New technological advancements are born into our great big digital world every day—and believe it or not, they go beyond the latest iPhone, PlayStation console, or higher resolution TV. There are also some pretty awesome improvements in WiFi technology helping to improve speed, optimize bandwidth, and increase security. It’s called WiFi 6.
What is WiFi 6?
Simply put, it’s the next iteration in wireless internet technology for your router. Which is great, because with each WiFi generation, speed increases and data rate transfers improve.
We’ve come a long way from where we started with WiFi in 1997. The earliest WiFi standard was called 802.11 and offered the bare minimum in terms of connectivity. From there, WiFi standards evolved to add more speed, better data rates, and security. To simplify the names, we now refer to them with a numerical value.
Compared to the previous standard, routers equipped with WiFi 6 offer several improvements even beyond an increase in speed. It now broadens our wireless connections so more users and devices can enjoy high speed and bandwidth at the same time. What’s more, it introduces a new level of encryption to protect your data. Ready to know more? Let’s go over the benefits of WiFi 6 and why it’s worth the upgrade.
The bandwidth boost.
Speed matters, but that’s not all that WiFi 6 brings to the table. One of the most impressive improvements is the number of devices that it can support.
Routers built with earlier WiFi standards could only support a certain number of devices and their data needs. WiFi 6 increases your network’s bandwidth capacity, opening it up for simultaneous streams. It also increases access point capacity, which is great for Internet of Things users. That means less network congestion, which contributes to latency or lag.
How fast your internet can go depends on how much bandwidth you have. Think of bandwidth like a road. The width of the road determines how much traffic can use it at any given time. WiFi 6 offers greater channel width (up to 160Mhz instead of only 20/40/80 Mhz from WiFi 5).
It’s better at steering bandwidth too. Previous WiFi standards only allowed one user to “talk” or communicate with the router at any given time. Now, multiple users can talk at the same time on your wireless network. That’s a necessary improvement for households that have several connected devices and users. The technology also divvies out bandwidth to only the devices that are currently in use. That means devices not being used won’t eat up any of your bandwidth.
Essentially, with WiFi 6, you can enjoy superior connectivity.
Now let’s get to speeds.
When it comes to internet connections, we all want more speed. WiFi 6 is a big improvement from earlier standards. The Verge estimates that WiFi 6 can reach speeds up to 9.6 Gbps, up from the 3.5 Gbps that WiFi 5 could reach. Both of these speeds are theoretical maximums that you are unlikely to reach. The technology also splits that top speed up between multiple devices, so you can enjoy fast internet on your smartphone, laptop, and IoT devices.
You may not necessarily see more speed on an individual device. Instead, you’re likely to see faster speeds across all devices. The highest speed you can purchase from Quantum Fiber is up to 940 Mbps.
A new level of security and encryption.
Along with increased bandwidth and speed, WiFi 6 introduces a new level of encryption. An upgrade from WPA2, WPA3 is the newest and most secure standard. Even if someone is able to access your WiFi signal, WPA3’s strong encryption works to keep your data safe and secure. Some WiFi 5 routers may offer WPA3, but this standard is required for WiFi 6 certification from the Wi-Fi Alliance.
How to get WiFi 6.
Your router needs to be enabled with WiFi 6 technology to enjoy the benefits. Your internet-connected devices also need to be equipped with the technology. Since WiFi 6 was launched in 2019, many recently launched devices, like the newest iPhone, come ready to connect to networks with the latest standard.
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