How can you tell my AX router supports Beamforming?

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liukuohao

Occasional Visitor
Beamforming and MU-MIMO in 802.11ax routers.png

Source: https://www.networkworld.com/articl...w-it-makes-wireless-communication-faster.html

Hello guys,

Can someone who has the technical know-how of answering my question about MU-MIMO & Beamforming.

With the current 802.11ax wifi6 router available in the market, MU-MIMO is the standard feature.
Does it mean, having MU-MIMO in the router supports Beamforming technology, without explicitly mentioning it?

I am looking at the the specification of the Xiaomi Redmi AX6 router (see the link below)
Redmi AX6: https://xiaomi-mi.com/wifi-routers/redmi-ax6-router/
Redmi AX6: https://www.gearbest.com/wireless-routers/pp_3006146441862157.htm
Redmi AX6: https://www.androidpimp.com/best-deals/xiaomi-redmi-ax6-wireless-router/#2-hardware
The specification shown on the above link, does not mention explicitly anything about supporting Beamforming
So, does it means that if Beamforming is not advertised/stated in the specification, that means the router
does not support it? Or by default when MU-MIMO is used, that means Beamforming is already part of
the configuration?

Let's compare to its Xiaomi flagship router model, Xiaomi AX3600 router it does mention that the router support Beamforming.

AX3600: https://www.mi.com/global/mi-aiot-router-ax3600/

Both models, are using the same chipset: Qualcomm IPQ8071A

Therefore, can I assume Xiaomi Redmi AX6 router does support beamforming,
since it is part of MU-MIMO standard feature in a Wifi 6 router?

Thank you.
 

AndreiV

Very Senior Member

How can you tell my AX router supports Beamforming?​


Look at the WiFi controls in the GUI where you choose which settings to use. :rolleyes:
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
Beamforming is part of the 802.11ac and 11ax specs, so is supported in all products.
AC MU-MIMO is now supported in most AC and AX products.
Downlink AX MU-MIMO is now mostly supported in AX products.
Uplink AX MU-MIMO is sometimes supported, mostly in newer Wi-Fi 6 products.

As @AndreiV pointed out, you should check the advanced wireless settings of your router. If you're wondering about a product that you are considering buying and these features are not called out in the spec, you'll need to check with the manufacturer. If a product is Wi-Fi Certified, you can check the product's certificate. https://www.wi-fi.org/product-finder
 

liukuohao

Occasional Visitor
Beamforming is part of the 802.11ac and 11ax specs, so is supported in all products.
AC MU-MIMO is now supported in most AC and AX products.
Downlink AX MU-MIMO is now mostly supported in AX products.
Uplink AX MU-MIMO is sometimes supported, mostly in newer Wi-Fi 6 products.

As @AndreiV pointed out, you should check the advanced wireless settings of your router. If you're wondering about a product that you are considering buying and these features are not called out in the spec, you'll need to check with the manufacturer. If a product is Wi-Fi Certified, you can check the product's certificate. https://www.wi-fi.org/product-finder
Hmmm.......I think the 1st statement is not entirely true, only Wifi 5 (AC) products
with the implemention of WAVE 2 do support Beamforming.

Question:
If you cannot find your router in Wi-Fi Certified database, is the manufacturer trying to save money,
so that its product can sell well due to lower cost?

Or worst, the router does not full compliant to Wi-Fi 6 standards?
 
Last edited:

liukuohao

Occasional Visitor
Look at the WiFi controls in the GUI where you choose which settings to use. :rolleyes:
Because I am talking about Xiaomi AX3600 routers + the low cost: Redmi AX6 routers.
There is no option in the GUI for you to ENABLE / DISABLE Beamforming like in ASUS routers

However, if you refer to the attached picture, there is an option of turning off: MU-MIMO
So,.....what it does means?

1) means turning off MU-MIMO and then becomes SU-MIMO?
or
2) means turning off MU-MIMO + beamforming then becomes SU-MIMO?

Xiaomi does not have the manual to explain in details what the settings do.
 

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thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
At this point, beamforming and MU-MIMO support are standard in AC chipsets. Beamforming was there pretty much from the start. It took about 3 years for Broadcom to get MU-MIMO working.

Wi-Fi Certification is not mandatory. Many manufacturers skip it to save cost.

I wouldn't worry too much about MU-MIMO support, It's unlikely to do much to improve your Wi-Fi experience.
 

liukuohao

Occasional Visitor
At this point, beamforming and MU-MIMO support are standard in AC chipsets. Beamforming was there pretty much from the start. It took about 3 years for Broadcom to get MU-MIMO working.

Wi-Fi Certification is not mandatory. Many manufacturers skip it to save cost.

I wouldn't worry too much about MU-MIMO support, It's unlikely to do much to improve your Wi-Fi experience.
Ok noted.

Thank you for your input.
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
With the current 802.11ax wifi6 router available in the market, MU-MIMO is the standard feature.
Does it mean, having MU-MIMO in the router supports Beamforming technology, without explicitly mentioning it?

Simple answer - MU requires 802.11ac/ax explicit beamforming...

There were early issues with some vendors on MU-MIMO (ahem, Broadcom), but these days, it's not really an issue.

Interesting, in current MU-MIMO capable chipsets, one doesn't see it that often, as chip vendors sort solutions - MU to be effective really needs multi-cast traffic to be effective, and there, the clients need to be close enough speed wise for the MU frames to be actually used in practice.

AP's are making better decisions on recent chipsets on when to use MU...
 

liukuohao

Occasional Visitor
Simple answer - MU requires 802.11ac/ax explicit beamforming...
@sfx2000

Only works with explicit beamforming alone? Or both?
That is Explicit & Implicit (universal beamforming) for those legacy device like 802.11n (Wifi 4)
If not BOTH then Why? Aren't Wifi 6 router suppose to be backward compatible?

The whole point of me posting this question in this forum is............
To find out...........
If a Wifi 6 router, which supports MU-MIMO but did not advertised to support BEAMFORMING,
can I assume it does? Since BEAMFORMING is part MU-MIMO as a standard feature of a Wif 6 router?

Or

Beamforming is just another hype that never really works in a real environment?
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
That is Explicit & Implicit (universal beamforming) for those legacy device like 802.11n (Wifi 4)
If not BOTH then Why? Aren't Wifi 6 router suppose to be backward compatible?

802.11n supported BeamForming, but with no clear direction, so it was really down to vendor implementations on both the client and AP side.

I tend to stay away from "implicit" or "universal" beamforming options in the 802.11n space..

With 802.11ac and later - as I mentioned earlier, explicit beamforming works well, as this was specifically done in the 802.11 specs, and only one way to do it...
 

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