WiFi 6: Things to Know

Feb 17, 2020Blog

In order to use and benefit from WiFi 6, both your router and your devices need to be WiFi 6-certified and WiFi 6-ready.

The “WiFi 6” name change

Right now, all of us are likely using 802.11ac (WiFi 5) and 802.11n (WiFi 4) standards. The WiFi Alliance changed the names to make it easier for consumers to identify which WiFi generation their devices support.

For example, just like how WiFi 5 was built on 802.11ac technology, WiFi 6 was built on 802.11ax technology. Thanks to the WiFi Alliance renaming the generations, we can just refer to them as “WiFi 5” and “WiFi 6” now instead of getting confused with “802.11ax.”

WiFi 6 is not currently available everywhere or for all devices. It is slowly rolling out. Right now, you can find some products on store shelves that are labelled with something along the lines of “Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6.” This means that the product can support WiFi 6.

Remember, just like previous WiFi generation roll outs, WiFi 6 does not mean that you need to go and update all of your tech and devices today. (But by all means, if you have the means and you want to, go for it.)

What improvements will WiFi 6 provide?

More and more devices are connecting to the internet. Because of this, WiFi 6 is designed to make sure that there is room for all of these devices and that they get the highest data rates possible. Where WiFi 6 greatly benefits over any other WiFi generation is that it promises to provide this better connection inside the home and in public places.

With WiFi 6, public places that are crowded with internet-users, like stadiums or airports, will be able to handle the heavy traffic without a problem.

Other things that WiFi 6 will provide:

  1. Data rates that max out at 9.6 Gbps. This means that WiFi 6 is faster than WiFi 5, has more capacity and can deliver more data at the same time. With WiFi 6, video streaming, gaming and virtual reality (VR) experiences will get even better.
  2. Better 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz spectrum support and an increase in multi-user, multiple input, multiple output (MU-MIMO) from 4 x 4 to 8 x 8.

This means that with WiFi 6, wireless routers will be able to handle more antennas which means connecting to even more devices (from one router). 

 6 key points about WiFi 6:

  1. WiFi 6 is the next generation of WiFi.
  2. WiFi 6 has improvements similar to 5G.
  3. WiFi 6 offers higher data rates and capacity.
  4. WiFi 6 promises better and faster performance.
  5. WiFi 6 allows you to connect even more devices in your home.

You can keep yourself updated on new releases, launch dates and other impacts of WiFi 6 and other WiFi industry news when you follow Actiontec’s featured Industry Articles or the Actiontec blog.

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