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WI-FI 6: How Much Faster Is It?

Wi-Fi 6: How Much Faster is It?

For Those in a hurry…

  1. The Latest Generation of Wi-Fi
  2. What Is WI-FI 6?
  3. Is WI-FI 6 That Much Faster?
  4. Wi-Fi 6 Is About Capaicty
  5. Will My Device Be Faster?
  6. Wi-Fi 6 Is About Capaicty
  7. Will My Device Be Faster?
  8. Wi-Fi 6 Will Make Allow Faster Speeds on Busier Networks
  9. How Do I Upgrade to Wi-Fi 6?
  10. Why Is Wi-Fi 6 Faster Than Wi-Fi 5?
  11. How WIi-Fi 6 Can Boost Battery Life of Your Devices
  12. Wi-Fi 6 and Cyber-Security
  13. Wi-Fi 6 On Smart Phones
  14. Our Favourite Wi-Fi 6 Access Points
  15. Concluding Wi-Fi 6

The Latest Generation of Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi is about to get a whole lot quicker. That’s fantastic news: faster internet is always in demand, especially as we use more bandwidth-demanding applications, games, videos and music streaming on our laptops and phones.
The latest generation of Wi-Fi, known as Wi-Fi 6, isn’t simply a faster speed improvement. Instead, its influence will be more nuanced, and we’ll see its benefits more and more over time.
This is a more substantial speed boost that will prepare us for the future. It’s less of a one-time performance boost and more of an infrastructure improvement intended to ensure that our speeds don’t stop working several years down the line.
Wi-Fi 6 has been around for a while, and it’s likely to be in your next phone or computer. So here’s what you can expect once it rolls out.

What Is WI-FI 6?

Wi-Fi 6 is a new technology that lets you use the internet faster. It uses multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) technologies, which helps radios send and receive data faster. This means you’ll always have access to peak bandwidth, no matter what device you’re using or where you are. Wi-Fi 6 is also more energy-efficient than previous versions of Wi-Fi, which means your devices will last longer on a charge.

Is Wi-Fi 6 That Much Faster?

The short but inadequate answer is: Wi-Fi 6 is 9.6 Gbps. This is up from 3.5 Gbps on Wi-Fi 5.
The answer to this question is determined by several things, including the type of devices you’re using, the number of devices you have, and how far away your gadgets are from the router. Wi-Fi 6, on average, is about 30% faster than Wi-Fi.
The real answer is that both of those speeds are theoretical maximums with little bearing on typical Wi-Fi usage. So even if you could reach those rates, there’s no assurance you’d need them. In the United Kingdom, the average download speed is 50.4Mbps or around 0.1 per cent of the theoretical maximum speed.
However, the fact that Wi-Fi 6 has a far higher theoretical speed limit than its predecessor is still significant. That 9.6 Gbps doesn’t just have to go to one machine in particular. Instead, it may be divided across a network of devices, giving each device more potential speed.
In short, if you want to future-proof your small business, then upgrading to Wi-Fi 6 is a good idea.

Wi-Fi 6 Is About Capaicty

Wi-Fi 6 is a name for the wireless networking protocol that will be used to transfer data across networks. For example, instead of increasing network speeds for individual devices, Wi-Fi 6 focuses on improving the network when many gadgets are linked.

The Wi-Fi 6 standard is designed to provide a much better experience when many devices are connected simultaneously, for example, in a busy office or at a large sports stadium.

Kevin Robinson Senior Vice President of Marketing at Wi-Fi Alliance

That’s a vital objective, and it comes at the perfect time: Wi-Fi 5 was released right when we required faster connections. Now that the average number of Wi-Fi devices in a UK household is nine, many businesses expect us to reach 50 over the next several years.
Numerous new devices might be connecting to your network. Because your router can only talk with so many gadgets at once, the more devices that want Wi-Fi, the slower the entire network becomes.
Wi-Fi 6 incorporates some new technologies to assist with problems when numerous Wi-Fi devices are connected to a single network.
This enables routers to communicate with many devices at once and allows them to transmit data to several devices in the same broadcast. It also lets Wi-Fi gadgets schedule check-ins with the router. Together, they should ensure that connections remain strong as more and more devices clamour for data.

Will My Device Be Faster?

The short but inadequate answer is: Wi-Fi 6 is 9.6 Gbps, up from 3.5 Gbps on Wi-Fi 5.
The answer to this question is determined by several things, including the type of devices you’re using, the number of devices you have, and how far away your gadgets are from the router. Wi-Fi 6, on average, is about 30% faster than Wi-Fi.
The real answer is that both of those speeds are theoretical maximums with little bearing on typical Wi-Fi usage. So even if you could reach those rates, there’s no assurance you’d need them. In the United Kingdom, the average download speed is 50.4Mbps or around 0.1 per cent of the theoretical maximum speed.
However, the fact that Wi-Fi 6 has a far higher theoretical speed limit than its predecessor is still significant. That 9.6 Gbps doesn’t just have to go to one machine in particular. Instead, it may be divided across a network of devices, giving each device more potential speed.
In short, if you want to future-proof your small business, then upgrading to Wi-Fi 6 is a good idea.

Wi-Fi 6 Will Make Allow Faster Speeds on Busier Networks

Those speeds will not necessarily be superior to what they can achieve on a high-quality network today, but they are more likely to maintain those top rates even in heavier traffic. This might be useful in a home where one person is watching Netflix, another is playing a game, someone else is having a zoom call, and a slew of smart gadgets such as door locks, temperature sensors, light switches, and so on are all checking in at once.
The top speeds of those devices won’t be improved significantly, but the speeds you experience on a regular basis will almost certainly be enhanced. It all depends on how many devices are on your network and how demanding they are.
The benefits of Wi-Fi 6 will be most pronounced in public places where numerous devices are constantly trying to connect to the network at once. That’s why you’ll start seeing it crop up in high-traffic areas first, such as airports, coffee shops, and stadiums.

How Do I Upgrade to Wi-Fi 6?

Well, it’s going to involve getting your wallet out…
Wi-Fi generations require new hardware, not simply software upgrades, so you’ll need to buy new phones, computers, and other gadgets in order to use the latest Wi-Fi 6 variant.
It should be stated that this isn’t something you’ll want to rush out to the store and buy a new laptop over. It’s not a game-changer for any device, at least not in everyday performance.
New devices will start shipping with Wi-Fi 6 by default in the long run. You’ll acquire fresh phones, laptops, and game consoles over the next five years that have the most up-to-date version of Wi-Fi.
However, unless you have a specific need for the new features that Wi-Fi 6 offers, such as faster speeds when streaming 4K video or playing games online, there’s no pressing reason to upgrade. Instead, your old devices will work just fine with the current Wi-Fi 5 standard.
You’ll need to replace your router, but there’s one thing you should go out and buy immediately: a new router. Regardless of how many Wi-Fi 6 devices you bring home, you won’t get any benefits if your router doesn’t support Wi-Fi 6.
The one time when you do get to benefit from allowing your internet connection to save battery life is in the event of a power outage. (However, connecting Wi-Fi 5 devices to a Wi-Fi 6 router might help you perceive an improvement because the router may communicate with more gadgets at once.)
Again, this isn’t something you should rush out and get. However, if your home is full of Wi-Fi-connected smart devices and performance starts to suffer in a few years, a Wi-Fi 6 router might be able to make a significant difference.
Upgrading to Wi-Fi 6 will involve a lot of changes, but it’s not something you need to do immediately. Small and large businesses alike should watch when Wi-Fi 6 becomes the default standard and make sure their infrastructure is ready.

Why Is Wi-Fi 6 Faster Than Wi-Fi 5?

MU-MIMO and OFDMA are two key technologies that improve Wi-Fi 6 connections.

The term “MU-MIMO,” which stands for “multi-user, multiple input, multiple output,” is already being used in modern routers and devices. Wi-Fi 6 upgrades it by adding multiuser, many input, many output (MU-MIMO) to the mix. This allows a router to communicate with multiple devices simultaneously, rather than waiting its turn.

OFDMA is an extension of MU-MIMO that helps reduce latency even further by allowing a single Wi-Fi connection to be divided into multiple sub-connections. This means that instead of waiting for their turn, each device can start exchanging data as soon as it’s ready.

The technological breakthrough allows a router to communicate with many gadgets simultaneously instead of broadcasting to one device and then the next, as is currently done. MU-MIMO enables routers to communicate with up to four devices at once. Wi-Fi 6 will allow devices to connect with up to eight other devices.

According to Kevin Robinson, marketing leader for the Wi-Fi Alliance, an industry group that oversees the adoption of Wi-Fi, Connections with MU-MIMO are similar to adding delivery trucks to a fleet. 

You can send each of those trucks in different directions to different customers. Before, you had four trucks to fill with goods and send to four customers. With Wi-Fi 6, you now have eight trucks

Kevin Robinson Senior Vice President of Marketing at Wi-Fi Alliance

This is all used in the end to get more out of every transmission that includes a Wi-Fi signal and travels from a router to your gadget. And that means faster connections with less latency for you.

How WIi-Fi 6 Can Boost Battery Life of Your Devices?

Another new feature of Wi-Fi 6 is that it allows devices to plan out communications with a router, cutting down on the amount of time they need to keep their antennas switched on to transmit and seek signals. As a result, batteries will last longer and drain less.
This is all possible thanks to a function known as Target Wake Time, which allows routers to plan when devices should check-in. This way, devices can sleep for more extended periods of time and save on energy.
To put it into perspective, if you’re using an iPhone 6 or later, you could see up to an extra hour of battery life with Wi-Fi 6. So if you have an iPhone 10 and above, that number jumps up to two hours.
This won’t be useful for every device. So, for example, your laptop needs to access the internet regularly. It isn’t practical to make extensive use of this functionality (except perhaps when it goes into sleep mode).
This option is designed for smaller, low-power Wi-Fi gadgets that need to check in now and then. For example, consider tiny sensors positioned throughout the home to detect leaks or unusual usage of smart home gadgets at night.
For example, a smart light bulb might only need to turn on when someone is in the room, and it’s dark. By using Wi-Fi 6, that device can spend most of its time sleeping and not impact your electricity bill or shorten its lifespan due to constant usage.

Wi-Fi 6 and Cyber Security

Wi-Fi received its most substantial security upgrade in a decade last year, with WPA3 becoming the new security method. Wi-Fi users may be vulnerable to data theft if they use weak passwords or no passwords at all. By constantly guessing passwords, WPA3 makes it more difficult for hackers to decrypt them, and it renders some information useless if it’s stolen.
WPA3 is a more secure variant of WPA2. Despite this, some older devices and routers could support it. For example, WPA3 will be necessary for Wi-Fi 6 devices to obtain approval from the Wi-Fi Alliance; as a result, most, if not all, Wi-Fi 6 devices will support WPA3.
Small businesses should make sure their routers are updated to the latest firmware, as this will include the WPA3 security protocol. Small businesses should also encourage their employees to use strong passwords and to change them regularly.

Wi-Fi 6 On Smart Phones

Wi-Fi 6 devices are increasingly becoming available on the newest phones. Wi-Fi 6 routers are already on the market, and they’ve gotten more affordable in recent years.
Phones currently available with Wi-Fi 6 include:

  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 12 Series
  • iPhone 13, 13 Mini, 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+
  • Samsung Galaxy S10, S10+, and S10e
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 and S20+
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra
  • Samsung Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus
  • Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
  • Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy Fold 5G
  • ASUS ROG Phone 3 and Phone 3 Strix
  • ASUS Zenfone 7 and 7 Pro
  • Xiaomi Mi 10 5G and Mi 10 Pro 5G
  • ZTE Red Magic 5G
  • Sony Xperia 1 II
  • LG V60 ThinQ 5G
  • Motorola Edge Plus
  • Motorola Edge 20 Pro
  • Motorola Edge Plus
  • Vivo iQOO 3 5G 
  • Vivo Z6 5G
  • Realme X50 Pro 5G
  • Realme X50 Pro 5G 
  • OnePlus 9, 9R, 9 Pro
  • OnePlus Nord 2 5G
  • OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro
  • OnePlus 8T 5G
  • Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro 

As you can see, the list is extensive, and there are plenty of smartphones to choose from. Wi-Fi 6 was previously known as a premium-end smartphone feature that was only accessible on pricey phones, but things have changed in 2022. Today, the Wi-Fi 6 function is available on a wide range of devices, including mid-range and inexpensive alternatives.
It’s likely that future purchases will be made with the intention of moving to Wi-Fi 6 in mind. However, you may transition to the most recent wireless standard and begin utilising a newer, faster network.

Our Favourite Wi-Fi 6 Access Points

We have been using Unifi access points for the past year, and we can confidently say that this is the best product for the price on the market. With incredible performance, long-range capabilities up to 500 feet away from my house (in open air), strong Wi-Fi signal everywhere throughout your home or office space, even when several devices are connected simultaneously. We recommend Unify for our client’s access points, router and wireless networking.
We’re not the only one that’s thoroughly impressed with this product. Small Business Trends has given the UniFi 6 AP Long-Range In-Wall Access Point their Editor’s Choice Award for being an outstanding business-grade solution.

Concluding Wi-Fi 6

Small Businesses, in particular, should pay attention to these questions. They may not need the very latest and greatest devices, but they should at least be aware of what new technology is out

Small businesses should be aware of the new Wi-Fi 6 technology, but they don’t necessarily need to upgrade all their devices just yet. The benefits of Wi-Fi 6 will become more apparent over time – and in the meantime, there are plenty of other ways small businesses can improve their IT support and online presence. If you’re a small business in London, get in touch with us today to see how we can help you make the most of your IT infrastructure.

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