Does the Number of Antennas on a Wi-Fi Modem/Router Matter? | QR #70

If you take a closer look at the current market, you will surely notice that the more expensive modem/routers tend to have more antennas. And by more, I mean a lot of them (there are modems with like 8-10 antennas). So, it makes you wonder “Why?”.  Are they actually useful or is it just another marketing trick to make more sales. Well, that’s what we’ll analyze in this article. Let’s get into the details…

Does the Number of Antennas on a Wi-Fi Modem/Router Matter?

The more the antennas the merrier since they can significantly increase the Wi-Fi range and speed. For example, a triple antenna router can reach internet speed of up to 450 megabits per second while a double antenna router can reach 300 megabits per second.

Important Notes:

  1. The router can vary the phase relationship of the signal on each antenna to create a phased array type antenna. This is called Beam Forming and allows focusing the signal on a specific device. This is how the increased speed and range are achieved.
  2. A router has the ability to send data to multiple devices at the same time. On average, a router with 4 antennas can send data to about 3 devices, for 3 times the speed. (only for the data going directly from the router to the device. This is widely known as Multi-user MIMO.
  3. The positioning and the quality of the antennas is also something that matters a lot. Each company obviously knows how to set them up but if they are not positioned correctly, they might cause interference. There are many unique designs when it comes to appearance but if you actually run a benchmark, not all of them will turn out to be effective.

Conclusion

At last, if you can afford a modem with more antennas, go ahead and buy it. It will definitely synchronize your internet connection at higher speeds and you’ll be able to have much higher signal range. That’s pretty much everything on this topic. There are countless more details but you don’t really have to worry about them. Let me know in the comments if you have more questions. I’ll see you in our next Quick Response. Peace!

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