Dutch researchers shatter WiFi speeds with superfast infrared network

TU Eindhoven researchers believe they have the solution for current slow WiFi problems - wireless internet through infrared. According to the researchers, such a system will never become overloaded and is up to 100 times faster than a proper WiFi connection, NOS reports. 

The researchers have been working on a infrared network in Eindhoven for several years. For the first time they've been able to get one working in the lab. Over a distance of 2.5 meters, data was sent at a rate of 42.8 gigabits per second - more than a hundred times faster than a really good WiFi connection. For comparison, that means you can copy a movie in a second.

"Everyone knows that when it is busy, the capacity of WiFi shrinks. That's because WiFi uses radio waves. If you have multiple devices on the network, you have to share the capacity of the WiFi antenna at hoe. You have a big cake and everyone gets a little bit", professor Ton Koonen explained to NOS. 

With an infrared system, beams are sent into the room directly to the different devices, with each device getting its own beam. According to Koonen, this could vastly improve, for example, the internet on a train. "You can mount senders on the ceiling through the entire compartment and send a beam to each seat. This you don't share with others. Everyone gets the full cake."

The downside to the infrared system is that the beams can't go through walls. This means that you will have to have an antenna in each room of the house. And the system will not increase the speed of your actual internet. 

According to Koonen, it will still take a few years before this system can be put into practice. "It also depends on how much effort is put into continuing to develop it. The technology itself is not so complex, but I think that it will take a few years."