IPv6 – What You Need to Know

December 12, 2019 at 8:00 AM


 Most people have heard of an IP address, these are a unique numerical identifiers assigned to each device connected to a computer network using the Internet Protocol (IP) for communication. The main function of these addresses is to recognize the host or network interface and to identify a location. But what you might not know is that, with the boom of connected devices today, we are running out of IP addresses. Have no fear though, IPv6 is here!


Currently, IP addresses use the IP Version 4 (IPv4) system, which is considered the backbone of the modern internet and has made over four billion IP addresses available for use. With those addresses quickly running out, Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) has been created to provide approximately 340 undecillion additional IP addresses (yes, that’s a real number – it has 36 zeros). This will not only ensure there are IP addresses available for the foreseeable future, it will also aid in the continued growth of Internet technology as a whole.


IPv6 is a network layer protocol that allows data to be sent over a packet switched network, which involves sending and receiving data in packets between two network nodes. This protocol was originally published in 1998 by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to replace IPv4. With its expanded capabilities and ability to foster growth through large scale deployments, IPv6 has been labeled as the “next generation Internet.”


While the architecture of IPv6 and IPv4 are similar, the main advantage of IPv6 is the large amount of increased IP addresses. With a 128-bit address length, compared to the 32-bit length of IPv4 addresses, IPv6 offers a nearly unlimited amount of available, unique IP addresses. This increase in size also makes IPv6 addresses less susceptible to scams such as IP scanning.


Additionally, IPv6 can support a larger payload than IPv4 packets, which improves transport efficiency and improves throughput. IPv6 also includes support for mobile devices with the Mobile IPv6 (MIPv6) protocol that allows mobile devices to switch between networks and receive a roaming notification despite physical location. Plus, IPv6 features auto-configuration that enables iPv6 devices to autonomously auto-configure themselves when connected with other IPv6 devices.


Overall, by delivering performance upgrades on top of a plethora of available IP addresses, IPv6 will open the doors for the growth of internet connected devices today and for a long time to come,


Benefits of Polycarbonate Enclosures

November 28, 2019 at 8:00 AM


Enclosures are a great way to keep your valuable equipment safe, they can be used across a variety of applications to protect critical equipment from the chemicals, environmental elements, physical contact, theft and damage. When deciding which type of enclosure is the best fit for your application, there are a lot of options available, from cooling & heating, to power and the materials they’re made from. So let’s take a look at the benefits of polycarbonate enclosures to see how they compare.


Enclosures can be made with several different types of materials. Metal and fiberglass are very popular options, but polycarbonate offers a long list of benefits including:


·        Impact resistance – Polycarbonate is an engineered thermoplastic able to withstand 4 times the impact of fiberglass


·        Lightweight – Polycarbonate is up to 40% lighter than fiberglass and up to 6xs lighter than stainless steel, making one-person installation easier and decreasing shipping costs


·        Cost effective – When compared to fiberglass and stainless steel, polycarbonate is the least expensive option, especially when considering the cost of manufacturing


·        Durability – Unlike fiberglass, polycarbonate maintains its shape, color and strength when exposed to UV light, making it a durable choice to withstand harsh conditions


·        Easier to Modify – Polycarbonate cuts easily and cleanly, it will not splinter or produce dangerous gas like fiberglass, which equates to easier modifications


·        Cleaner, Sturdy Designs:


-   Polycarbonate enclosures are offered with a clear lid or can be made as a completely clear structure, whereas fiberglass usually requires a window to be specially installed that can be expensive and leaky

-   Polycarbonate features 100% non-metallic hinge designs that are made to last, compared to fiberglass which normally uses a steel hinge pin that will eventually corrode


Clearly, polycarbonate enclosures deliver a long list of benefits that can allow them to outperform and outshine their stainless steel and fiberglass counterparts. If you’re contemplating whether they might be the perfect solution to protect your valuable equipment, check out our full line of polycarbonate enclosures.


411 on IoT Sensors

October 17, 2019 at 8:00 AM


In this blog, we’ve talked about a lot of different aspects and parts of the Internet of Things (IoT) - from industrial IoT to antennas & IoT, and how the IoT is making the world safer, we’ve covered a lot of ground. Now, we’re going to take a look at IoT sensors. Along with all the “things” connected through the IoT, sensors can be enabled to collect information about the surrounding environment. Here is the info you need to know. 


IoT sensors capture data and deliver it to be stored and processed in the core network. They are offered in various sizes to best fit the application and can be designed to be discreet stand-alone products or integrate into another product. These sensors can be installed close to the point of use or at the edge of the network. Sometimes they are localized within a space, such as a building. Other times, they are a further distance away, like in a field. No matter the location, sensors in harsh environments must always be protected to maintain reliability and durability. The actual application will determine where the sensors are placed, as well as what type of sensor is used, how it sends back data and what data is collected.


Sensors are offered in mechanical, electrical, electromechanical, magnetic, electromagnetic, chemical or optical models. The type of data they collect is just as varied and which one you use depends on what your application requires. Data types include, but are not limited to: pressure, moisture, temperature, vibration, motion, chemicals, sound and speed. For precision data, the sensor will need higher accuracy. Geospatial tagging is required to collect data on location. And data that is time sensitive or mission critical might call for time tagging capabilities.


How often sensors capture data and when it gets sent back to the core network can also be adjusted depending on the application. Data can be collected as needed, during certain events, at predetermined intervals or continuously. That data can then be transmitted back (over a cable or wirelessly) as soon as it’s captured or only at specific times.


IoT sensors can be powered by an electric wire, solar power or batteries. The location of the sensors, how many are deployed and the amount of power used will largely determine the best power type for the application. It wouldn’t be feasible to change hundreds of batteries for sensors in a remote location. Just keep in mind that the more often the sensors send data, and the larger the files, the more power they’ll use.


There are a lot of variables to consider when choosing the right IoT sensor for your application, and now you should be well-versed in what to keep in mind.


5 things you need to know about MU-MIMO

October 3, 2019 at 8:00 AM


When you’ve got multiple devices using the same network, multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) is the way to go. MU-MIMO enables numerous Wi-Fi devices to receive multiple data streams at the same time. This is exceptionally more efficient than the single-user MIMO used by many routers. Here, we’ll take a look at the top 5 things you need to know about MU-MIMO.


1.      One-Way or Two-Way


Whether MU-MIMO is one-way or two-way depends on the Wi-Fi standard being used. MU-MIMO utilizes the 80211ac standard, which works solely with downlink wireless connections. Simultaneously sending data to multiple users is something that only wireless routers and APs are able to do. When the individual wireless devices are sending data to that router or AP, they have to take turns or separately use SU-MIMO to send multiple streams when it’s their turn. That said, multiple wireless devices will be able to receive data and be able to utilize simultaneous streams for sending data when 802.11ax Wave 2 comes into play.


2.      OFDMA Takes It Up a Notch


Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) technology is part of 802.11ax and separates the channels into smaller segments so multiple devices can communicate at the same time. This technology compliments the capabilities of MU-MIMO. It organizes how the channels are used by allowing each device their own channel so they can coordinate when to talk more easily. While it is similar to MU-MIMO, OFDMA offers a different set of capabilities as it can be used in high density environments with low throughput or small-packet applications like IoT sensors.


3.      802.11ax (aka Wi-Fi 6) = Concurrent MU-MIMO Streams


The introduction of 802.11ax into the mix increases the number of users in a MU-MIMO group from four to eight. The ability to have more devices connected at the same time can improve throughput and make connections faster.


4.      2.4 GHz & 5 GHz are both Options


802.11n and 802.11ac limited MU-MIMO to the 5 GHz bandwidth, but with 802.11ax, MU-MIMO will now be able to use both the 2.4 & 5 GHz bands. While 2.4 GHz can only handle a maximum of three, small, legacy channels at one time, this improvement could allow faster speeds in the often overcrowded 2.4 GHz band.


5.      Benefits of Beamforming


MU-MIMO takes advantage of another feature of 802.11ac and 802.11ax, beamforming. This keeps signals from dispersing randomly in different directions by pointing it to the intended wireless devices. This, in turn, improves Wi-Fi speeds and ranges by using the signal more proficiently.


There you have it, five more reasons why MU-MIMO can be a game changer for your wireless network. To read more about MU-MIMO, check out more of our blog posts.


Gearing up for Wi-Fi 6

September 19, 2019 at 8:00 AM


We don’t know about you, but we are definitely looking forward to the debut of Wi-Fi 6 later this year. This next generation Wi-Fi standard improves on the current 802.11ac standard with more than just faster speeds. So let’s take a closer look at what’s in store.


First, Wi-Fi 6, also known as 802.11 ax, is backwards compatible with its predecessor, 802.11ac (now deemed Wi-Fi 5). Wi-Fi 6 was created to help support the increasing number of devices in today’s homes and businesses. If you have a lot of devices connected, several smart home devices or if you’re using virtual reality devices, a Wi-Fi 6 router might be a great fit.


So how fast is it? Wi-Fi 6 is capable of streaming up to 9.6 Gbps and has delivered transfer speeds of 1,320 Mbps in some tests. That is around 30%-40% faster than 802.11 ac, and for US customers, it will be 1,000% times faster than the current average download speed of 119 Mbps.


How is this possible? Wi-Fi 6 utilizes 1024-QAM to deliver more data and more efficiency, along with a wider 160 MHz channel for faster speeds. This new standard also takes advantage of 8x8 uplink/downlink, MU-MIMO, OFDMA and BSS Color for a capacity that is up to 4 times larger and able to handle more devices.


As with any Wi-Fi standard, much of the speed capability will depend on the speed being delivered by your internet service provider (ISP). In order to take full advantage of Wi-Fi 6 speeds, you’ll need a plan with your ISP that is capable of delivering high speeds, as your plan acts much like a speed limit on how fast your internet connection can go. Plus, you’ll need both a Wi-Fi 6 router and Wi-Fi 6 capable devices to benefit from Wi-Fi 6 speeds. So hold on tight, because Wi-Fi 6 capable routers and devices are already rolling out and are sure to become standard in next generation wireless devices.


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