You may have heard of a new, faster networking technology on the horizon: Wi-Fi 6. What is it exactly, and how is it any different from the traditional Wi-Fi that the majority of people already have? Here, we will give you a quick rundown of what Wi-Fi 6 is, what to expect, and how to get it.
What exactly is Wi-Fi 6?
Wi-Fi 6 is essentially the next generation of Wi-Fi. Initially named 802.11ax, Wi-Fi 6 succeeds it's predecessor (Wi-Fi 5/802.11ac) with much faster speeds and better multi-device capabilities. It promises 9.6 Gbps of bandwidth compared to 3.5 Gbps on Wi-Fi 5.
How is it faster?
Each iteration of Wi-Fi utilizes a method called QAM, or Quadrature Amplitude Modulation, which essentially lets the network transmit 8 bits of data simultaneously. Wi-Fi 6 is transitioning to using 1024-QAM, which allows 10 bits to be transmitted at once - thus, increasing speeds about 25%!
Wi-Fi 6 also utilizes two technologies that help increase speed: MU-MIMO and OFDMA. MU-MIMO, or "multi-user, multiple input, multiple output", technology helps multiple users and devices connect to a network at once without clogging it up and slowing down the speed. Wi-Fi 6 offers an upgraded version of it - offering router connectivity to up to 8 devices versus 4 that it offered before. OFDMA, or Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access, allows wireless access points to transmit data to multiple users at once.
Are there benefits?
Wi-Fi 6 not only increases internet speeds and improves multi-device capabilities, but it also improves the battery life of your devices! Because your devices won't be constantly trying to fight for a connection to the network (more devices on one network!), it will cause less battery life to be used.
On top of improved battery life, Wi-Fi 6 promises better security for your important data and personal information. It comes with a new and improved security update, WPA3, which will make it incredibly difficult for hackers to obtain your information and passwords. For more tips on how to protect yourself against a cyber attack, click here.
How Can I Get It?
To get the new Wi-Fi, you'll need to get a new router and new devices that support Wi-Fi 6. A lot of new devices will have a "Wi-Fi 6" symbol on them, indicating they are Wi-Fi 6-capable. New routers can range from $70-$350, so if you are serious about upgrading your internet speed and capabilities for your home or business, it's worth checking out! Keeping up to date with your professional consulting service provider is also essential to staying in the know.