The Complete Guide to Wi-Fi 6

Sep 22, 2019Learning Annex, WiFi Networking

Wireless Internet standards have remained the same since 2014, when Wi-Fi 5 was introduced. Since then, Internet connected devices have gotten smarter and faster. As a result, the need for better Wi-Fi is in demand. Wi-Fi 6 was designed to improve upon Wi-Fi 5’s strength and fill in the gaps where Wi-Fi 5 fell short. Here is what you can expect from Wi-Fi 6 in the coming months.

What is Wi-Fi 6?

Wi-Fi standards are the services and protocols that determine your network connection. Wi-Fi standards influence the speed, frequency and efficiency of your network. Wi-Fi 6 is the next generation of Wi-Fi standards. Wi-Fi 6 is also known by its technical name of 802.11ax, or AX WiFi.

How Wi-Fi 6 is Different from Previous Wi-Fi Standards

New connected devices depend on fast and consistent Internet to perform. The benefits of Wi-Fi 6 improve connectivity across devices in both business settings and at home.
Some key features of Wi-Fi 6 include:

  • More efficient data management for faster Internet speeds.
  • Supports additional bands beyond 2.4GHz and 5GHz for faster Internet across all bands.
  • “Target wake time” (TWT) to improve the battery life of your smartphones, laptops and other connected devices.
  • Lower latency performs better than previous Wi-Fi standards in crowded areas such as airports, stadiums and shopping centers.

Device Compatibility

Wi-Fi 6 promises faster speeds across all compatible devices. Chances are, if your device is a 2018 model or older, it doesn’t have hardware that supports Wi-Fi 6. While Wi-Fi 6 improves the performance of your network, you don’t need to purchase new devices immediately. As Wi-Fi 6 slowly transitions, taking the place of Wi-Fi 5, devices will be designed to include compatible hardware by default. Wi-Fi 6 hardware will be built into new routers and future generations of smartphones and computers, so when you’re ready to upgrade, you’ll be using the new standard.

When to Expect Wi-Fi 6

Wi-Fi 6 access points are being incorporated into new infrastructure to prepare for the coming years. New routers, labeled “Wi-Fi 6 Certified” or “Wi-Fi 6 Compatible,” were announced in late 2018 for home networks and are expected to emerge more in 2019 as the standard becomes more commonplace.

Enhance Your Home Network with Wi-Fi 6 and Optim

Optim Managed Wi-Fi offers the easiest solution to managing all the new elements of Wi-Fi 6. Optim is available through Internet Service Providers and offers a simplified way to control your home network. Network connectivity features like automatic band steering and enhanced device management tools make it easy to manage the additional bands available through Wi-Fi 6. Wi-Fi 6 is capable of handling more devices while maintaining fast Internet speeds. Optim’s easy to navigate dashboard takes the hassle out of managing all of your connected devices.

As with any new technology, you might have some questions about your network. Optim’s advanced troubleshooting provides you with a direct line to a service provider technician who can view your network and provide you with a solution.

For more information on Wi-Fi standards, check out Actiontec’s Complete Guide to WiFi Networking.

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