What does WMM mode on the router mean and how to activate it

Modern WI-Fi routers are multifunctional devices that, in addition to the basic functionality that is responsible for performing basic tasks, are also equipped with various options that increase network efficiency and are adapted to user requirements. Keeping up with the times, manufacturers of wireless network equipment are trying to meet current standards, applying, including the latest technology to increase the speed characteristics of multimedia software. For this purpose, the functionality of many routers uses the WMM mode (“WI-Fi Multimedia”). For what this option is provided, how to enable it and what opportunities it offers, we will consider.

Using WMM mode.

What is this function for?

The presence of the WMM parameter on the router will not surprise anyone. However, not all users know what it is when they discover an option in the network device settings. The Wi-Fi Multimedia standard is designed to provide a decent level of quality of service in a wireless network (GoS) and can be used to indicate priority for VoIP or video traffic over other data. You can also set the priority for non-guaranteed delivery traffic from devices that do not support GoS. So, the task of the function is to increase the efficiency of the connection by providing advantages for multimedia files, game content. The ability to configure is available only on routers with WMM support; in the old equipment, the equipment did not assume the presence of such functionality. The WI-fi Multimedia protocol, based on the IEEE 802.11e standard, provides higher bandwidth (speed above 54 Mbps), multimedia stability and reduces the number of application errors.

How to enable and configure wireless communication

For the most effective use, namely to increase the speed of traffic, WMM mode must be activated. This feature is required for all Wi-fi devices that are certified to use the 802.11n standard (adapters, wireless routers or access points). So, to enable WI-fi Multimedia mode, both on the router and the access point. In the parameters of different devices, the option names may differ (WMM, WMM Capable, Multimedia environment), and the same possibility is meant. Since the default WMM mode is disabled, manual configuration is required, the device properties must be set to “Enabled” in the function. Everything is simple with the Russian interface for setting up a wireless network, you need to tick the checkbox “Enable WMM” (relevant for ZyXEL, Asus routers) or “Activate WMM” (for TP-Link), and if the web interface of the router is in English - “ Enable WMM.

Due to the differences in the menu of parameters for different models of devices, it is impossible to give universal instructions. The option is usually located in the general settings of the wireless network or advanced, but sometimes it can be found in a separate menu section, for example, as with D-Link routers. In the English version of the software WMM may be located in the Wireless section, the parameter can also be represented as Quality of Service (GoS). In the software for routers, the function is often also referred to as “WME” (“WI-Fi Multimedia Extensions”), which does not change the essence. By turning on the option (using changes after selecting the appropriate item) you optimize the maintenance of multimedia programs, and the difference will be noticeable.

The main advantages and disadvantages of using the function

Routers that include the WI-Fi Multimedia option have both advantages and disadvantages. WMM technology support provides routers with a number of advantages:

  • Improve the efficiency of your wireless network.
  • The standard is supported by most manufacturers of modern network equipment.
  • Optimization of data packet transmission to increase the speed of traffic for multimedia files, in particular video and voice signals.
  • Increased battery life of devices connected to the WI-Fi network and using batteries as a power source.
  • Reducing the number of errors.

The disadvantages include the following factors:

  • The standard is not supported by outdated models of network equipment.
  • There is no possibility of a full setting of absolute priorities for video and audio traffic.

Additional features

In an effort to meet the needs of the modern user who is actively working with multimedia files, manufacturers expand the functionality of the equipment by introducing new features. Today, in addition to the main functionality, many advanced routers are equipped with some additional options:

  • WMM DLS. Infrastructure mode provides signal quality control between equipment.
  • WMM APSD. The transition to power saving mode is performed to control and monitor the power of the wireless devices connected to the network. You can increase the battery life of devices if you have APSD support in your smartphone, tablet, laptop, etc.

Modern technologies implemented in hardware and methods of implementing standards support in network equipment significantly improve the interaction of devices communicating via Wi-Fi, increase the speed and efficiency of data transfer. If the functionality of your router allows you to configure the best quality, it is recommended to use the potential of the hardware, using the function in the settings.