WiFi 6 has arrived

Written by:
Leah Johnston
Date Posted:
17 September 2019
Tech News

The new version of WiFi that you should know about 

Supply and Demand
As consumers in an increasingly fast-paced digital world, we are constantly demanding more from our internet devices, whether it is playing video games, streaming 4k films, or group facetiming across multiple continents.

Whilst there has been a significant buzz around the implementation of 5G on our smart devices, WiFi 6 is something to be just as excited about. Similar to how mobile internet went from 3G to 4G (and now 5G), WiFi is now also increasing in speed and efficiency. We’ve all been using the same version of WiFi for over a decade now, so this upgrade seems well overdue. 

Pretty Fly for a WiFi
The Wi-Fi Alliance, a non-profit group who regulate the implementation of the WiFi standard, launched the WiFi 6 program this Monday, promising a “new WiFi era”. But what exactly is it?

The group will hold devices using WiFi 6 to a set of fixed standards, and participating manufacturers will be able to add a certification badge to their packaging, meaning tech companies will soon begin to advertise new products as WiFi 6 support certified. 

Most importantly, the new WiFi provides significantly faster speeds than our current WiFi. The program verifies that WiFi 6 is up to 40% faster than WiFi 5. It also beats the average download speed in the United States by around 1000%, according to testing by CNET pretty quick!

Another positive aspect is that it isn’t affected by crowded areas. Where our current WiFi would struggle at packed venues such as festivals or football stadiums, WiFi 6 has improved performance in the instance of many devices connected to a single network.

When can I use it?
It might be a while until WiFi 6 is fully rolled out, as devices need to be built with the capability to support it. But companies are not waiting around to jump on the bandwagon – Samsung’s Galaxy S10 and the iPhone 11 both support it and Netgear have already manufactured a batch of Wifi 6 compatible routers.

Whilst the super fast speed is impressive, it is somewhat useless in most home networks at the moment, as it can’t yet be supported. Whilst you can buy a WiFi 6 standard device, with a basic home internet package, you won’t see the benefits – similar to using a 4G phone in a 3G network. 

WiFi 6 may not be realistic for most people just yet, but the infrastructure is now in place to accelerate the future of our internet use. 

What are your thoughts on the all-new WiFi 6? Let us know @hyve!

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