These quarantine days are testing our patience for sure as we are not able to go outside and do our regular stuff, we solely depend on the internet to do all the work. In these times, our networks are congested due to very high traffic from all the users, especially the Wi-Fi routers in our home are not able to give reach their full performance due to devices overload.
In this decade we have really moved towards wireless technology, all the latest devices including our mobile phones, smart TVs, smart bulbs, smart cameras, and even smart fans are using Wi-Fi connections. These many devices especially our smartphones are dependent on the internet and we all have at least one smartphone for each person in the house and other than these tablets and laptops.
The current Wi-Fi systems are not able to manage this overload because of their limitations in bandwidth and device management, they are not very bad but still not performing with the highest efficiency. Due to this, the demand for an upgrade was continuously rising in the market, due to this, the Wi-Fi Alliance introduced Wi-Fi 6 (wifi 6 router) in late 2019.
What is wifi 6 (Wi-Fi 6 Router)?
The Wi-Fi 6 is also known as 802.11ax, so these terms are used interchangeably. The latest 6th generation offers higher bandwidth, higher speed, lower latency and also better device management with increased device density.
Around 2018 the names were introduced like Wi-Fi 4, Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6, before that it was just some pairs of letters. So to avoid confusion new names were introduced:
- 11b is now Wi-Fi 1
- 11a is now Wi-Fi 2
- 11g is now Wi-Fi 3
- 11n is now Wi-Fi 4
- 11ac is now Wi-Fi 5
- 11ax is now Wi-Fi 6
WIFI 6 Advantages
Let’s see the benefits of using Wi-Fi 6 devices (wifi 6 routers) over the previous standards. Wi-Fi 6 is better at everything, be it the bandwidth, the device management, the battery consumption let’s see them one by one-
- Bigger data packets: Wi-Fi 6 uses bigger data packets than Wi-Fi. There is a term QAM, not going into details but it is ‘Quadrature Amplitude Modulation’ mode. The Wi-Fi 5 delivers 256-QAM whereas Wi-Fi 6 uses 1024-QAM. It improves the speed by 25% by sending 10 bits/symbol which was earlier 8bits/symbol. It improves the streaming performance and it is best to stream 4k and 8k content.
- Higher coverage: Wi-Fi uses OFDM transmission technology also known as ‘symbol’ which divides data to smaller subcarriers which increase stability and coverage. Wi-Fi 6 uses a 4x longer OFDM symbol. These longer OFDM symbols provide 4x more sub-carriers which further increases the stability and speed. It increases the efficiency of Wi-Fi devices. For more information click here.
- Higher Bandwidth: Wi-Fi 5 provides 80 MHz bandwidth which was OK but Wi-Fi 6 comes with 160 MHz. It doubles the channel width which results in better performance than the previous standards.
- Low conflicts with neighbor Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi 6 uses BSS (Base Service Station) Color, which is a method to identify overlapping networks. Every Wi-Fi 6 device uses different BSS colors so the device can easily differentiate between the interfering signals, which makes it more efficient than the Wi-Fi 5 devices.
- Low Power consumption: Wi-Fi 6 has a feature called ‘Target Wake Time’ which smartly saves the battery life by putting the device to sleep when it is not transmitting data and quickly waking it up to start any required transmission.
- Manage more devices simultaneously: The MU-MIMO (Multi-User- Multiple Input and Multiple Output) technologies which is used in routers to serve multiple devices’ request simultaneously was getting used in Wi-Fi 5. The problem with this technology is that it only works for downloads. The Wi-Fi 6 introduced 8×8 MU-MIMO which works for both downloads and uploads and hence is more efficient.
These advantages of Wi-Fi 6 makes it more relevant to the current scenario. Look for Wi-Fi 6 enabled routers and smartphones to enjoy the features without any hassle. The Samsung Galaxy Note10 and Note10+ are the first smartphones to get certified by “Wi-Fi 6″. Wifi 6 comes in a trend after the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 ChipSet launch.
So, this is all about Wi-Fi 6, I hope you enjoyed it. Take care Geeks, we will meet again with another topic.