What is Wi-Fi 6?
Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) is the next-generation wireless standard that’s faster than 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5). More than speed, it will provide better performance in overcrowded areas, from a device packed home to hotel lobbies.
Wi-Fi 6 isn’t just about top speeds. It’s about improving the wireless network for all the connected devices. We live in a world where on average a household has 9 digital devices, up from 5 devices several years ago when Wi-Fi 5 technology came out.
Routers can only communicate with so many devices at once, adding more gadgets onto the network will only slow down wireless speeds further.
You won’t really experience faster Wi-Fi speeds with a single Wi-Fi 6 enabled laptop and a Wi-Fi 6 router. The difference will be noticeable when you start adding more and more devices. Wi-Fi 6 routers are designed to maintain high speeds when the network is congested with lots of gadgets. Do we really need this you might say? Well let’s imagine a typical home setup. One person could be watching Netflix, another playing Apex Legends and a third person video chatting on Whatsapp. There’s all the smart devices too. The doorbell by the front door, all the IP cameras dotted around the house, thermostat sensors, lighting and smart plugs.
The Technical Stuff
What makes Wi-Fi 6 faster? Two primary technologies found in Wi-Fi 6 called MU-MIMO and OFDMA.
MIMO—Multiple In/Multiple Out allows the router or access point to talk to multiple devices at the same time, both ways. With Wi-Fi 5 MIMO the router could talk to the devices at the same time but the devices could not respond to the router. Wi-Fi 6 improves on this by allowing the devices to talk back to the router.
OFDMA which stands for “orthogonal frequency division multiple access,” allows one transmission to deliver data to multiple devices at once. Thus improving the efficiencies of every transmission from the router to the devices.
Wi-Fi 6 can improve battery life in devices with a feature called Target Wake Time, which lets routers schedule check-in times with devices. Wireless security is also enhanced with WPA3 required rather than optional in Wi-Fi 5. WPA3 makes it harder for hackers to crack passwords by constantly guessing them, and it makes some data less useful even if hackers manage to obtain it.
What devices have Wi-Fi 6?
Routers supporting Wi-Fi 6 are a handful at the moment. Below is a list of the current models available:
TP-LINK Archer AX11000 & TP-LINK Archer AX6000
The Archer AX11000 is a tri-band ultra-fast Wi-Fi 6 router for Extreme Gaming. The AX11000 speed machine delivers 12-streams Wi-Fi Speeds Over 10 Gbps: 4804 Mbps (5 GHz Gaming) + 4804 Mbps (5 GHz) + 1148 Mbps (2.4 GHz).
The Archer AX6000 supports Dual-Band Wi-Fi speed boosted by 1024QAM to deliver astonishing wireless speed up to 5952 Mbps: 4804 Mbps (5 GHz) and 1148 Mbps (2.4 GHz).
The NETGEAR® Nighthawk® Tri-band AX12 12-Stream WiFi Router uses the latest Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) standard to provide four times increased data capacity to handle more devices on your network. Eight high-performance antennas on the router amplify WiFi signals for maximised range and reliable coverage.
DLINK have the AX6000 Wi-Fi 6 Router that fully uses both Wi-Fi bands (2.4GHz + 5 GHz). It comes with 1024 QAM to boost throughput to devices by up to 25%, and 160 MHz contiguous channel bandwidth. All this adds up to ridiculously fast combined speeds of up to 6,000 Mbps (1,200 Mbps + 4,800 Mbps) = 2.3 times faster than 11ac.
ASUS have the tongue twister of a model name in the ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router. The AX11000 Tri-band WiFi Gaming Router is the world’s first 10 Gigabit Wi-Fi router with quad-core processor, 2.5G gaming port, DFS band, WTFast, Adaptive QoS, AiMesh for mesh wifi system and AiProtection network security.
There’s only a few wireless access points certified with Wi-Fi 6. Wireless manufacturers like Aerohive, Ruckus, Meraki, Cisco and ZyXEL have Wi-Fi 6 access points out. In the new year, we are sure to see more manufacturers come out with them.
What mobile phones have Wi-Fi 6?
Samsung Note 10/10+
iPhone 11 Series.
As well as 10th Gen laptops configured with the Intel AX200 W–Fi 6 card.
2020 will really see Wi-Fi 6 devices appear on the scene and more commonly in your home. As we add more and more smart gadgets into our home and office, Wi-Fi 6 will help to effectively manage our technology appetite.
Need help setting up your Wi-Fi 6 device or network? Contact us today for more information. Tel: 01335 81 80 81.