Keith Shaw

Author Archives: Keith Shaw

What is beamforming and how does it make wireless better?

While the concepts of beamforming have been around since the 1940s, the technology is currently playing a key role in improving modern wireless communication standards such as Wi-Fi and 5G. In combination with MU-MIMO technologies, beamforming helps users get more precise connections that boost their data speeds.What is beamforming? Beamforming is a technique that focuses a wireless signal towards a specific receiving device, rather than have the signal spread in all directions, like from a broadcast antenna. The resulting direct connection is faster and more reliable than it would be without beamforming.To read this article in full, please click here

What is MU-MIMO and Why is it essential for Wi-Fi6 and 6E?

The only thing techies love more than creating acronyms is the chance to create even longer ones. Such is the case with wireless acronym MIMO (multiple input, multiple output), which got some additional letters with the release of MU-MIMO a few years ago.As wireless standards evolved from 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) to 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6), new features were added to MU-MIMO as well to improve speeds and efficiency, specifically in the number of streams it can support, as well as bidirectional functionality (uplink and downlink).What is MU-MIMO? MU-MIMO stands for multi-user, multiple input, multiple output, and represents a significant advance over single-user MIMO (SU-MIMO), which is generally referred to as MIMO. MIMO technology was created to help increase the number of simultaneous users a single access point can support. This was initially achieved by increasing the number of antennas on a wireless router.To read this article in full, please click here

What is MU-MIMO, and why is it essential for Wi-Fi 6 and 6E?

The only thing techies love more than creating acronyms is the chance to create even longer ones. Such is the case with wireless acronym MIMO (multiple input, multiple output), which got some additional letters with the release of MU-MIMO a few years ago.As wireless standards evolved from 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) to 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6), new features were added to MU-MIMO as well to improve speeds and efficiency, specifically in the number of streams it can support, as well as bidirectional functionality (uplink and downlink).How to buy Wi-Fi 6 access points What is MU-MIMO?  MU-MIMO stands for multi-user, multiple input, multiple output, and represents a significant advance over single-user MIMO (SU-MIMO), which is generally referred to as MIMO. MIMO technology was created to help increase the number of simultaneous users a single access point can support. This was initially achieved by increasing the number of antennas on a wireless router.To read this article in full, please click here

BGP: What is border gateway protocol, and how does it work?

Finding the best way to get from Point A to Point B is easy if you’re drawing a straight line on a piece of paper, but when Point A is your computer and Point B is a website halfway around the world, things get a bit trickier.In the latter case, Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), the routing protocol used by the global internet, is used to find the best path by weighing the latest network conditions based on reachability and routing information. BGP manages how data packets get delivered between the large networks that make up the internet and makes it possible for the internet as we know it to operate efficiently.What is Border Gateway Protocol? BGP has been called the glue of the Internet and the postal service of the internet. One comparison likens BGP to GPS applications on mobile phones. If you were driving from Boston to Los Angeles, the GPS app decides the best route possible using existing knowledge of road conditions, traffic jams, and whether you want to travel on a toll road. Sometimes, the shortest path is not always the best path. BGP is like having a continuously updated map of the internet from Continue reading

What is a WAN? Wide-area network definition and examples

If it weren’t for wide-area networks (WAN) it wouldn’t be possible to telecommute, to create unified networks for organizations with far-flung locations, or to do online anything. But WANs do exist and have for decades, constantly evolving to carry more and more traffic faster as demands increase and technology becomes more powerful.What is a WAN? A WAN is a network that uses various links—private lines, Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), virtual private networks (VPNs), wireless (cellular), the Internet—to connect smaller metropolitan and campus networks in diverse locations into a single, distributed network. The sites they connect could be a few miles apart or halfway around the globe. In an enterprise, the purposes of a WAN could include connecting branch offices or even individual remote workers with headquarters or the data center in order to share corporate resources and communications.To read this article in full, please click here

The OSI model explained (and how to easily remember) the 7-layer network model

When most non-technical people hear the term “seven layers”, they either think of the popular Super Bowl bean dip or they mistakenly think about the seven layers of Hell, courtesy of Dante’s Inferno (there are nine). For IT professionals, the seven layers refer to the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model, a conceptual framework that describes the functions of a networking or telecommunication system.The model uses layers to help give a visual description of what is going on with a particular networking system. This can help network managers narrow down problems (Is it a physical issue or something with the application?), as well as computer programmers (when developing an application, which other layers does it need to work with?). Tech vendors selling new products will often refer to the OSI model to help customers understand which layer their products work with or whether it works “across the stack”.To read this article in full, please click here

The OSI model explained and how to easily remember its 7 layers

The Open Systems Interconnect (OSI) model is a conceptual framework that describes networking or telecommunications systems as seven layers, each with its own function.The layers help network pros visualize what is going on within their networks and can help network managers narrow down problems (is it a physical issue or something with the application?), as well as computer programmers (when developing an application, which other layers does it need to work with?). Tech vendors selling new products will often refer to the OSI model to help customers understand which layer their products work with or whether it works “across the stack”. [ Related: What is IPv6, and why aren’t we there yet? ] The 7 layers of the OSI model The layers are: Layer 1—Physical; Layer 2—Data Link; Layer 3—Network; Layer 4—Transport; Layer 5—Session; Layer 6—Presentation; Layer 7—Application.To read this article in full, please click here

What is a network switch, and how does it work?

Networks today are essential for supporting businesses, providing communication, delivering entertainment—the list goes on and on. A fundamental element networks have in common is the network switch, which helps connect devices for the purpose of sharing resources.What is a network switch? A network switch is a device that operates at the Data Link layer of the OSI model—Layer 2. It takes in packets being sent by devices that are connected to its physical ports and sends them out again, but only through the ports that lead to the devices the packets are intended to reach.To read this article in full, please click here

What is a virtual machine, and why are they so useful?

Many of today’s cutting-edge technologies such as cloud computing, edge computing and microservices owe their start to the concept of the virtual machine—separating operating systems and software instances from a physical computer.What is a virtual machine? At its base level, a virtual machine (VM) is software that runs programs or applications without being tied to a physical machine. In a VM instance, one or more guest machines can run on a physical host computer.Each VM has its own operating system, and functions separately from other VMs, even if they are located on the same physical host. VMs generally run on computer servers, but they can also be run on desktop systems, or even embedded platforms. Multiple VMs can share resources from the physical host, including CPU cycles, network bandwidth and memory.To read this article in full, please click here

What is a virtual machine, and why are they so useful?

Many of today’s cutting-edge technologies such as cloud computing, edge computing and microservices owe their start to the concept of the virtual machine—separating operating systems and software instances from a physical computer.What is a virtual machine? At its base level, a virtual machine (VM) is software that runs programs or applications without being tied to a physical machine. In a VM instance, one or more guest machines can run on a physical host computer.Each VM has its own operating system, and functions separately from other VMs, even if they are located on the same physical host. VMs generally run on computer servers, but they can also be run on desktop systems, or even embedded platforms. Multiple VMs can share resources from the physical host, including CPU cycles, network bandwidth and memory.To read this article in full, please click here

What is edge computing and why it matters

Edge computing is transforming the way data is being handled, processed, and delivered from millions of devices around the world. The explosive growth of internet-connected devices – the IoT – along with new applications that require real-time computing power, continues to drive edge-computing systems.Faster networking technologies, such as 5G wireless, are allowing for edge computing systems to accelerate the creation or support of real-time applications, such as video processing and analytics, self-driving cars, artificial intelligence and robotics, to name a few.To read this article in full, please click here

802.11: Wi-Fi speeds and standards explained

In the world of wireless, the term Wi-Fi is synonymous with wireless access in general, despite the fact that it is a specific trademark owned by the Wi-Fi Alliance, a group dedicated to certifying that Wi-Fi products meet the IEEE’s set of 802.11 wireless standards.These standards, with names such as 802.11b (pronounced “Eight-O-Two-Eleven-Bee”, ignore the “dot”) and 802.11ac, comprise a family of specifications that started in the 1990s and continues to grow today. The 802.11 standards codify improvements that boost wireless throughput and range as well as the use of new frequencies as they  become available. They also address new technologies that reduce power consumption.To read this article in full, please click here

802.11: Wi-Fi speeds and standards explained

In the world of wireless, the term Wi-Fi is synonymous with wireless access in general, despite the fact that it is a specific trademark owned by the Wi-Fi Alliance, a group dedicated to certifying that Wi-Fi products meet the IEEE’s set of 802.11 wireless standards.These standards, with names such as 802.11b (pronounced “Eight-O-Two-Eleven-Bee”, ignore the “dot”) and 802.11ac, comprise a family of specifications that started in the 1990s and continues to grow today. The 802.11 standards codify improvements that boost wireless throughput and range as well as the use of new frequencies as they  become available. They also address new technologies that reduce power consumption.To read this article in full, please click here

What is digital twin technology? [and why it matters]

Digital twin technology has moved beyond manufacturing and into the merging worlds of the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and data analytics.As more complex “things” become connected with the ability to produce data, having a digital equivalent gives data scientists and other IT professionals the ability to optimize deployments for peak efficiency and create other what-if scenarios.[ Click here to download a PDF bundle of five essential articles about IoT in the enterprise. ] What is a digital twin? The basic definition of a digital twin: it’s a digital representation of a physical object or system. The technology behind digital twins has expanded to include larger items such as buildings, factories and even cities, and some have said people and processes can have digital twins, expanding the concept even further.To read this article in full, please click here

What is DNS and how does it work?

The Domain Name System (DNS) is one of the foundations of the internet, yet most people outside of networking probably don’t realize they use it every day to do their jobs, check their email or waste time on their smartphones.At its most basic, DNS is a directory of names that match with numbers. The numbers, in this case are IP addresses, which computers use to communicate with each other. Most descriptions of DNS use the analogy of a phone book, which is fine for people over the age of 30 who know what a phone book is.[ Don’t miss customer reviews of top remote access tools and see the most powerful IoT companies . | Get daily insights by signing up for Network World newsletters. ] If you’re under 30, think of DNS like your smartphone’s contact list, which matches people’s names with their phone numbers and email addresses. Then multiply that contact list by everyone else on the planet.To read this article in full, please click here

What is DNS and how does it work?

The Domain Name System (DNS) is one of the foundations of the internet, yet most people outside of networking probably don’t realize they use it every day to do their jobs, check their email or waste time on their smartphones.At its most basic, DNS is a directory of names that match with numbers. The numbers, in this case are IP addresses, which computers use to communicate with each other. Most descriptions of DNS use the analogy of a phone book, which is fine for people over the age of 30 who know what a phone book is.[ Don’t miss customer reviews of top remote access tools and see the most powerful IoT companies . | Get daily insights by signing up for Network World newsletters. ] If you’re under 30, think of DNS like your smartphone’s contact list, which matches people’s names with their phone numbers and email addresses. Then multiply that contact list by everyone else on the planet.To read this article in full, please click here

What is IPv6, and why aren’t we there yet?

For the most part the dire warnings about running out of internet addresses have ceased because, slowly but surely, migration from the world of Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4) to IPv6 has begun, and software is in place to prevent the address apocalypse that many were predicting.But before we see where are and where we’re going with IPv6, let’s go back to the early days of internet addressing.+Related: IPv6 deployment guide; How to plan your migration to IPv6+To read this article in full, please click here

What is IPv6, and why aren’t we there yet?

For the most part the dire warnings about running out of internet addresses have ceased because, slowly but surely, migration from the world of Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4) to IPv6 has begun, and software is in place to prevent the address apocalypse that many were predicting.But before we see where are and where we’re going with IPv6, let’s go back to the early days of internet addressing.+Related: IPv6 deployment guide; How to plan your migration to IPv6+To read this article in full, please click here

802.11: Wi-Fi standards and speeds explained

In the world of wireless, the term Wi-Fi is synonymous with wireless access in general, despite the fact that it is a specific trademark owned by the Wi-Fi Alliance, a group dedicated to certifying that Wi-Fi products meet the IEEE’s set of 802.11 wireless standards.These standards, with names such as 802.11b (pronounced “Eight-O-Two-Eleven-Bee”, ignore the “dot”) and 802.11ac, comprise a family of specifications that started in the 1990s and continues to grow today. The 802.11 standards codify improvements that boost wireless throughput and range as well as the use of new frequencies as they  become available. They also address new technologies that reduce power consumption.To read this article in full, please click here

802.11: Wi-Fi standards and speeds explained

In the world of wireless, the term Wi-Fi is synonymous with wireless access in general, despite the fact that it is a specific trademark owned by the Wi-Fi Alliance, a group dedicated to certifying that Wi-Fi products meet the IEEE’s set of 802.11 wireless standards.These standards, with names such as 802.11b (pronounced “Eight-O-Two-Eleven-Bee”, ignore the “dot”) and 802.11ac, comprise a family of specifications that started in the 1990s and continues to grow today. The 802.11 standards codify improvements that boost wireless throughput and range as well as the use of new frequencies as they  become available. They also address new technologies that reduce power consumption.To read this article in full, please click here

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