Virgin Media launches free ĎIntelligent WiFií
What does Intelligent WiFi include?
Wi-fi operates across multiple channels that are shared by connected devices in the home. If you live in a block of flats, or even in a house, there can be interference as multiple devices compete for bandwidth. Intelligent WiFiís channel optimisation works silently in the background, over 300,000 times per day, to automatically switch devices to less crowded wi-fi channels. Virgin Media claims its testing revealed 18% of homes should experience less wi-fi interference as a result.
Often confused with channel optimisation, band steering essentially decides which devices are on the 2.4GHz or 5GHz frequency. This is important if you have multiple devices as some may be able to support a 5GHz frequency, where others only support 2.4GHz. Without band steering, the 2.4GHz frequency can often get clogged up and your wi-fi may not perform as expected. However, there is a downside to band steering. Often, either the router or the device doesnít manage to do this very well, and devices that can support 5GHz can end up on the 2.4GHz anyway. Or, if one frequency isnít working as expected, the router doesnít automatically know to switch to the alternative band.
Virgin Media claims that the intelligence of its new systemís components work simultaneously to ensure optimum band steering Ė its testing showed that gadgets connected to the 5GHz frequency increased by 25%, allowing them to operate at faster speeds.
Airtime fairness is another smart feature of Intelligent Wifi that essentially helps to share out the wi-fi evenly across connected devices. This will incorporate recognising older devices that canít keep up with ultrafast broadband speeds, which can interfere with wi-fi performance.