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What is WiFi6?


WiFi 6 (also known as 802.11ax) is the latest generation of wireless networking technology, which offers faster speeds, better capacity, and improved performance over its predecessor, WiFi 5 (802.11ac). WiFi 6 is designed to support the growing number of devices that are connected to the internet, as well as the increasing demand for high-bandwidth applications such as streaming video, online gaming, and virtual reality.

WiFi 6 achieves its improved performance by using new technologies such as MU-MIMO (multi-user multiple input multiple output) and OFDMA (orthogonal frequency-division multiple access). These technologies enable more efficient use of the available wireless spectrum and allow multiple devices to communicate with the router at the same time, reducing congestion and improving overall network performance.

In addition, WiFi 6 also includes new security features such as WPA3, which provides enhanced encryption and better protection against common attacks such as brute-force password guessing. Overall, WiFi 6 offers significant improvements over previous generations of WiFi technology and is expected to become the dominant standard in the coming years.

WiFi6 vs WiFi6E

WiFi 6E is a further extension of WiFi 6 that operates in the 6 GHz frequency band, in addition to the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands used by WiFi 6. The "E" in WiFi 6E stands for "extended" and refers to the extended bandwidth available in the 6 GHz band, which can provide up to seven 160 MHz channels, compared to just two 160 MHz channels in the 5 GHz band.

The additional spectrum available in the 6 GHz band enables WiFi 6E to offer even faster speeds, better capacity, and lower latency compared to WiFi 6. It also provides more room for devices to communicate without interference, as the 6 GHz band is less congested than the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.

WiFi 6E also supports all the same features as WiFi 6, including MU-MIMO and OFDMA, as well as improved security features such as WPA3. However, because it uses a new frequency band, WiFi 6E requires new hardware and is not backwards-compatible with previous WiFi standards.

WiFi 6E is still a relatively new technology, and not all devices support it yet. However, it is expected to become more widely adopted in the coming years, as the benefits of the extended bandwidth become increasingly apparent.

WiFi6 vs 5G

No, WiFi 6 and 5G are not the same thing. While both technologies are used to connect devices to the internet wirelessly, they operate in different frequency bands and are designed for different use cases.

WiFi 6 is a wireless networking technology that operates in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands, while WiFi 6E also operates in the 6 GHz band. It is used to connect devices such as smartphones, laptops, and smart home devices to a local wireless network, typically within a home or office environment. WiFi 6 is designed to provide faster speeds, better capacity, and improved performance compared to previous generations of WiFi technology.

On the other hand, 5G is a cellular networking technology that operates in a variety of frequency bands, including low, mid, and high bands. It is designed to provide wireless connectivity to devices such as smartphones and other mobile devices, typically over a wider area than a local WiFi network. 5G is intended to provide faster speeds, lower latency, and better coverage than previous generations of cellular technology.

While both WiFi 6 and 5G offer improved performance compared to previous generations of wireless technology, they are designed for different use cases and operate in different frequency bands. WiFi 6 is best suited for local wireless networking, while 5G is intended for mobile connectivity over a wider area.

Worthwhile Upgrade?

Whether or not you should upgrade to a new router or access point that supports WiFi 6 depends on your specific needs and usage patterns. Here are some factors to consider:

Number of Devices

If you have a large number of devices connected to your WiFi network, especially if they are all being used simultaneously, you may benefit from the increased capacity and improved performance of WiFi 6.

Bandwidth-Intensive Activities

If you regularly engage in activities that require a lot of bandwidth, such as streaming 4K video or online gaming, WiFi 6 may provide a better experience by delivering faster speeds and reduced latency.

Network Coverage

If you have a large home or office with multiple floors, walls, or other obstacles that can interfere with wireless signals, a WiFi 6 router or access point may be able to provide better coverage and stronger signals in hard-to-reach areas.

Budget

WiFi 6 routers and access points are typically more expensive than older models, so you'll need to consider whether the benefits of upgrading are worth the cost.

Device Compatibility

It's also important to note that not all devices support WiFi 6 yet, so if you upgrade to a WiFi 6 router or access point, some of your older devices may not be able to take advantage of the improved performance.

Think of it like cassette tapes replacing eight track tapes. Then CDs replacing audio cassettes. You can't play a cassette tape on a CD player, so you had to buy your music again. It's similar in this situation in that your old equipment that only knows the old formats won't be able to take advantage of WiFi6 features.

Summary

If you have a lot of devices, engage in bandwidth-intensive activities, or have a large home or office with network coverage issues, upgrading to a WiFi 6 router or access point may be worth considering. However, if you have a small number of devices and do not engage in activities that require a lot of bandwidth, you may not notice a significant improvement in performance by upgrading.

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Posted: 2023-03-08
By: dwirch
Viewed: 198 times

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