used by client devices but that's already happening. A lot of Android phones already support MU and so do most new mid/high end laptops since the last 2 years or so that are using the Intel 8265ac and 9260 ac (aka Killer 1550) and Qualcomm QCA6174A (aka Killer 1535) would benefit with 8 stream mode even within the ac spec. Problem is how many people have more than 2-3 MU capable clients to make avail of 8 streams just yet. Then again it's becoming more widespread.  Apple for one however uses non-MU capable Broadcom cards in all its devices.

Message 5 of 10
duckware
Prodigy

Re: Netgear hyping STREAMS in Wi-Fi 6 routers is nonsense

To everyone reading this, if you don't immediately know the answer to the first question, you are missing something huge about the changes in 802.11ax...

Message 6 of 10
avtella
Prodigy

Re: Netgear hyping STREAMS in Wi-Fi 6 routers is nonsense

With MU-MIMO streams do matter. More streams means more devices active in parallel and that means better peak download speeds when multiple MU devices are actively in use at once. Withou MU clients are active 1 after the other in a round robin fashion.

Other than maybe current Apple devices, a lot of new devices (phones/laptops) support MU at least on the downlink side. I really don’t see anything wrong with advertising that.
Message 7 of 10
duckware
Prodigy

Re: Netgear hyping STREAMS in Wi-Fi 6 routers is nonsense

Nope.  MU-MIMO is not the answer.  Remove that from the table.

 

Again, 802.11ax is a game changer for one key reason and it is incredibly easy to overlook.

 

Last clue: How does 802.11ax support multiple users?

Message 8 of 10
schumaku
Guru

Re: Netgear hyping STREAMS in Wi-Fi 6 routers is nonsense

It's not about MU-MIMO vs. OFDMA my friend.

 

MU-MIMO is a mandatory feature on 802.1ax - very different from 802.11ac. You are trying to hype OFDMA - a feature very helpful when it comes to many clients requiring smaller data rates, or in environments with a large number of concurrent wireless clients/IoTs.

When it comes to the naked throughput, serving a small number of capable clients, a single 802.11ax 8x8:8 system radio (QCN5154) with a max rate of 9.6 Gb/s will outperform a 802.11ax 4x4:4 radio (BCM42684) at 4.8 Gb/s.

Some oddities remain - for the moment it appears the Qualcomm has to fall back to 4x4:4 for a 160 MHz channel coverage, and there must be shortcomings when it comes to DFS handling obviously - as reflected that the initial AX12 firmware won't support DFS.

My heart would go more for an design with two 5 GHz radios @80 MHzin 4x4:4  and with a workable DFS support - while the freeky perfromance geeks will continue to look for the 8.8:8 system.

Message 9 of 10
duckware
Prodigy

Re: Netgear hyping STREAMS in Wi-Fi 6 routers is nonsense

MU-MIMO does have a lot of benefits, but you almost never get those benefits in the real world (you will get benefits in a static test setup; something you can configure with patience at home).  In an enterprise setup, I have not seen anyone say that it works (in fact the opposite: everything I see says that it does not work in the enterprise).  The achilles heel of MU-MIMO is that it requires spatial diversity between the 'multiple' devices, and the overhead of the management frames.

 

The point of this post was to try to educate people that 802.11ax changes the game.  In 802.11ax, there are TWO multi-user mechanism.  MU-MIMO and MU-OFDMA.  They are not the same thing (which most people like likely overlook and not fully realize).  MU-OFDMA is multi-user support baked into the 802.11ax protocols.  Up to nine users can be supported per 20 Mhz channel (so up to 36 in 80 Mhz).  So in very dense environments (classrooms, stadiums, etc) 802.11ax does a large advantage (but only with 802.11ax clients).  So a 'four' stream 802.11ax router can actually transmit to lots of users at the same time.

 

Of course, the only way to take full advantage of Wi-Fi 6 benefits is with Wi-Fi 6 clients -- which will not happen for many years.

 

I agree -- two (band) 4x4 is way better than one 8x8 -- for most people.

 

freaky performance geeks: Well, the fact that Netgear's max speed for 8x8 RAX12 is the same as Netgear's max speed for 4x4 RAX8 (both are AX6000) will hopefully make the geeks go 'hmmmm'.

Message 10 of 10
Top Contributors
Discussion stats
  • 9 replies
  • 3823 views
  • 4 kudos
  • 3 in conversation
Announcements

Orbi WiFi 6E