Beamforming: Does it make a different for 802.11n?

gnomeisland

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 30, 2008
655
324
New York, NY
So despite their ugly design, I'm excited but what I see as the first real update to the AES/Time Capsule since the adoption of wireless-N. The new "ac" standard sounds cool but I have no devices that support it and probably won't for at least another year (or two). However, beam forming could make huge difference for network congestion if it will work with wireless-N. Anyone know if that's the case here? I know that beamforming has actually been around for years before Apple adopted it but I'm not aware of another commercial router that offers it.
 

MCAsan

macrumors 601
Jul 9, 2012
4,542
413
Atlanta
Beam forming is used in cellular network basestations extensively. It is a basic function in LTE base stations/antenna arrays. Well known and proven technology.
 

Giuly

macrumors 68040
If 802.11ac uses the same antennae as 802.11n and beamforming is a technology that turns uni-directional antennae in a hexagonal array on and off to divide the transmission power in the most efficient way or whatever in relation to the signal strength, then it should work with older devices as well.
 
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colodane

macrumors 6502a
Nov 11, 2012
795
263
Colorado
My hope was that the beam forming would also work with 802.11n devices, but quoting from the description in the Apple Airport Extreme website:

"But the beamforming antenna array is smarter — it knows where an 802.11ac device is on the network. Then AirPort Extreme targets its signal to that device."

That statement implies that it only may work for ac. Will be interesting to find the answer to this.
 

michial

macrumors 6502a
Sep 15, 2009
599
240
I don't have an ac ready device just a 2012 cmbp. Would this AE give better range and throughput than the Asus rtn66u?