What Are the Benefits of Wi-Fi 6?
November 26, 2021
Also known as 802.11ax or AX Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi 6 was released in 2019 and is the newest generation of Wi-Fi technology. You’ve likely seen ads for Wi-Fi 6 routers or know someone who uses Wi-Fi 6 equipment, and you might now be wondering if the latest wireless technology would benefit your home’s Internet connection. The short answer is yes. Wi-Fi 6 builds on the already impressive Wi-Fi 5 technology that we have been using up until now, improving on every key aspect of it by leaps and bounds. Let’s talk about some of the main differences between Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6.
Wi-Fi 6 Is More Efficient
Wi-Fi 5 raised the standard for home wireless connections by bringing gigabit speeds into residences. But the average household continued to own more devices and utilize more advanced smart home and IoT technology. With each household now owning more devices that connect to the Internet, it’s become clear that the best suited router would be one that can more efficiently handle the data being transferred to and from this greater number of devices. That’s why a key feature called OFDMA makes Wi-Fi 6 routers perfect for this.
Orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA) is a feature of Wi-Fi 6 technology that enables a router to deliver multiple data packets simultaneously, as opposed to pre-Wi-Fi 6 routers that delivered one at a time. This ultimately means that a Wi-Fi 6 router can transmit the same amount of data in less time, cutting down on wait time and giving you a smoother and more efficient wireless connection—even if you’re using several devices at once.
Wi-Fi 6 Offers Faster Speeds and More Range
In wireless technology, the two radio bands used (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) are made of component streams. You can think of these streams as what actually carries the data between your device and router. When thinking about your Wi-Fi’s speed, you should be thinking not only about the speed of these streams, but the number of them as well. One aspect of Wi-Fi 5 technology that allowed it to deliver gigabit speeds is that it carries a higher number of streams than previous generations of Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi 6 has increased that even more, now utilizing 12 instead rather than the 8 that Wi-Fi 5 uses.
This higher number of streams enables even higher speeds as well as more avenues for your devices to communicate with your router. For this reason, Wi-Fi 6 users enjoy 40% higher speeds than Wi-Fi 5 users.
Wi-Fi 6 Is Better for Streaming
Consistently high-speed Internet connectivity is a must when streaming 4k and 8k resolution video. But if you have someone else in the household also connecting their devices and using bandwidth, you’re going to start seeing more buffering in your video. To prevent this, Wi-Fi 6 routers now boast a combination of ultra-fast processors, wider channels for more bandwidth, increased memory, and an increased number of radio streams.
Wi-Fi 6 Signals Don’t Interfere With Each Other
Interference from your neighbor’s Wi-Fi is the last thing you need when trying to use yours. Using a feature called BSS (Base Service Station) Color, your router can identify waves from neighboring networks and ignore them. That means if you live in an apartment and want to use Wi-Fi without interference from your neighbors, Wi-Fi 6 and BSS Color are a good fit for your home network.
These are just a few of the main benefits of Wi-Fi 6. This blog post really only scratches the surface of all the advantages you gain from using this technology in your wireless network. So if you’ve been upgrading your computers, devices, and smart home technology, it’s time to upgrade your Wi-Fi system too if you haven’t already. Interested in getting a Wi-Fi 6 system and want some recommendations? Read our blog post about which routers our customers love. You will find several options that are Wi-Fi 6 and affordable.