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WiFi 6 – The Future of WiFi

Is now the time to make the leap to WiFi 6? Or perhaps waiting for it to become available on more devices? Here we try and answer some of the questions around WiFi6 and older versions.

What is WiFi 6?

WiFi 6 is the latest generation of WiFi, building off older standards for wireless network transmissions, WiFi 6 promises faster throughput speeds, less bandwidth congestion, and efficiency. 

What happened to WiFi 5?

When WiFi 5 first appeared, it wasn’t called WiFi 5. When announcing WiFi 6, the WiFi Alliance also announced a new naming convention and with it updating previously confusing names to a more user-friendly naming scheme.

Why is there the need for new standards?

WiFi 6 was introduced in part to address the explosion of IoT devices. These are devices like televisions, smart speakers, connected lightbulbs and video doorbells, just to name a few. The average household has on average 12 connected devices and this is expected to increase to 20 by 2025. In the office, desk phones are starting to become wireless to cut down on cables and make it easier to move your phone to any desk you are using.

What makes it better?

WiFi 6 delivers up to 3 times faster speeds than the previous generation of WiFi. That is not the only difference, WiFi 5 and older routers can only communicate with a certain number of devices at once, the more data-hungry devices you have, the slower your network will work. WiFi 6 enables routers to communicate simultaneously with more devices more efficiently, creating faster connections overall.

Do I just need a new router?

To utilise WiFi 6’s new technology you need to have compatible devices both ends. Both the router and the client device connecting to the network need to be WiFi 6 compatible. All WiFi standards are backward compatible so if one end is not WiFi 6 the connection will just negotiate using the WiFi 5 standard or lower until both ends connect.

Are there many WiFi 6 devices on the market?

Since WiFi 6 certification began in September 2019, there has been a steady flow of devices released to the market. While there are quite a few WiFi 6 routers already on the market, devices such as laptops and smartphones that support the latest standard are less widespread.

What is WiFi 6E?

WiFi 6E technology is the same as WiFi 6, however in July 2020 the UK regulators approved a new frequency of 6 GHz for use by wireless communications. This new frequency is an addition to the WiFi 6 specification, and the regulators named it WiFi 6E to differentiate it.

What does WiFi 6E give me?

WiFi 6E nearly quadruples the amount of bandwidth (air space) that is available for WiFi utilization and IoT devices giving more spectrum for more devices to talk without congestion. It also means because there is more bandwidth, older 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz spectrums automatically become less congested as newer devices use the 6Ghz spectrum. Unfortunately, at present there are less WiFi 6E devices than WiFi 6, however, very soon WiFi 6E devices will become more prominent than WiFi 6 devices.

To learn more about how we can help with your organisations Wi-Fi needs, contact us today.

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