As more and more devices are used at home, your Wi-Fi speeds start to slow down, and bottleneck.
Everyone has probably experienced this before, but with the new integration of Wi-Fi 6, you won’t have to worry about this ever happening again.
As the internet progresses a new generation of wifi has emerged. Wi-fi 6 is here, and Wi-Fi is about to see its biggest upgrade yet.
What is Wi-Fi 6
Wi-fi 6 is the fastest generation of wifi. It can send signals to 8 devices at once, and it does this by creating multiple channels for each device. This smart technology allows wifi 6 to determine which device needs the most bandwidth at a given moment for the fastest connection possible.
How is it Different From Previous Generations?
Compared to the previous generations, Wi-fi 6 is made to allow multiple devices to use a single channel at once which makes a big difference.
Previously, Wi-fi would only allow 1 device to use its channel, so when you are in an area with multiple devices you now know why your connection becomes very slow. The wifi has to send and receive a signal from a single device at a given time then move to the next device etc. However, Wi-fi 6 will split up the channel to multiple devices.
It can do this because of OFDMA, which means “Orthogonal frequency division multiple access”. OFDMA determines how much bandwidth a given device needs in order to complete the task it is doing. This is great because no task needs to use the bandwidth of a whole channel of Wi-fi and now. It can now split these channels up to make more efficient use of your internet.
Not only does Wi-fi 6 split up your channels for multiple uses, but it has also added double the amount of channels, as the previous Wi-fi 5 generation to allow more compatibility in bigger homes and workplaces. This is called MU-MIMO.
MU-MIMO (Multi-User, Multi-Input, Multi-Output) creates more channels in your network, to allow for more devices to access at higher speeds at the same time. That way a single channel doesn’t have to move from device to device when multiple devices are connected.
Wi-fi 6 devices will benefit from this the most in highly populated areas because it reduces delay and allows for your device to have constant feedback from the network you are connected to.
How Fast is it?
Wi-fi 6 can reach speeds up to 9.6 Gbps, which is almost triple the speeds of Wi-fi 5 that only reach 3.5 Gbps. However, normal consumers will not be able to reach these fast speeds. Although Wi-fi 6 is still very much faster than its previous generation and does make a difference. A lot of it comes down to how much you pay your service provider. Then again, even with the same Wi-fi plan using a Wi-fi 6 router as opposed to a Wi-fi 5 router will still allow you to reach noticeably faster speeds.
If you are a streamer, content creator, or just like to upload things on the web. This generation of Wi-Fi has improved the upload speeds a whole lot from the last generation. With Wi-fi 6 your upload speeds will now always be around the same speed as your download. This is just another feature the updated MU-MIMO has.
Even though speed is important other factors affect how fast your Wi-fi is and Wi-fi 6 takes advantage of these factors and uses it to make your network feel fast.
How Do I Get Wi-Fi 6?
You can now get a Wi-fi 6 router for a pretty cheap cost. It can range from $100 – $500, and the more expensive usually means the better performance it offers. However, even a cheaper $100 router will beat out the previous generation.
Keep in mind that you might not get all the benefits from just buying the router. This is because you need to have compatible devices that support Wi-fi 6 as well. Older generation devices such as older iPhones, computers, and tablets only have support for Wi-fi 5. Then again even having one device that supports Wi-fi 6 can help your performance out by a pretty good amount.
You should also note, that it really is not worth going out to purchase a new device just to have the benefits of Wi-fi 6. Don’t get me wrong Wi-fi 6 is really good, but it is not that good.
Do You Need It?
The need for home electronics is increasing and more and more electronics, are accessing the network every day. Many more appliances in your homes that you didn’t know needed Wi-fi actually need it.
Things like certain light bulbs, baby monitors, TVs, cameras. All these things need access to your Wi-fi, whether you knew it or not. When your previous generation Wi-fi is rotating through all these devices one at a time. Wi-fi 6 can be sharing the bandwidth with multiple devices at the same time, and when you live in an area like this an upgrade is well worth it.
So, do you need it? If you have a large home with multiple people and devices. Then, it might be something you should look into, because with the number of devices being used your network will thank you.
On the other hand, if you are by yourself, and only have a set amount of devices. Then, you should wait for products to become more readily available. Individually Last Gen internet speeds are fast enough to allow you to do pretty much anything on a device alone but adding more interference is where a network struggles the most.
Features of Wi-Fi 6
Along with faster speeds, and better performance Wi-fi 6 has a list of new features that are sure to get you excited about your network upgrade. Some great features that WiFi 6 brings to the table is BSS Coloring, Target Wake-up Time,and WPA3 Security.
One of these is called the BSS Coloring, which allows you to pick a color for your network. Don’t get me wrong this doesn’t change the color of your room but instead blocks interference from your neighbors, and things around you.
BSS Coloring works by the user selecting a color for their network, and their router will only interact with devices giving a signal with that color. This means only devices on your network will be the only things getting in the way of your signal.
Thus, it will ignore all the interference on the outside, which will have either a different color or no color. This feature is especially great for people in big cities or apartments.
Extends Battery Life
Another cool feature that comes with Wifi 6 is called target wake-up time. This will not only free up your network from interference but will also extend the battery life of your phones and laptops.
The reason why your phone or laptop slowly loses battery even when it’s off is not because of a defective battery, it’s actually from your Wi-fi. This is because even when your phone is off it is connected to the internet, your router is constantly checking to see if it has anything for it.
However, with Wi-fi 6 this won’t be happening anymore because target wake-up times create scheduled check-ins that your router does. So, instead of constantly checking for information, it only checks when it really needs to. That means when your phone is powered off at night when you sleep, your battery will be the same in the morning.
Security is also an upgrade when you upgrade to Wi-fi 6 called WPA3. This allows for better encryption when you are out in public. Therefore, it will protect your credit card number from hackers trying to steal your information if you make a purchase in a public area like a Starbucks. Also, WPA3 blocks brute force attacks on your router better than before, so if you kill someone in a game, you are less likely going to be DDOSed.
All in all, WiFi 6 made a tremendous leap from the last generation and has helped future proof the future of internet usage. With the surge of multiple internet devices increasing in our homes the need for something like this is soon to be essential.