So what the heck is WI-FI 6?
Well, it's a wireless networking standard.
It's faster, more capable, more power efficient and backwards compatible.
There are lots of WI-FI 6 routers out there, but not a lot of devices and take advantage of its benefits.
But let's really get into it, shall we?
What's with the name?
Here's the deal, you gotta have names for different versions of wireless network technologies, if you have ever bought a router in the past, you may have seen 80211a, b, g, n, a, c, each letter designation is a different version of wi-fi, well wi-fi 6 is 80211ax, the wi-fi alliance which is totally a real thing that I did not make up.
Published a statement saying that it will use Wi Fi 6 as the industry designation for products and networks that support the next generation of Wi Fi based on 802 11ax.
The statement went on to say this number designation was meant to make it easier for users to understand.
So they decided to brand 802 11ac as Wi Fi 5 and 802.11n as Wi-Fi 4, so if you're shopping, you'll have a much easier time knowing that 802.11ac is newer than 11n because 5 is better than 4. Then again which is so hard to A-B-G-N-A CAX.
Yeah, there's enough stuff to figure out in the course of a day.
And that's six.
It's meant to designate that this is the sixth generation of Wi Fi technology.
Wi Fi six is also backwards compatible with Wi Fi five Wish they really could have called Wi Fi.
So if you get a Wi Fi six router and Wi Fi five devices, the Wi Fi five stuff will still work.
When you get Wi Fi six devices on board, everything will still work together.
Okay, so what's the big deal?
It's the sixth generation.
What's new Well, let's look at Wifi.org.
Here's what it says under key capabilities, but orthogonal frequency division multiple access OFDMA effectively shares channels to increase network efficiency and lower latency for both uplink and downlink traffic.
In high demand environment.
So let's translate that to normal, that means that Wi-Fi 6 networks work quicker than older ones.
Advance on the network will also happen faster, thanks that lower latency.
So if you're doing something that requires a quick response like gaming or virtual reality, the lower latency should help that.
What about that OFDMA stuff?
That allows your router to serve multiple clients at once within a single channel.
So instead of your devices waiting for data one after the other, OFDMA pretty much allocates a part of a channel to each device back to Wi Fi that org.
multi user multiple input multiple outputs multi user MIMO allows more downlink data to be transferred at one time, enabling access points to concurrently handle more devices.
Translate that to more users on your network can get at your network resources at likely higher speeds at one time.
The WiFi Alliance says its tech is helpful in retail, stadiums, and transportation hubs.
So when you've got a lot of devices on one network, WiFi 6 devices should not be subject The same slowdowns experienced with older tech.
What about speed?
That's all anyone cares about, right?
You're looking at a theoretical maximum transfer speed of 10 gigabits per second, and cnet's tests.
We saw transfer speeds at around 1.3 gigabits per second.
So what does that mean in real terms?
Take a look at this handy dandy graphic made by Chris CNET networking top dog.
Let's say you wanted to download the first 22 Marvel Cinematic Universe films at 4k resolution.
That's a total of around 158 terabytes on Wi Fi 5, it would take 3:45.
But with our tested Wi Fi 6 speeds, it would take only 2:18 That is very fast for that amount of data.
Keep in mind we're talking about your network speed.
If your internet connection is 200 megabits per second, you may be able to get every single megabit out of it on a Wi Fi six network, but you're not reaching gigabit internet speeds.
Unless you're paying for that, let's talk about a new feature in Wi Fi six and that is target wake time.
your router and devices are regularly checking in with each other.
Okay, how are you doing?
I'm here, are you here?
I'm here, i'm here.
[SOUND] kinda ridiculous.
So this could lead to a lot of devices trying to check in with your router at the same time but target wait time lets the router decide when these checkings happen.
This also means battery powered devices using WiFi six won't be wasting energy trying to reach the router when the router is busy.
All right, when is it coming?
It's already here.
You can get Wi Fi six routers now at this very second and this one too.
They first came out in late 2019 but there's a second wave of routers hitting right now.
But you do need a Wi Fi six device to take full advantage of everything Wi Fi six can do.
So here are some devices that support Wi-Fi six right now.
The Samsung Galaxy S10, S20, the note 10, iPhone 11, 11 Pro, pro Max and even the new iPhone SE the newest iPad pros, the newest Dell XPS 13 has it and the Microsoft Surface laptop three What about Mac's MacBook Air?
No MacBook Pro 13 no 16 no iMac, no iMac Pro, no Mac Pro.
Maybe next time and if you're mad, that's a Mac Pro doesn't have the best wireless.
What are you doing?
wired that thing up.
Intel has a nice sight that shows off laptops that do have Wi Fi six There's some made by Lenovo, HP and others.
What about smart home devices?
there are not any Wi Fi six ones out right now originally Wi Fi six smart home devices were expected for higher end products this year.
But you know what stuff happened?
Yeah, they will likely be adaptive first commercial applications when they do come out.
It would also make sense in media streamers and game consoles.
Down the line.
What about Wi-Fi 6E?
Yeah, so that's a thing.
This label is for devices that use Wi-Fi 6 on the 6GHz band.
There's some FCC stuff that has to happen first before 6E Can get the A OK.
The FCC says that if it makes the entire 6 Gigahertz band available, it would effectively increase the amount of spectrum available for Wi-Fi almost by a factor of five translation type.
Older devices are not on that band.
That means Wi-Fi 6 gets the whole thing to itself.
The FCC has to deal with some microwaves.
Stuff before it gives away the 6 gigahertz band though.
What do microwaves have to do with this?
That's for another time.
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