Are you familiar with WiFi 6.0? WiFi 6 is the latest version of the 802.11 standards for wireless networks, which we commonly call WiFi. The current version – which most of your devices probably use – is 802.11ac, or Wi-Fi 5. Devices that support Wi-Fi 6 still speak the same WiFi language to communicate with each other, only now they speak more faster – and more efficiently – than before.
WiFi 6 is better than Wi-Fi 5
The specific technical advances that WiFi 6 brings to the table are a bit complicated, but in a nutshell, Wi-Fi 6 is better than Wi-Fi 5 because:
- Supports faster maximum transfer speeds (we have registered it at a speed of up to 1,320 Mbps, approximately 40 percent faster than the fastest WiFi 5 speeds we have measured)
- Allows devices to send more information with each individual transmission
- Allows routers and other access points to service more devices at once
- Help sensors and other wireless devices conserve battery power when programming transmissions
- It facilitates better and faster performance in dense and crowded environments such as airports and sports stadiums.
According to internet speed tests, WiFi 6 allows devices to transfer data approximately 40 percent faster than before. That number will probably increase as we continue working on more tests.
My internet will be faster?
Well, not necessarily. New iPhone and other devices that support WiFi 6, such as the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, will definitely be able to take full advantage of Wi-Fi 6, but only if they have a Wi-Fi 6 access point to connect. You will not see any difference if you are still using a Wi-Fi 5 router. And of course, Wi-Fi 6 routers, while now available, are still very expensive.
Even if you buy one, it won’t magically make your Internet connection faster. If your Internet service provider’s connection is, say, 100 Mbps, then that is the speed limit for your home internet. Wi-Fi 6 can’t do anything to speed it up.
At this time, the average download speed in the United States is 119 Mbps, which is not even close to the maximum speeds that Wi-Fi 6 is, in theory, capable of reaching. Using a WiFi 6 router on a network like that is a bit like driving a sports car on the sand. You will not go almost as fast as your hardware is capable of doing it.
So, yes, Wi-Fi 6 is fast and exciting, but it’s still too early for this technology. Wi-Fi 6 is not yet officially certified, although that is supposed to happen very soon. Wi-Fi 6 support helps prepare the future of the new iPhone line, but it is not yet an essential feature, and you should not feel compelled to hurry up and replace your router.
The extension of fiber networks and other connections that approach gigabit speeds means that Wi-Fi 6 will probably be much more relevant to many more people in the next year or so. And, now that the iPhone already supports these speeds, we can also expect more devices to follow suit.
In the meantime, stay tuned for Wi-Fi 6 implementations in public places, you will benefit from faster public networks like those and if you stay with a Wi-Fi 5 phone, don’t worry: Wi-Fi 6 networks are compatible with previous versions -gen Wi-Fi devices- Fi, even if they can’t do much to make them faster.