The wireless channel can be accessed by only one wireless station at the same time.
The principle behind the IEEE802.11 channel access mechanisms is that each station has equal probability to access the channel. When wireless stations have similar data rate, this principle leads to a fair result. In this case, stations get similar channel access time which is called airtime.
However, when stations have various data rate (e.g., 11g, 11n), the result is not fair. The slow stations (11g) work in their slow data rate and occupy too much airtime, whereas the fast stations (11n) become much slower.
Take the following figure as an example, both Station A(11g) and Station B(11n) transmit data packets through VigorAP 900. Although they have equal probability to access the wireless channel, Station B(11n) gets only a little airtime and waits too much because Station A(11g) spends longer time to send one packet. In other words, Station B(fast rate) is obstructed by Station A(slow rate).
To improve this problem, Airtime Fairness is added for VigorAP900. Airtime Fairness function tries to assign similar airtime to each station (A/B) by controlling TX traffic. In the following figure, Station B(11n) has higher probability to send data packets than Station A(11g). By this way, Station B(fast rate) gets fair airtime and it's speed is not limited by Station A(slow rate).
It is similar to automatic Bandwidth Limit. The dynamic bandwidth limit of each station depends on instant active station number and airtime assignment. Please note that Airtime Fairness of 2.4GHz and 5GHz are independent. But stations of different SSIDs function together, because they all use the same wireless channel. IN SPECIFIC ENVIRONMENTS, this function can reduce the bad influence of slow wireless devices and improve the overall wireless performance.
- Many wireless stations.
- All stations mainly use download traffic.
- The performance bottleneck is wireless connection.
Available settings are explained as follows:
Enable Airtime Fairness
Try to assign similar airtime to each wireless station by controlling TX traffic.
Airtime Fairness – Click the link to display the following screen of airtime fairness note.
Triggering Client Number –Airtime Fairness function is applied only when active station number achieves this number.
Airtime Status - Users can see the airtime status in last 8 seconds.
Note: Airtime Fairness function and Bandwidth Limit function should be mutually exclusive. So their webs have extra actions to ensure these two functions are not enabled simultaneously.