Beamforming: The Best WiFi You’ve Never Seen

Open-Mouthed Amazement

You should have seen my wife’s face when she found me glued to the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. “No, honey, come here!” I said, my face aglow with the bikini-clad pixels of Tyra and Heidi Klum. “You’ve got to see this!”

Arms crossed. Pursed lips. “Mm-hmm. Yes?”

I pointed at the laptop on the counter in front of me. “Not the models. The video. It’s high-def with a 19.2 megabits per second stream rate. Looks perfect, like HDTV, right?”


“Now turn around.” I pointed at the plasma screen on the wall pulling a different part of the same video, a second stream at 18.4 Mbps, through our Xbox 360 with an attached 802.11n bridge. “That’s almost 40 megabits streaming over WiFi. I’ve never even been able to do one stream before, and now we’ve got two!”

My wife looked at the screens, looked back to me, and shrugged. “OK, then. I’ll leave you and the girls to it. Have fun.”

She walked away and slammed the front door. I don’t think she actually cared if I was having fun. Strange. Clearly, she didn’t understand that something amazing had fallen into my lap. Actually, let me rephrase that. Something incredible had happened to my network. With an access point clear across the house, transmitting through one floor and three or four walls, coping with literally a dozen interfering WiFi networks surrounding the house, I was getting wireless network performance unlike anything I’d ever seen before.

This was my first experience with beamforming, something I’d only seen vague mention of on long-term WiMAX roadmaps. But here it was in an 802.11n access point from a company I’d never heard of, and it blew away everything I’d ever seen a wireless product do before.

Interested? Then let’s dig in. I may not have runway models to offer you, but I still think you’ll be impressed.

  • dingumf
    Tyra is an over confident wh0r3 and is not hot.

    You sir are an idiot
  • pirateboy
    just what we need, more retarded failnoobs clogging up the airwaves with useless braindead movieclips...yaay
  • chinesemafia69
    wow....this owns

  • bucifer
    This article started up pretty good with lots of technical data and the beamforming technology in theory but after that the goodness stopped.

    1.You cannot compare two products by testing them with a in-house developed software. It's like testing ATI vs nVIDIA with nvidia made benchmark.
    2.If you do something get it done, don't just go with half measures. I don't care if you didn't have time. You should have planned this from the beginning. The tests are incomplete, and the article is filled with crap of Rukus and Cisco.
  • Mr_Man
    In defense of your wife, you didn't HAVE to use that particular channel to view all the "detail".
  • @Mr_Man: With a name like yours, I'd think that you'd sympathize with Chris a bit more :P Unless (Mr_Man == I likes men) :D
  • antiacid
    awesome article! Thanks for exposing us to this great technology :)
  • Pei-chen
    Both Tyra and Heidi have personal issues and would be pretty difficult friend/mate.

    The network idea sounds better. I couldn’t get my 10 feet g network to transmit a tenth as much as my wired network without it dropping.
  • zak_mckraken
    There's one question that I think was not covered by the article. Can a beamformaing AP can sustain the above numbers on two different clients? Let's say we take the UDP test at 5 GHz. The result shows 7.3 Mb/s. If we had two clients at opposite sides of the AP doing the same test, would we have 7.3 Mb/s for each test or would the bandwidth be sliced in 2?

    The numbers so far are astonishing, but are they realistic in a multi-client environnement? That's something I'd like to know!
  • jerther
    There is so much invisible to understand in wireless technology!