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Choosing a communications network for home or business purposes requires that you stay up-to-date with current technologies. The latest wireless communications revolve around full duplex systems. If you’re not familiar with this technology or how it relates to WiFi, here are a few things you should know.

What is Full Duplex?

When it comes to transmitting data, you want a system that goes both ways. In other words, you want to be able to send data and receive it. The question is: can you do both at the same time?

Any internet connection allows for the sending and receiving of data, but a full duplex fixed wireless system allows for two-way, simultaneous data transmission. The easiest comparison would be a telephone line, which allows you to hear the person on the other end talking even if you’re talking yourself.

What is Half Duplex?

WiFi is a half duplex form of data transmission, which is to say, data packets are sent back and forth in sequence. It happens so quickly that it mimics seamless, two-way data transmission, but in fact, data cannot be both sent and received simultaneously. A good comparison to this type of data transmission would be walkie-talkies, where one party cannot send a message until the transmission being received is complete.

Issues with WiFi

When comparing WiFi and full duplex fixed wireless, it’s important to understand not only the benefits, but also the potential drawbacks of each service. While most current routers work with WiFi, making them the more common choice, there could be issues with speed, security, and outside interference when using WiFi.

Most people will never notice a delay in data transmission and reception because WiFi speeds are so fast these days.  Technically, however, it would be faster to send and receive data simultaneously. As for security, proper password protection is adequate for most small networks, although greater security measures should be observed by businesses using WiFi.

The final issue is outside interference. Although WiFi networks need not be shared, you may have several devices running on your network, including computers, laptops, tablets, cell phones, game consoles, and more. The number of devices in use could slow your network down.

Issues with Full Duplex

Although you’ll enjoy increased speed as a result of full duplex technology, there are some potential drawbacks to choosing it over WiFi. For one thing, it could be costlier simply because the technology is newer. However, this is likely to change over time as full duplex systems become more popular and readily available.

The biggest issue, however, may be the internal interference, or self-interference that can occur when signals are being sent and received at the same time. The solution is to send and receive signals at different frequencies.

Which is Better?

The answer depends largely on your priorities, budget, and ultimate goals. Theoretically, full duplex is a superior means of sending and receiving communications, but until it becomes more prominent, WiFi may be a better choice in terms of cost and availability.

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