5 key benefits of Wi-Fi 6

What is Wi-Fi 6?

Simply put, Wi-Fi 6 is the sixth generation of standard Wi-Fi technology.

The wireless standards have always been a bit of a mouthful / confusing. Those in the know could impress those that weren’t with a quick referral to “802.11whatever” and that was it, your eyes glazed over.

Here’s a quick summary before we get started with what’s new in Wi-Fi 6.

The industry has conveniently backdated the naming convention to figure out the 6th version could be called Wi-Fi 6 which is great but we all know that nobody will ever say they are still going to support Wi-Fi3, it’ll always be 802.11g (sorry you can’t rewrite history even if it’s to make it more convenient.)

But not to digress, Wi-Fi 6 has some real benefits, its superfast, more efficient and allows for the density that industry requires today.

1 | Go faster solution

Is Wi-Fi 6 faster? The short answer is yes but that’s not telling the whole story. Its officially rated at 9.6 Gbps, a significant increase from the previous standard (that’s right – Wi-Fi5) at 3.5 Gbps but will you really see a 3x increase in speeds from your device? Probably not is the real answer. What you will actually see is a lack of speed reduction as more devices come online. This was the issue with older generations of Wi-Fi, the bandwidth was shared so the more devices on the network the slower they all went. That won’t work today and Wi-Fi 6 does this in a couple of intriguing ways.

2 | Fast even when congested

As device density increases the speeds reduce, at least that’s what usually happened, but Wi-Fi 6 leverages some clever technology called Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) in order to split the load when a signal is sent. This means a single Access Point can talk to several devices at the same time. This is a major advantage when the density starts increasing.

3 | Focussed Beams

To further take advantage of the lessons learned from earlier Wi-Fi standards, Wi-Fi 6 can even focus its signal towards the location of a wireless device to improve speed and reliability. Through the use of Beamforming, the signal is focussed in the direction of the device rather than being a consistent signal spread evenly across the location. This improves speed and reliability of the connection.

4 | Improved Security

2018 saw the introduction of a new enhanced security protocol called WPA3 and so wireless networks were able to start taking advantage of it new features. It’s a big step up in secure wireless networking but its optional to use in older Wi-Fi networks. The introduction of certifications from the Wi-Fi Alliance actually enforces its use and so provides a more secure arrangement overall. It’s still the same user experience but if you delve into how it works there are improvements in the ability to stop hackers in their tracks, better encryption and most importantly for sites looking to use IoT – a new standard to securely onboard those devices.

5 | Increased battery life

Have you ever had battery anxiety or been forced to switch Wi-Fi off to keep your device going? It’s not a great situation to be in. It’s annoying and it would indeed be better to reduce battery usage for those personal devices but there are some other major advantages to using less power over Wi-Fi. The industry must progress towards a more connected, secure, safe and efficient environment and it can now do that by taking advantage of the lower power requirements of Wi-Fi 6 and accelerate the use of small IoT sensors.

Need more information?

Contact 1Connect today, experts in communications, networking hosted telephony and much more.
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