Does 4x4 MIMO provide benefit in geographic areas with lots of wireless activity?

I’m trying to determine if a 4x4 MIMO capable AP provides a reasonable benefit for my use-case.

My use-case is a home AP in a small (~650 sq foot) apt with 2 users. Wireless devices include:

  • 2x phones
  • 2x tablets
  • 2x laptops
  • 1x chromecast
  • 10-15x Wi-Fi based smart outlets/lightbulbs/etc.

TVs, Apple TV, servers, desktop PC, etc are all hardwired to the network switch. The network firewall is a pfSense Qotom i5 Mini-PC and the WAN connection is 500/500 via FTTH.

As I understand, 4x4 MIMO provides reasonable benefit when there are many devices connected to an AP. I don’t think we have enough devices/users to benefit considerably from this. I’m pretty much set on a AC Lite. Our current AP is an old 802.11n Apple Airport that is setup in AP only mode. It works fine with the exception of FaceTime gets somewhat stuttery at times.

What we are struggling with is wireless interference. Being in a 4 story apt building in a city- there is plenty of interference around. Will 4x4 MIMO provide considerable improvement with the challenges relating to interference? If so then I think I’ll get a FlexHD instead of the AC Lite.


MIMO does not solve interference.

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Great, thanks Tom. AC Lite is plenty for my limited needs.


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Think you will get better luck with reception, if you can place the AP high and central.

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A wifi that supports DFS frequencies, will give you a leverage with interference, as these frequencies are used more rarely in wifi systems. Also, try to limit 5Ghz to 40Mhz or even 20Mhz. This will reduce speed but increase stability in case of interference.

That’s great info, thanks. I had planned to basically leave the AP’s settings in auto/default modes as I typically find that un-needed tinkering causes more bad than good. However in this case I’ll look into the DFS frequencies to see how that might benefit the interference issues.

Speed is not really the priority here. Anything that needs speed is hardwired. Luckily this apt came with several Ethernet wall ports that all terminate nicely in a closet. Not something I have had in the past and has been hugely helpful.