2016 is undoubtedly the year of MU-MIMO. A few products of this nature appeared late last year, but here at CES, the number of MU-MIMO products that will hit the market soon is staggering.
Traditional MIMO products provide coverage by sending packets of data to a single device at once. Even just a few years ago this was more than adequate, but in the age of smartphones, tablets and other connected devices using data-intensive applications, single user MIMO just wasn't cutting it. MU-MIMO entered the market at a much needed time. Multiple MU-MIMO compatible clients connected to a MU-MIMO router or range extender will receive data simultaneously.
Netgear has jumped on the MU-MIMO trend with the EX7300 Nighthawk X4 AC2200 WiFi Range Extender and the EX6400 AC1900 WiFi Range Extender. Both the EX7300 and the EX6400 feature four internal antennas, 802.11ac Wave 2 to provide MU-MIMO, Netgear FastLane to use two WiFi bands simultaneously to establish one fast connection, beamforming technology to increase the range and stability of connections and low ranged amplifiers that increase the quality of transmissions.
Both range extenders are wall extenders, meaning they can be plugged directly into wall outlets for discreet and space efficient operation. They feature LED indicators that help illustrate the optimal location for maximum performance. Setup is easy; simply push the button to establish a secure connection.
The EX6400 and the EX7300 both extend WiFi range up to 10,000 square feet and may cycle between range extender and access point. The similarities stop here. The EX6400 offers wireless speeds of 1.9Gbps; the EX7300 is part of Netgear's enthusiast Nighthawk line, offering speeds of up to 2.2Gbps. Its Gigabit Ethernet port has two functions: it features an auto-sensor that simplifies setup with wired devices and increases WiFi speeds up to AC2200 when connected to a wired internet connection.
Netgear's EX6400 AC1900 WiFi Range Extender and the EX7300 Nighthawk X4 AC2200 WiFi Range Extender are available now on Netgear's website and major retailers for $139.99 and $169.99 respectively.
Alexander Quejado is an Associate Contributing Writer for Tom’s Hardware and Tom’s IT Pro. Follow Alexander Quejado on Twitter. Follow us on Facebook, Google+, RSS, Twitter and YouTube.