These quarantine days are testing our patience for sure; we can not go outside and live our regular life. We are now solely dependent on the internet for our work. In these times, our networks are congested, due to very high traffic. Especially the Wi-Fi routers in our homes are not giving their best performance, due to device overload.
In this decade, we have moved towards wireless technology. All latest devices, including our mobile phones, smart TVs, smart bulbs, smart cameras, and even fans, are connected through Wi-Fi connections.
The current Wi-Fi systems are not able to manage the overload because of their limited bandwidth. They are not so bad but are not performing with their highest efficiency. The demand for an upgrade was continuously rising in the market. Due to this, the Wi-Fi Alliance introduced Wi-Fi 6 (Wi-Fi 6 router) in late 2019.
What is Wi-Fi 6 (Wi-Fi 6 Router)?
The Wi-Fi 6 is also known as 802.11ax, so these terms are used interchangeably. The latest 6th generation offers higher bandwidth, higher speed, lower latency, and better device management with increased device density.
In 2018, Wi-Fi names were introduced like Wi-Fi 4, Wi-Fi 5, and Wi-Fi 6. Before that, it was just some pairs of letters. So, to avoid confusion, these names were introduced-
- 11b is now Wi-Fi 1
- 11a is now Wi-Fi 2
- 11g is now Wi-Fi 3
- 11n is now Wi-Fi 4
- 11ac is now Wi-Fi 5
- 11ax is now Wi-Fi 6
WIFI 6 Advantages
Let’s see the benefits of using Wi-Fi 6 devices (Wi-Fi 6 routers) over the previous standards. Wi-Fi 6 is better at everything, be it bandwidth, device management or battery consumption. Let’s see all the features one by one-
- Bigger data packets: Wi-Fi 6 uses bigger data packets than Wi-Fi 5. There is a term QAM, the ‘Quadrature Amplitude Modulation’ mode. The Wi-Fi 5 delivers 256-QAM, whereas Wi-Fi 6 uses 1024-QAM. It improves the speed by 25% by sending 10 bits/symbol which was earlier 8bits/symbol. It improves the streaming performance and it is best to stream 4k and 8k content.
- Higher coverage: Wi-Fi uses OFDM transmission technology also known as ‘symbol’ which divides data into smaller subcarriers which increase stability and coverage. Wi-Fi 6 uses a 4x longer OFDM symbol. These longer OFDM symbols provide 4x more sub-carriers which further increases the stability and speed. It increases the efficiency of Wi-Fi devices.
- Higher Bandwidth: Wi-Fi 5 provides 80 MHz bandwidth which was OK but Wi-Fi 6 comes with 160 MHz. It doubles the channel width which results in better performance than the previous standards.
- Low conflicts with neighbor Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi 6 uses BSS (Base Service Station) Color, which is a method to identify overlapping networks. Every Wi-Fi 6 device uses different BSS colors so the device can easily differentiate between the interfering signals, which makes it more efficient than the Wi-Fi 5 devices.
- Low Power consumption: Wi-Fi 6 has a feature called ‘Target Wake Time’ which smartly saves battery life by putting the device to sleep when it is not transmitting data and quickly waking it up to start any required transmission.
- Manage more devices simultaneously: The MU-MIMO (Multi-User- Multiple Input and Multiple Output) technologies which are used in routers to serve multiple devices’ requests simultaneously was getting used in Wi-Fi 5. The problem with this technology is that it only works for downloads. The Wi-Fi 6 introduced 8×8 MU-MIMO which works for both downloads and uploads and hence is more efficient.
These advantages of Wi-Fi 6 make it more relevant to the current scenario. Look for Wi-Fi 6 enabled routers and smartphones to enjoy the features without any hassle. The Samsung Galaxy Note10 and Note10+ are the first smartphones to get certified by “Wi-Fi 6″. Wi-Fi 6 comes in a trend after the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 ChipSet launch.
So, this is all about Wi-Fi 6, I hope you enjoyed it. Take care Geeks, we will meet again with another topic.