With as much as the world is changing today, is the technology we use the most changing with it? We have heard a lot about LTE and 5G when it comes to our phones. For us, speed is our number one priority and availability is an extremely close second. Arguably, however, we spend most of our connected lives at our places of residence. So, is your Wi-Fi up to par?
What is Wi-Fi 6?
Wi-Fi 6 is the next big thing for all of us and it is more than just an upgrade to speed. So, first off, what is Wi-Fi 6? It is the successor to Wi-Fi 5 which most everyone has currently. It will still connect you to the internet just this time around it has a multitude of additional technologies to be more efficient. Wi-Fi 6 is faster, it is stronger, and it reaches farther than its predecessor.
How fast is Wi-Fi 6 compared to Wi-Fi 5? The short answer is that is 3.5 Gigabits per second faster coming in at a whopping 9.6 Gigabits per second. Granted, that maximum is not a speed that the everyday person would reach on their everyday device. However, this speed does not have to go to just a single device as it can be split across all the devices on the network. With the average household amount of devices going up, this is huge! The other big point that makes Wi-Fi 6 faster than its predecessor is that those “additional technologies” it boasts allow it to abandon the queue line style system that Wi-Fi 5 was built on. What this means is that on Wi-Fi 5 if someone were to attempt to load two web pages simultaneously on two different devices, they would “queue” and one would load first then the other. With the successor, Wi-Fi 6, both pages would load simultaneously.
Wi-Fi 6 not only has better speeds, but also better range compared to its older brother Wi-Fi 5. Firstly, what limits the penetration of a Wi-Fi signal? The biggest one is metal and water, not a common issue for signal inside the house unless you are boasting a giant fountain or waterfall in your living room and covering the walls with tin foil. The second biggest obstacle is glass, this means windows as well as mirrors which are a lot more common in the home than water. The least of the big ones is drywall, it will not completely stop the signal but as it must penetrate more and more layers the weaker and weaker the signal will get. So, what is Wi-Fi 6’s solution to this issue? The optimization of an existing frequency called 2.4 Gigahertz. This frequency was introduced with Wi-Fi 4, however, the jump to Wi-Fi 5 made backwards compatibility difficult for devices still operating on this wavelength. This band of frequency allows Wi-Fi 6 to penetrate through more layers than the restricted Wi-Fi 5 is able to.
So, how can you get your hands on this ultra-sweet new technology? Unfortunately, if your router is not already Wi-Fi 6 enabled, you will have to spend money to get a new one. If you cannot afford one currently keep your head up as the technology grows and improves the prices are declining as production increases.