Why invest in a mesh network?

Published January 15, 2021, 1:00 PM

by MB Lifestyle

Unleash the full power of your Internet at Home with Wi-Fi 6 routers

With the COVID-19 pandemic compelling the government to impose quarantine restrictions for almost a year now, many Filipinos are forced to stay at home to curb the spread of the viral disease.

Many companies have quickly adapted thework-from-home arrangement for their employees. Businesses thrived through new operational strategies. The education sector has also shifted to distance and virtual learning.

Filipino households today are now shopping, settling their financial transactions, and finding new sources of livelihood online, not to mention being engaged in recreational activities like gaming and content streaming in their spare time.

With these activities happening simultaneously at homes and communities, households unquestionably need fast and reliable Internet connectivity. And while mobile Internet has become more available to many consumers, home broadband Internet service is still more powerful and ideal for family-use.

Slow Internet? It might be your router
In the November report of Ookla, the Internet testing and analysis firm bared that the country’s average download speed for broadband improved by 28.69Mbps or 262.71 percent, a significant jump from 7.91Mbps back in July 2019.

Despite this improvement, it is interesting that many consumers are still complaining about the slow and unreliable broadband Internet service that they have.

When the connection at home is acting up, it is easier to blame the Internet service provider (ISPs) than finding the other causes of the problem and the solution to it. In reality, it could be just caused by other issues such as physical obstructions like floors and walls, and even outdated hardware.

Filipinos are naturally practical and thrifty. But this may result to expensive decisions later if they tend to keep using aging appliances and other devices despite the fact that they already manifest signs of malfunction or they no longer perform optimally. In this case, Wi-Fi routers are no exception.

Wi-Fi routers are one of the most essential and most used but also the most unrecognized computer hardware at home. They, however, rarely break easily despite being left to operate on a 24/7 basis. So as long as they turn on and still work, there’s no compelling reason for users to replace them.

What is Wi-Fi 6?
As early as 2016, technology companies were already introducing the next-generation wireless connectivity standard Wi-Fi 6, also known as IEEE 802.11ax. During that time until today, most routers are still compliant with the nearly decade-old Wi-Fi 5 or IEEE 802.11ac standard.

Wi-Fi 6 can theoretically deliver up to 9.6Gbps Internet connectivity speed, significantly higher than Wi-Fi 5’s 3.5Gbps. While the country’s current average broadband speed is a far cry from the two wireless standards’ maximum bandwidths, having a router that comply with Wi-Fi 6 means more potential speed for all the devices connected to it.

In 2016, Intel stated that households had ten connected devices on the average and predicted that the average would be 50 by 2020. With today’s household setup caused by the pandemic and the proliferation of Internet-of-things (IoT) devices, it seems that Intel’s forecast is correct.

With that being said, switching to a Wi-Fi 6 router becomes a necessity amid the new normal as multiple users with multiple devices connect to a Wi-Fi network to support multiple applications simultaneously. Connecting all of these to a router based on older Wi-Fi standards would slow down the network resulting in slower connectivity but not in the case of Wi-Fi 6.

“Ever since the pandemic started, people have started to experience the need for a better router to manage multiple devices connecting to the Internet at the same time. Many of our customers’ main reason for upgrading is that our ASUS routers enhance their homes’ WiFi signals, while maintaining the stable connection speeds across simultaneously-working devices,” said Daryl Ko, Country Product Manager of ASUS.

“The pandemic has forced people and their families to live their daily lives at home. During this time, the need for high-quality performance routers to seamlessly connect to the outside world grew. Whether its parents remotely working, or students doing classes online, today’s routers have become a staple for whole-home WiFi connection,” Ko added. 

Why do you need Wifi 6?
Two key technologies make Wi-Fi 6 routers perform better than older routers: MU-MIMO and OFDMA.

MU-MIMO (multi-user, multiple input, multiple output) is not an entirely new technology as it is already present in Wi-Fi 5 routers but Wi-Fi 6 enhances it. The technology allows the router to communicate with multiple devices at the same time. Current routers with MU-MIMO can support up to four devices. Wi-Fi 6 routers level that up to support up to eight devices.

OFDMA (orthogonal frequency division multiple access), meanwhile, enables one transmission to deliver data to multiple devices at once. Kevin Robinson, a marketing leader at Wi-Fi Alliance, the non-profit organization that promotes Wi-Fi technology and certifies Wi-Fi products, explained the technology using a truck metaphor:

“With OFDMA, the network can look at a truck, see ‘I’m only allocating 75 percent of that truck and this other customer is kind of on the way,'” and then fill up that remaining space with a delivery for the second customer, he added. Simply put, OFDMA maximizes the transmission between a Wi-Fi 6 router to every device linked to it.

With the promise of faster, more reliable Internet connectivity, investing now in a Wi-Fi 6 router is not a bad idea.

PLDT Home, ASUS join forces to bring Wi-Fi 6 to more Filipinos
Bolstering its portfolio of solutions, PLDT Home has partnered with ASUS to help Filipino consumers upgrade to Wi-Fi 6 routers by offering them as a practical add-on for subscribers who want stronger and more reliable Internet connectivity. 

With the partnership, PLDT Home brings ASUS Wi-Fi 6 routers capable of delivering up to 1000Mbps speeds for lag-free browsing, seamless streaming, and equal upload and download speeds anywhere and on any device at home.

“Starting this year, ASUS offers a wide variety of products with WiFi 6 technology including motherboards, notebooks, desktop PCs, and phones. We have partnered with PLDT, the leading telecommunications company, to bring ASUS WiFi 6 routers to more consumers nationwide,” Ko shared.

Among the new routers that will be made available in the market is the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 which boasts of its outstanding features especially perfect for the gamers at home such as AiMesh Technology to achieve wider coverage with no dead spots at home, AiProtection Pro for security against malware and internet-based threats, Parental Control, IPTV Support, Link Aggregation, and WTFast Gaming Network.

“The adopters of these routers were impressed by just how much these routers offer and bring in to their home networking setup. We are pleased with how our customers have become more interested in exploring how our routers can help them realize their modern smart home dream with whole-home coverage. We hope that more customers would be able to try our WiFi 6 routers,” he added.

Apart from the ASUS ROG RaptureGT-AX11000, PLDT Home is also adding to its roster of mesh Wi-Fi systems the ASUS ZenWiFiXT8 which offers the same powerful mesh network technology with its Adaptive QoS, AiMesh Technology, AiProtection Pro, and WP3 security. 

With the inclusion of Wi-Fi 6 routers from ASUS to PLDT Home’s device portfolio, subscribers get more options for convenient connectivity solutions for their home needs, especially now that Internet usage has become more essential amid the new normal.

Get your Wi-Fi 6 routers and learn how to add it on PLDT Home Fibr subscription, visit www.pldthome.com/wifi6