WiFi 6 is coming – what is WiFi 6 & is it backwards compatible?

wifi 6 soeed

What is WiFi 6?

The next generation of WiFi is coming; WiFi 6. This new WiFi standard promises significantly more speed than it’s predecessors. But what is WiFi 6 exactly and is it backwards compatible?

Kevin Robinson of Austin-based Wi-Fi Alliance has celebrated WiFi 6 as ‘the best that you can get’. If you’re looking to speed up WiFi at home, WiFi 6 promises to help you do this.
Modern home and public routers use WiFi 5. This is a 5 GHz signal band which was rolled out on 802.11ac enabled routers, between 2013 and 2016. For the most part, WiFi 5 is ideal for networks with between 1 – 255 connected users. However, more network users often result in a slow network speeds. This is because WiFi 5 routers are limited to broadcasting at 500 Mbit/s to 1 Gbit/s. Thankfully this problem will be non-existent with WiFi 6.

  • WiFi 6 is the telecom industry’s latest WiFi standard
  • Routers which support the new WiFi channel, promise to speed up WiFi speeds for connected users
  • Despite some reports that say the contrary, WiFi 6 will be backwards compatible with existing mobile devices

WiFi 6 will be the fastest WiFi you’ve ever experienced

WiFi 6 is capable of broadcasting at a signal rate strength of 10 Gbit/s. It’s therefore distinctly different from WiFi 5, that maxes out at speeds of 1 Gbit/s. WiFi 6 uses Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) and Operation Mode Indication (OMI). This ensures users will benefit from faster network speeds, streamlined data and network bandwidths which connect devices more efficiently.

  • By operating at 10 Gbit/s, WiFi 6 is significantly faster than WiFi 5
  • WiFi 6 extends the range of routers, connecting more users without need of devices like extenders/repeaters
  • WiFi 6 also connects devices more efficiently and increases battery performance

How to prepare for WiFi 6

WiFi 6 works to discover and serve data to devices which are WiFi 6 compatible, meaning that they support the new 802.11ax protocol. This means that if your smartphone is WiFi 6 ready, you’ll benefit from superior speed when connecting to a WiFi 6 router. Luckily, WiFi 6 is also backwards compatible, so users don’t have to replace their smartphones and tablets.

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How WiFi 6 will benefit your business

Because of the significant bandwidth and range increase, businesses that upgrade to WiFi 6 will gain a competitive edge over companies who don’t. You can offer your customers a network that allows them to smoothly stream videos (Youtube, Netflix etc.) and even play the big games. Because your WiFi 6 network can process a lot more traffic, your network can also handle more concurrent users. Therefore it’ll also pave way for smarter business insights concerning WiFi users.

SpotOn WiFi is preparing to deploy WiFi 6 to boost the effectiveness of patented Presence Analytics Systems. These systems allow you to monitor foot traffic in specific business locations. This data allows you to better plan venue layouts, staffing arrangements and much more. SpotOn WiFi combines super fast WiFi with collecting  and using valuable data. Not a techie? No problem; it’s all housed into one platform that can easily be managed.

How to start using WiFi 6

Aerohive, ASUS and D-Link are already rolling out WiFi 6 enabled routers. The only thing that home and business users need to look for when purchasing a new router, is dedicated support for the new WiFi 6 protocol (802.11ax).

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