Lokesh Johri, Co-founder of Tantiv4, answers some very intriguing questions on Wi-Fi and how it can perform better without spending lots of money.
Gaurav: Today's Q&A is for discussing why managing Wi-Fi has become super important at homes and offices. So if you could please tell us that we all have access to broadband connections. And still, from time to time, we face extremely poor quality networks.
Why is it so after such an advancement still these things happen?
Lokesh: So what people don't realize is that the main problem for people feels about Wi-Fi connectivity is the Wi-Fi itself, it has not much to do with the broadband connection coming into your home, you may get a gigabit connection coming into your house and meeting that will solve all the problems regarding inter-application bandwidth prioritization.
And those are big words.
But, which application takes how much bandwidth on your Wi-Fi network, you're always constrained by several factors. One factor is that your device may be too far away and you want to see your streaming video come in and how far you are away and what signal quality affects your streaming at that particular distance.
The second is that Wi-Fi for most of the common routers does still not give you more than 100 megabits per second. And that bandwidth is between all the devices which are there on the network. Right now that creates a problem you may have a gigabit at the back end provided your ISP but 900 Mbps is lost and not being used. Only around 100 Mbps is used on your Wi-Fi. That also creates a bottleneck for you. So there are many reasons that I can go into. But these are probably the two main reasons.
Gaurav: So is it the device itself at fault? Or is it something else?
Lokesh: Like all important resources, you need to have some kind of control and understanding of the resources coming in. For networks, it becomes too technical. And that's why you do not get an insight into what exactly is going on. That's the main problem that we're trying to solve. In this case, it is not the device for the whole network in terms of the behavior of the network. That's what we're trying to address.
Gaurav: And how does latency affect the overall user experience?
It affects the conference call like we are doing the conference call and if the packets are getting delivered too late, we will start to see a mismatch in terms of someone stopping or someone trying to stop someone from asking the question or even getting a response back. It does not remain natural on the phone.
Typically the latency is of the order of two milliseconds beyond the insurer on the phone network. So the phones are always nice in terms of interactivity on internet communication. 20 milliseconds is considered to be a good benchmark for that. But many times if a lot of applications are competing for the same bandwidth, the latency is tremendous as the quality of the call falls.
Gaurav: Normally, we see this question arising several times: what is a good internet or Wi-Fi Speed?
Lokesh: A good speed for Wi-Fi depends on the application. So for a very intense application like gaming applications, they take these days around 50 to 60 megabits per second. 4k streaming, which is not mainstream right now. But there are 4k screens out there. 4k TVs will be mainstream in a year or two. Those would take 50 to 60 megabits per stream. 4k computers are going to be pretty intense. Normal, HD streaming is on the order of six to eight megabits per second.
Conference calls like these are also around six to eight megabits per second.
So you have to look at the different applications running in your house at the same time. For instance, if you have two 4k streams running either through conference calls, or TV, or wherever you're consuming the content, it will quickly overwhelm the 100 Mbps that you might have coming in through your WiFi. The real answer is, it is both hardware and software dependent.
So with Wi-Fi, you have Wi-Fi 6 E or Wifi 6 coming in, that has channel five gigahertz and 6 gigahertz channel, this channel supports one gigabit per second lines, those are ample, but the range for these is very small. So as you increase the frequency at which you're transmitting the data, the range reduces. So in those scenarios, the range gets reduced quite a bit. So you end up falling back on the longer-range 2.4 restricting your connectivity back to 100 250 Mbps.
So the overall questions that you're asking have a complex answer, what we are trying to do with the app that we have created in the management system that we have created, that users don't have to worry about all these, we take care of all these complicated issues, behind the scenes, so that end-user, we understand what pain they're facing. And that gets rectified without them having to be a network engineer. That's our job here.
Gaurav: So what you're saying is, even if we progress to Wi-Fi 6, we are still not able to get that kind of a range, because that becomes prohibitive there. So as a user, and as a solution that you guys have developed, does the solution work?
Can one work with Wi-Fi 5 router also or it has to necessarily work on Wi-Fi 6?
Lokesh: No, it works on all kinds of routers. So the solution is a software solution, it could be ported to Wi-Fi 6 and earlier versions of the routers, but the thing that you have to keep in mind is that as you buy more and more expensive hardware, you can put a mesh that increases the range of Wi-Fi 6. And then you can buy these expensive routers with Wi Fi 6 radios, etc them, and then they protect from a radio. All these systems are very expensive. So our estimation is that a typical home may require up to $600 worth of equipment buying and of course router companies love that. But you're buying very expensive equipment, we can provide about the same quality of user experience. And that's what we need to emphasize the quality of experience that end-users face with something like a router on the order of $50- $100, that order of magnitude. So we are costing 1/6. Now very rich people, probably better off going and buying the most expensive hardware and installing in their home. Most people are cost-conscious. And you know if the quality, in the end, they're seeing is the same over solutions with hand down about that.
Gaurav: So you mentioned the household usage and the cost it saves. When jumped on to this solution. What else can be the benefit of it, because let's take an example of a household with working parents and kids, it's very difficult to control the usage of Wi-Fi, especially when the parents are working from home and kids are being schooled from home. How does Rezrv come in handy at that junction?
Lokesh: So we provide a parental control feature in the software that we have done. We also provide ad blocking and blocking off sites which are not good in general. So we maintain a list of those sites and make sure that if the user enabled those kinds of features, they can block some of these unwanted sites with parental control. We provide access on a per-user basis, not just per device basis, but on a per-user basis. That specific user, let's say categorize this kid or a specific kid in the house will have access to certain applications only for a certain amount of time.
So our Parental Control enables all that there are others In the market or solutions superior because we do it on a per-user basis, not just on a per device or per user per application. For that, you have to be able to identify the application correctly at the router. And we have special technology to do that.
Gaurav: So one question, can I stop the kids to watch Netflix in the school time?
Lokesh: Absolutely. And we have built-in a feature with a smart speaker interface that you don't even have to open up your app, you can just say that just don't show Netflix during school time. And we would understand that command.
Gaurav: Is that going to be that easy?
Lokesh: We plan to make it that easy and easier. Still, we are working on that constantly. Our main focus of development is the ease of use for the end-users and not keep it technical, inaccessible to most of the users to anything that we built.
The biggest emphasis is to see how an average user who is not graduating to become a network engineer, how they could utilize it, most people clearly understand and know and have expectations on what they want from their devices or how they want to consume that content or prioritize.
But currently, the process of converting that into an actual network setting is very difficult. And our main goal in what we are doing is to make sure that the problem that consumers are facing today goes away. So it has to be easy, right? Anything we do first thing we find out is whether it is easily accessible to our potential target audience.
Gaurav: And I believe you are on a spree to get this product available in the market for household use for free. Is that right?
Lokesh: Yeah, so the software itself right now could be downloaded from a website, we have supported four or five routers right now. And on request, we are porting to almost any router that the user might be using. And currently, we are providing cost-free on a personal license basis.
Gaurav: And from where can I go and download it from?
Lokesh: You can Google REZRV and download and you will get to the download page. You can also go to our product pages type www.Tantiv4.com and then you can look up the product.
Gaurav: If more people want to get in touch with you or ask you specific questions where they can find you.
Lokesh: They can drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. That would be the easiest way to get a hold of me. If you come to the Tantiv4 website. You can find the contact details there.
Gaurav: Perfect. Thank you Lokesh for giving us your valuable time and explaining REZRV to us and how the bandwidth is taking different shapes now. See you again.
Lokesh: Thank you. Well, it's nice talking to you.