How WiFi 6 Works: This is Why Wifi 6 Routers Are So Fast
Wi-Fi will get faster. This is great news, as faster internet is in constant demand, especially with more bandwidth-intensive apps, games, videos, and other media using our phones and laptops.
Wi-Fi 6 isn't just about speed. It will have a greater impact and we'll likely see more of its benefits over time. This is a more long-term upgrade that will ensure our speeds don’t slow down in the future.
Wi-Fi 6 is only beginning to arrive in this year's market. It's likely that it will be included in your next smartphone or laptop. Here are some things you can expect when it arrives. Check out some of our other articles to know more about WiFi6 Routers that might be ideal for you.
What is Wi-Fi 6?
Wi-Fi 6 will be the next generation in Wi-Fi. It will still connect you to the internet, but it will use a variety of technologies to do that more efficiently and speed up connections.
How Fast is Wi-Fi 6?
The short but incomplete answer: 9.6 Gbps. That’s up from 3.5 Gbps on Wi-Fi 5.
Both of these speeds are theoretical maximums, and unlikely to be reached in real-world Wi-Fi use. Even if you were able to reach these speeds, it is not likely that you would need them. The average download speed in the US is 72 Mbps. This is less than 1 percent of theoretical maximum speed.
It is important to note that Wi-Fi 6 has an even higher theoretical speed limit than its predecessor. The 9.6 Gbps speed doesn't need to be sent to one computer. You can split it across multiple devices. This means that each device can run at a higher speed.
Wi-Fi 6 isn't just about Top Speeds
Wi-Fi 6 does more than just increase the speed of individual devices. It also improves the network's performance when multiple devices are connected.
This is a significant goal and comes at an important moment. When Wi-Fi 5 was released, an average household in the US had five Wi-Fi devices. Currently, there are nine Wi-Fi devices in homes, with many firms predicting that we will reach 50 within the next few years.
Your network will be affected by the additional devices. Your router can only communicate with a limited number of devices simultaneously, so the more devices that require Wi-Fi, then the network will slow down.
Wi-Fi 6 introduces new technologies that help to mitigate issues associated with having multiple Wi-Fi devices connected to a single network. It allows routers to communicate with multiple devices simultaneously, send data to multiple devices in one broadcast, and let Wi-Fi devices schedule check-ins with routers. These features will ensure strong connections even when more devices demand data.
What makes Wi-Fi 6 Faster?
Two technologies are key to speeding up Wi Fi 6 connections: OFDMA and MU-MIMO.
MU-MIMO stands for "multi-users, multiple inputs, multiple output" and is used in modern routers. Wi-Fi 6 however upgrades it.
This technology allows routers to communicate with multiple devices simultaneously, instead of broadcasting to each device one after the other. MU-MIMO is currently able to allow routers to communicate with up four devices simultaneously. Wi-Fi 6 will enable devices to communicate up to eight times.
Kevin Robinson, the marketing leader of the Wi-Fi Alliance (an internationally backed tech-industry organization that oversees Wi-Fi implementation), says you can think of adding MU/MIMO connections as adding delivery trucks to a fleet. Robinson states that each truck can be sent in different directions to different customers. "Before, there were four trucks that you could fill with goods and then send to four customers. Wi-Fi 6 allows you to have eight trucks.
Another new technology, OFDMA (orthogonal frequency division multiple access), allows for one transmission to be used to deliver data to multiple devices simultaneously.
Robinson said that OFDMA allows one truck to transport goods to multiple locations. Robinson says that OFDMA allows the network to look at a truck and see that 75 percent of it is being used by one customer. The second customer can then use the remaining space to fill the truck with goods.
This is how you get more from every Wi-Fi signal that travels from your router to your device.
Wi-Fi 6 is just getting started
Wi-Fi 6 devices are only beginning to appear. Wi-Fi 6 routers are available, but they are still expensive, high-end devices. Although the new Wi-Fi 6 technology is available on a few laptops, it's not widely available.
Wi-Fi 6 will be available on high-end smartphones this year. The Snapdragon 855, Qualcomm's new flagship processor, supports Wi-Fi 6. It's intended for the next generation of high-end phones. Although the inclusion of the Snapdragon 855 in a phone's Wi-Fi 6 capability does not guarantee it, it is a good indicator: Samsung's Galaxy S10 has the latest processor and supports the newest Wi-Fi generation.
Next year, Wi-Fi 6 will likely be more popular. Wi-Fi Alliance will be launching its Wi-Fi 6, certification program in the fall. This ensures compatibility between Wi-Fi devices. The certification does not require that devices pass it, but the launch will indicate that the industry is ready to welcome Wi-Fi 6.
We hope this article gave some insights on why Wi-Fi 6 routers are so fast. From the MU-MIMO, which again stands for “multi-user, multiple input, multiple output,” improved technology to other sorts, Wi-Fi 6 will be faster than anything we have ever seen before. Check out our other articles for more about how to choose a WiFi6 Router and also reviews and lists of the best WiFi6 Routers for gaming.