Wi-Fi 6 is coming, are you prepared?
One thing we can all agree on, the faster the Wi-Fi the better. If you haven’t heard the good news, here it is; FASTER WI-FI SPEEDS ARE COMING! You may have started hearing the term “Wi-Fi 6” being thrown around in the media and online lately. What exactly is this “Wi-Fi 6” and how will it magically make your Wi-Fi speeds faster? We’ve broken it down for you below, so you know what to expect and when to expect it.
What is Wi-Fi 6?
First things first. What is Wi-Fi 6? In short, Wi-Fi 6 is the next generation of Wi-Fi. It will still do the thing your current Wi-Fi does – connect your wireless-enabled devices to the internet – just in a new way. More on that in the next section. Expect a more efficient process that helps increase speed.
How does it work?
Wi-Fi 6 doesn’t actually boost speed, but rather helps manage all of the devices connected to your network. Take a moment to think about all the devices currently connected to your network; your laptop, cell phones, tablets, heck – even your refrigerator! With more and more devices demanding the same resources, your network starts to take a toll. That’s where Wi-Fi 6 comes in. It lets your router communicate with more of your devices at once, sends data to multiple devices, and lets devices schedule check-ins with the router. So how does it do this? With the help of two technologies: MU-MIMO and OFDMA.
MU-MIMO helps your router communicate to multiple devices simultaneously. Currently, your router can communicate with up to four devices at once, Wi-Fi 6 upgrades it to eight. OFDMA (orthogonal frequency division multiple access) allows one transmission to deliver data to multiple devices at once. These two technologies work together to improve efficiency, thus improving speed.
Other benefits than speed
Speed is not the only benefit of Wi-Fi 6. It also means better security and improved battery life! For devices to be certified Wi-Fi 6 devices, the Wi-Fi Alliance will require WPA3 security. WPA3 makes it difficult for hackers to crack passwords and can even make data less usable if it is obtained. Wi-Fi 6 will also help preserve battery life by reducing the amount of time your device needs to keep its antenna powered up to contact the router. You’ll notice this benefit on your smaller devices such as smart home devices.
How do I get it?
The bottom line, you’ll have to update your devices. New devices will be equipped with the new hardware required for the use of Wi-Fi 6. Don’t panic, your old devices will continue to work and as you upgrade those devices over time, you will get the added benefit of Wi-Fi 6. You will also need to upgrade your router to one that supports Wi-Fi 6.
When can I start using it?
Wi-Fi 6 enabled devices are just now starting to hit the market. Currently, a few laptops and routers are available with Wi-Fi 6. Over the next year, it will start arriving on cell phones and continue to be more common as the Wi-Fi Alliance launches its Wi-Fi 6 certification program this fall.
Have questions about how Wi-Fi 6 may affect your business? Give us a call at 912-354-8900 to speak to an expert.