Wi-Fi 6 and 6E Explained: What is Wi-Fi 6 and what are its fastest speeds?

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Subsequently sticking with the same old Wi-Fi standard for a long time, nosotros’ve recently seen Wi-Fi 6 come up to fruition, swiftly followed past Wi-Fi 6E, an enhanced version. So, what is Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E, and practise you lot need them? Here’southward everything that you need to know.

Wi-Fi standards used to be known past their IEEE names, so Wi-Fi 6 was originally introduced equally 801.11ax in April 2022. Equally these names can be confusing, the Wi-Fi Brotherhood decided to simplify its naming conventions, so you tin can easily tell which standard is newer. Hence, we now take Wi-Fi 6, the successor to the older Wi-Fi five standard (previously known as 802.11ac.

Although the standard was announced in 2022, it’s taken quite a long time for products, especially affordable ones, to become bachelor. However, we’re now at the point where the bulk of new routers support at least Wi-Fi half-dozen, as practice all of the latest phones, laptops and even other devices, such as smart speakers.

Wi-Fi 6E products accept only just started to become available, with the Netgear Orbi RBKE963 the first mesh organisation that we’ve tested to support this. We’ll explain how Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E differ from each other and what the main benefits of each are.

What is Wi-Fi vi?

Whether yous telephone call it Wi-Fi half-dozen or 802.11ax, the newer standard offers theoretical speeds of up to 9.6Gbps, although i of the main goals of the standard is to make Wi-Fi work better with multiple devices. There are a few central changes to the way that Wi-Fi six works.

Outset, the standard has improved the number of bits that tin can be transmitted at the same time. Wi-Fi uses a technique called Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM). Wi-Fi five used 512-QAM, which permit the system transmit eight $.25 at once; Wi-Fi vi uses 1024-QAM, which lets x bits be transmitted at the aforementioned time. That gives a 25% speed improvement.

Side by side, Wi-Fi 6 uses Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Admission (OFDMA), which breaks a wireless aqueduct down into small chunks, so that each customer gets its own dedicated bit of bandwidth. Information technology’south similar to how a post truck can be packed with letters for different people, and separated out at the end.

There’due south also been a heave to MU-MIMO. With this technology, a router has a set number of streams for upload and download. For instance, an 8×viii router has eight upload and 8 download streams. With MU-MIMO, a stream can be directed at a customer, giving them dedicated bandwidth. There’s a choice on how this is done. For example, a 2×2 client could connect with both streams to increase performance, letting our 8×8 router support up to four clients in this way; nonetheless, the router could connect 8 clients directly using a single stream each instead.

The important matter is that the more streams you take the easier information technology is for the router to support more clients.

MU-MIMO was introduced with Wi-Fi v, only simply for downloads, simply Wi-Fi half-dozen makes the technology bi-directional. And, MU-MIMO can be used with OFDMA at the same time, improving the response and defended bandwidth that each client gets.

On the 5GHz band, aqueduct width has been doubled from 80MHz to 160MHz, further increasing the amount of bandwidth available; on the congested ii.4GHz ring, channel width remains at 40MHz.

Power saving is improved with Wi-Fi 6 thanks to Target Wake Fourth dimension. With this technology, clients and the router can schedule when regular communications tin take place. For devices that have to check in from time-to-time, such as smart sensor, this saves battery life, as the device just needs to communicate when scheduled; with the old system, the device would demand to wake up, try and transmit simply dorsum off if the Wi-Fi network was in employ, then endeavour again.

Target Wake Time won’t make a divergence on your laptop, which will communicate a lot more, simply for sensors, smart home devices and the like, this technology should meliorate communication and improve battery life.

Wi-Fi vi is a standard that works on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, so everything you lot read to a higher place applies to both. As a comparison, Wi-Fi 5 was a 5GHz standard just, and routers nonetheless used the older 802.11n specification for the 2.4GHz band.

Equally a consequence, Wi-Fi 6 delivers its features beyond all bands, giving more total high-quality bandwidth; all the same, devices volition still only connect to one network type at a time: routers can either present two separate channels or have a single network name and transport connecting devices to the best channel based on speed, range and capabilities.

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What is Wi-Fi 6E?

Wi-Fi 6E has all of the features mentioned higher up for Wi-Fi 6, but it also introduces a new 6GHz channel into the mix. While this channel has less range than 5GHz and ii.4GHz networks, it’southward built for speed equally there’s very fiddling overlap and interference.

With the new 6GHz channel, there are 14 new 80MHz and seven new 160MHz channels that don’t overlap; with 5GHz, there are just two 160MHz channels, both of which overlap, so are susceptible to interference from neighbouring networks. This generally means that performance on 5GHz networks are throttled back to avoid clashes. Throttling and interference are an fifty-fifty worse problem on the 2.4GHz band, where there are simply three 20MHz channels that don’t overlap, and no 40MHz channels free of overlap.

The result is that Wi-Fi 6E devices connecting on the 6GHz ring have throughputs that can surpass Gigabit Ethernet; we’re talking wired speeds without having to take any cables.

Wi-Fi 6E’southward 5GHz and 2.4GHz channels are compatible with Wi-Fi vi or older devices, but the 6GHz aqueduct requires defended support. That’south provided with Intel’southward latest desktop and mobile hardware, and some phones support it, but there are still relatively few devices available.

Likewise equally boosting bandwidth, Wi-Fi 6E requires WPA3 support on the 6GHz channel, which is the latest form of wireless security.

What are Wi-Fi standards?

Each new Wi-Fi standard that comes along introduces improvements and refinements to our wireless networks. Wi-Fi 6 is the sixth generation of these standards, every bit the proper name kind of implies.

Here’s a total tabular array of the previous Wi-Fi standards, including their former and new names, maximum speeds and other pertinent information.

Note that the 3 generations prior to Wi-Fi 4 have not officially been rechristened by the Wi-Fi Brotherhood, as they’re at present defunct and won’t be establish or supported past any new products.

Original name New name Top speed Year of introduction Other data
N/A Wi-Fi 6E 9.6Gbps 2022 Adds a new 6GHz channel with more 160GHz channels. Less interference means college speeds, but range isn’t as good as on the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands.
802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 ix.6Gbps 2018 Doubles 5GHz channel bandwidth and adds total-duplex MU-MIMO for better sharing.
802.11ac Moving ridge ane / Wave two Wi-Fi 5 one.3Gbps / 2.34Gbps 2013 / 2022 Used 20, 40 and 80-MHz channels in the 5GHz ring / used 160MHz 5GHz channel, added MU-MIMO (Multi-user MIMO) for even greater coverage
802.11n Wi-Fi 4 450Mbps 2009 Support for dual-ring Wi-Fi, meaning routers and devices could use 2.4GHz and 5GHz, and MIMO (mutli input, multi output) for greater coverage
802.11g n/a 54Mbps 2003 Brought the pinnacle 802.11a speed to the two.4GHz frequency
802.11b northward/a 11Mbps 1999 Single-band, used the two.4GHz frequency
802.11a n/a 54Mbps 1999 Single-ring, used the 5GHz frequency, launched at same time as 802.11b

On speeds, yous should note that the speeds given here are theoretical maximum speeds – even if yous take the latest phones and laptops, if there are other devices in your habitation all using the same connectedness, or you’re moving closer or further away from your router (and you’ve non got a mesh Wi-Fi organization fix), then your mileage may vary.

To take full advantage of Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6E and its improvements, yous’ll need the proper equipment. For one, y’all’ll demand an 802.11ax compatible router. In addition, each device that connects to that router should take the advisable Wi-Fi 6 antenna.

Wi-Fi standards likewise ensure that products are backwards-compatible. In other words, older connected devices which don’t conform to the latest standards will still happily connect to a Wi-Fi 6 router. They just won’t exist able to capitalise on those updates. As well, any smartphones, laptops and other devices which are Wi-Fi 6 compatible can hook up to a router using Wi-Fi 5.

Source: https://www.trustedreviews.com/news/wifi-6-routers-speed-3442712

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