Everything you need to know about Wi-Fi 6

Taylor Gadsden

Nov 16, 2020 — 2 min read

When it comes to your Wi-Fi quality, the sky’s the limit.

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In an ideal world, your Wi-Fi is doing everything it needs to do to make your browsing experience as seamless as possible. But, what if it could do more? That’s what the next generation of Wi-Fi, called Wi-Fi 6, promises, and there’s much more in store than just an increase in speed.

What is Wi-Fi 6?

Much like iPhones, Wi-Fi technology keeps evolving and improving. No, you didn’t miss the debut of Wi-Fi 1-5, the Wi-Fi alliance has only recently moved to this more standard method of naming. Wi-Fi 6 is technically called 802.11ax, in line with previous versions.

This latest iteration will be faster — Wi-Fi 6 maxes out at a whopping 9.6 Gbps compared to the 3.5 Gbps max speeds of Wi-Fi 5  — and assist your router with the many devices you and your family connect to it. 

That means smartphones, TVs, laptops and desktops, tablets, light systems, thermostats and whatever else your heart desires.

In 2018, Parks Associates found the average amount of internet-connected devices per household was around 9.1, so this type of bandwidth is invaluable now that many are working and learning from home during the coronavirus pandemic. 

When does Wi-Fi 6 debut and how do I get it?

Wi-Fi 6 has already arrived in the form of a new technology standard and you can get it by purchasing any device that supports 802.11ax. iPhone models 11 and newer are compatible with Wi-Fi 6 as well as routers from popular brands like Netgear, Asus and Cisco. 

And now that the Wi-Fi 6 certification program is up and running, more devices will be verified for all the upgrades that make Wi-Fi 6 the upgrade that it is. Wi-Fi 6-certified devices will support the latest generation of WPA3 security, include 160 MHz channels to increase bandwidth, 1024 QAM to send more data, utilize multi-user, multiple input, multiple output (MU-MIMO) technology to send and receive multiple signals at once and much more to make sure that Wi-Fi 6 is 40% faster than 5.

Looking to upgrade to Wi-Fi 6 sooner rather than later? Check out our full rundown of 802.11ax compatible routers today.  

Taylor Gadsden

Written by:

Taylor Gadsden

Writer, Broadband & Wireless Content

Taylor is a veteran member of the Allconnect content team and has spearheaded a number of projects, including a data piece on the top fiber cities in the U.S. and a troubleshooting guide on how to connect your p… Read more

Robin Layton

Edited by:

Robin Layton

Editor, Broadband & Wireless Content

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