WiFi 6- Next generation of WiFi You Need to Know
Wi-Fi is set to get better and faster with its upcoming major update. While plenty of routers are already available with chips using draft specifications, 802.11ax Wi-Fi won’t be finalized until December 2019, ushering in a wave of updated devices touting new wireless capabilities that will contribute toward next-generation networks with more speed and less congestion.
What is WiFi 6?
As mentioned in the introduction, WiFi 6 is the latest standard of WiFi which is bringing a host of speed, security, and connectivity improvements. The current latest WiFi standard which we are using is the 802.11ac which you might have noticed on your router’s or smartphone’s specifications. The new standard which is going to replace 802.11ac in the near future is called the 802.11ax.
Benefits of WiFi 6 Standard
1. Speed Improvements
WiFi 6 is bringing significant speed improvements. While it’s not as big as the one we saw when we moved from WiFi 4 to WiFi 5, it’s still quite a lot. In the perfect WiFi connectivity situations, users can see a theoretical 40% increase in connectivity speeds. The new standard achieves that by improving data encoding resulting in higher throughput.
2. Spectrum Usage Improvements
The new WiFi 6 standard will operate in both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz channels. This means that you will have the advantage of not only having long-range connectivity but also higher data throughput. Some tech companies like Apple and Facebook are also lobbying for releasing the 6 GHz bandwidth for WiFi usage.
3. MU-MIMO Improvements
MU-MIMO or “Multi-user Multiple input, Multiple output” is the technology that allows a WiFi access point to connect to multiple devices at once. Before MIMO was a thing, a WiFi access point would connect to one device at a time while other devices have to wait in line for connection.
OFDMA or “Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access” is another technology improvement that will improve efficiency, latency, and throughput. This one is a little hard to explain in simple terms but I will try my best, so stick with me a little bit. Till now, the latest WiFi standard which is the 802.
When will We See WiFi 6 Certified Devices?
Since WiFi 6 standard is set to be ratified sometime in 2019, we should see WiFi 6 compatible client devices by the end of 2019 and the start of 2020. That said, depending on the user’s upgrade cycle, it might be at least 3-4 years before the industry shifts to the standard. As far as WiFi 6 capable access points (routers) are concerned, some of the early mover companies including Asus (ASUS RT-AX88U – $346) and NetGear (NETGEAR Nighthawk – $399.99) have already launched some products.
WiFi 6 is also meant for the new world we are living in. We use tons of smart home devices in our homes. According to professional estimates, a single city home will be having around 50 client devices in the near future. The new WiFi 6 standard will ensure that all those devices are connected, receive data according to their requirement, and don’t get in the way of each other. So, are you excited for the new WiFi 6 standard? Do let us know in the comments section below