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!