Wi-Fi 6 Routers – What is 802.11ax and Why you should Upgrade?

With the new AX Wi-Fi, wireless networking is changing rapidly. The 802.11ax brings faster speed, broader coverage, and better handling of all your connected devices. This new standard is already available in the market, but why you should upgrade to Wi-Fi 6 router this early?

To help you make your decision, we have covered all the necessary information about the new AX Wi-Fi.

What is Wi-Fi 6?

Wi-Fi 6 is a improved technology, but the function and the purpose are same, to connect you with the world. Only the efficiency, speed, and flexibility make it different from the previous networking standards.

History

WiFi Logos - All generations logo of Wi-FiThe 802.11 networking standard known as Wi-Fi is getting improved with every generation. The first upgradation in the network was made in 2009, and people start recognizing it as Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n). It was the best achievement, but the technological world can’t stop at any single point. That’s why again in 2014 it gets improved, and we all start using this Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) technology.

Now, the Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) has been upgraded to the 802.11ax known as Wi-Fi 6, and we all have to shift to this advancement for getting the enhanced user experience.

What’s new in this Standard?

Wi-Fi 6 has been incorporated with some of the new advanced technologies, including BSS Coloring, OFDMA, and MU-MIMO. These majestic technologies are working together to make networking more powerful.

Benefits of Wi-Fi 6

The purpose of 802.11ax is the same, but along with the added technologies, there is also some addition to the advantages. Let’s have a look at all of them.

Benefits of WiFi 802 11ax Wi-Fi 6

Perform well even in a crowded area

The previous Wi-Fi technologies are not capable of dealing with the growing trend of smart devices usage. Wi-Fi 6 has been incorporated with the new technology that can support the more amount of connected devices.

Even in every crowded place, including stations, hotels, and stadiums, WiFi 6 will keep providing you access to the fastest speed internet connection. Interestingly, the average data transferring speed will be four times better than the previous one while distributing the data among many devices.

Fast Speed

The data transferring speed is the main reason behind the upgradation of the standard network. And they have successfully achieved their higher speed goals. Now you can quickly transfer more data in less time.

Specifically, we have seen around 40% improvement in the overall data transferring speed. They are making it possible by the efficient encoding practices. Wi-Fi encodes more data in the same amount of radio waves so that the process can speed up.

Longer Battery Life

Wi-Fi 6 has been incorporated with the feature of TWT (Target Wake Time) that is designed for putting the connected device at the sleeping mode when the data transmission is not happening. But it wakes up the device when it received the signal of data transmission. During the sleeping mode, your device does not consume the power that ultimately saves the battery. It has been noticed that WiFi 6 has reduced power consumption by 67%, which is a great achievement. In simple words, after having a connection with AX Wi-Fi, you will not be required to charge your smart device frequently.

Infographic display of Target Wakeup Time (TWT) of AX WiFi

How does WiFi 6 work?

Wi-Fi 6 works with great encoding and decoding abilities. It is designed in a way that the more significant amount of the data gets packed in the same amount of radio wave and then transmitted to the receiver using all of the eight transmissions channels. That working pattern of the Wi-Fi makes it different from the predecessor because those were not able to work with such amount of data at the same time.

Wi-Fi 6 vs Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ax vs 802.11ac)

There is a difference in the performance between Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 5 because of some new advancement. However, there is no reason to compare both of them because WiFi 6 is the upgraded version that makes it better than Wi-Fi 5 from every perspective.

While comparing both of these versions, you will come across the 4x term again and again, because it is aimed to provide the 4x better experience to the users. For instance, AX WiFi uses quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM), while the Wi-Fi 5 has been incorporated with the 256 QAM which transfer the data 4 times lesser than the Wi-Fi 6 QAM.

Furthermore, AX WiFi can transfer four times greater data in the same radio waves as compared to the Wi-Fi 5.

Have a look at some new developments of AX Wi-Fi.

  • Wi-Fi is designed to save the power from your device so that your device can’t consume too much power.
  • WiFi 6 can process multiple inputs and the outputs at the same time without losing focus just because of the enhanced bidirectional feature development
  • Integration of the BSS (Basic service set) helps out in the co-channel interface operation.
  • Orthogonal frequency-division multiple access allows multiple clients to get connected with the requirements of the different bandwidth at the same time.

If you still want to know the clear difference between both of these standard networking versions, then here are some of the differences explained.

OFDMA:

This feature allows Wi-Fi 6 to use the bandwidth more efficiently to send the data more quickly. It was also in the Wi-Fi 5, but with the latest version, it has been improved. It also makes the devices capable of transferring the data with 20% more speed than before.

How MU-MIMO and OFDMA works

MU-MIMO:

This technology makes the router capable of handling many devices at the same time. No matter how many devices are connected, it does not let the speed to slow down by utilizing all of the eight transmission streams at the same time.

Distances:

With Wi-Fi 6 you can cover more area and even reach to those areas where you can’t reach with the Wi-Fi 5 because of its OFDMA’s ability that can cover a wide range of area. Even after sitting too far away from the router, you will be enjoying the steady internet connection without facing any distortion.

Signals Differentiation:

BSS color allows the device owner to identify the signals coming from their network and to differentiate the signals coming from other networks. That’s the thing that was not in the previous standard 802.11ac.

What is the Speed of Wi-Fi 6?

There are a lot of the claims related to the speed of the WiFi 6, and it is far better than the Wi-Fi 5.  However, there are few devices available that support WiFi 6 because it is just the beginning of the era.

That’s why to determine the overall speed improvement we have test it with the available devices, as it can also support the previous build devices. In the transmission of the device, we have noticed 30% more speed as compared to the Wi-Fi 5 transferring speed. Even the speed remained the same when we tried to send two files at the same time. No matter how much data you have to forward, it will efficiently and quickly transfer the data.

Avoiding the technical discussion for your better understanding, we have a quick answer to your question! The speed is far better than all of its predecessor because Wi-Fi 6’s speed can go up to 10 Gbps. This ensures that you will have a steady internet connection even after connecting too many devices.

Range and Coverage of 802.11ax Wi-Fi?

The quick and the short answer to the question is that 802.11ac can cover the range of 5 GHz only. However, in 802.11ax, the range has also been upgraded. Also, Wi-Fi 6 can cover both range of 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz so that more channels can come under the availability circle. The wide range of coverage has been offered to achieve the goal of connecting more and more devices with the network at the same time.

Should I upgrade to the new Wi-Fi 6?

Wi-Fi 6 enabled routers are started coming into the market; most of the people have purchased them to experience higher speed, flexibility, and performance. Fortunately, their internet life has been improved a little bit, and they have noticed the boost in speed. However, we would not recommend you to upgrade to the WiFi 6 unless you have 802.11ax supported laptop or smartphone.

It’s just the beginning of the era, you must be patient and have to wait for the right time to adopt this latest technology. If you want to try it, go ahead check it out.

We would only recommend you to buy the Best Wi-Fi 6 router, and we have hand-picked some of the routers from great brands.

Why named it Wi-Fi 6?

For an average person, it is hard to remember the actual name of the standard networks like 802.11 that’s why the Wi-Fi alliance start labeling all of the standards with the subsequent names such as Wi-Fi 4 and Wi-Fi 5. According to this practice, they have marked the latest version 802.11ax with the name Wi-Fi 6.

Who made Wi-Fi 6?

Wi-Fi Alliance is a non-profit organization who design and market the Wi-Fi standards. Moreover, they certify Wi-Fi products. Also, they are only one behind this most excellent evolution of the time. Now, they are marketing this standard improvement as the 802.11ax technology.

When will AX routers be available?

Most of the brands started rolling out the Wi-Fi 6 routers in the market. However, they are very few in number. You can buy anyone to test the latest technology. However, we would recommend you to wait for few more brands to roll out their new AX routers.

When will be the other compatible devices available to the market?

The supportive devices of Wi-Fi 6 are available in the market. If you want to use the latest network standard, then it’s better to rely on the previous version supported devices, because it is compatible with them too.

Is it best for smart home devices?

The features of the Wi-Fi 6 makes it capable of being used even with the home gadgets. It will make your home a smarter place to live, but it also has a similar story, no home gadget that has been developed yet for the latest technology. For getting most out of this, you have to wait for Right time.

 

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Naveed is a 25-year-old Pakistani, working as a Tech Reviewer for LookGadgets. He is also a Certified Network Engineer and doing Masters in Network Security.

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