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Wifi 6: this is what you want to know about better and faster internet at home

This article is about Wifi 6- It will explain things that you want to know about Wifi6 to get better and faster internet at home
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Wifi 6 is available. This is a better and faster wireless Internet connection for your home. What has changed compared to WiFi 5? In this article, we will discuss the new features of the wireless connection standard.

Wifi now has version numbers

The attentive reader has probably already noticed that Wi-Fi is now referred to by version numbers. We don’t mean that combination of letters and numbers, but a single number after the term ‘WiFi’. Wifi 6 (also written as Wi-Fi 6) is the latest version of the wireless security standard. At the time of writing (September 2019) we see the first products with this standard appear on board. Think of smartphones, for example, but for the time being also mainly routers – which makes perfect sense, of course.

In the coming months you will probably still see different Wi-Fi numbers passing by. For example, the standard 802.11n, released in 2014, will henceforth be known as WiFi 4 (or Wi-Fi 4). Wifi 5 (Wi-Fi 5) is the designation for the protocol that is still used by the majority of the products and some users know it better as 802.11ac. Wifi 6 is also known as 802.11ax, so you may also find that combination on packaging. However, WiFi 6 will become the standard way of communicating.


Wifi 6 stands for faster internet

When you bring devices with WiFi 6 into your home, you will soon notice an improvement in terms of speed: this new standard is thirty to forty percent faster than its predecessor. This is due to better data coding, so that more data can be sent over the network within the same radio waves. The chips that encode and decode this data (basically the processing of the data between devices) are getting more and more powerful, allowing them to do all that extra work.

In addition, it is good to know that the 2.4 GHz network also receives extra attention and a speed boost. Many devices support these networks for various reasons. Not only is this the most commonly used network, it is also true that the signals still pass through solid objects better than those of the 5 GHz network. Many devices now also support 5 GHz, but that is purely because of the crowds on the 2.4 GHz network. Less pressure means less interference and therefore faster speeds.

How exactly does WiFi 6 work?

In principle, the above information is enough. But we can imagine that you would also like to know how Wi-Fi 6 makes the internet faster than before. That has not only to do with faster chips, namely. The standard can convert a wireless channel into different subchannels. Each sub-channel can carry data intended for a different device. This is achieved by Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access: it is possible to communicate with more devices.

In addition, mimo has been improved. Mimo stands for multiple in / multiple out. You can read all about it in this background article . Routers need multiple antennas for this, allowing access points to communicate with multiple devices at the same time. With Wi-Fi 5, routers could already do that, but paired devices could not respond simultaneously. Wifi 6 is now changing that by enabling those devices to do so: more data is constantly being sent back and forth.

Devices with WiFi 6 on board (as of September 2019)

Below we have collected some devices that are already equipped with the new connection standard.

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