WiFi 6E: The Hype is Real
WiFi 6E is here, and while it may sound like it’s too good to be true, we’re here to tell you that all the hype is true! Learn more.
Thirty years ago, WiFi was unheard of. Today, it’s hard to imagine life without it. However, WiFi has undergone many changes since it first came on the scene. Now the newest iteration, WiFi 6E, has finally arrived and it’s transforming the wireless landscape yet again.
There’s a lot of buzz around WiFi 6E — and you’ve probably caught wind of some of it by now! Countless industries are already using it, and more and more companies are producing WiFi 6E devices. However, if you’re the more cautious type and aren’t sure if WiFi 6E is really worth all the hype, let us assure you that it definitely is, and we’ll tell you why.
The Basics of WiFi 6E
If you aren’t quite sure of what exactly WiFi 6E is or what makes it different from its predecessors, don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Before diving into the many benefits of WiFi 6E it’s valuable to first review what it is. If you want a visual explanation of WiFi 6E, you can check out our new video. Otherwise, read on here.
In the past, WiFi was slow and unreliable. Over the years, it has evolved and improved to meet users’ increasing demand for connectivity. We had 802.11b, 802.11a, and 802.11g WiFi. More recently, we’ve had WiFi 4, 5, and 6, and now we have WiFi 6E, an extension of WiFi 6.
WiFi 6 and WiFi 6E both offer improvements compared to WiFi 5, such as more robust cybersecurity, improved data throughput, reduced latency, and better multi-user data management. However, only WiFi 6E applications and devices can operate in the 6-gigahertz (GHz) band. The 6-GHz is new unlicensed spectrum that offers over twice as much WiFi bandwidth as the 5-GHz band. It was approved for unlicensed use in the U.S. by the Federal Communications Commission in April 2020 and has been rising in popularity ever since.
How does it work? WiFi 6E devices have an extra radio that allows them to access the new 6-GHz band in addition to the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands used by older WiFis. As a result, WiFi 6E devices face significantly less signal interference. Plus, the 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz bands are less congested for other devices because devices running WiFi 6E are operating on the faster band. It’s a win-win.
The Benefits of WiFi 6E
If you’ve heard people talk about WiFi 6E at all, you’ve likely heard some of the benefits it offers. These include:
Faster Speeds And Lower Latency
One of the main benefits of adopting WiFi 6E is its faster speeds. WiFi 6E can be up to six times faster than WiFi 5 on managed networks. At home, WiFi 6E will only be around three times faster than WiFi 5, but it’s still a significant improvement.
While WiFi 6 devices are left to share the same spectrum with WiFi 4 and 5 devices, WiFi 6E devices can bypass the congestion in the 2.4-GHz and the 5-GHz spectrum by using the 6-GHz band. Plus, the 6-GHz band offers significant additional channel width that will increase your data rate and make your connection even faster.
Increased Reliability And Efficiency
Since WiFi 6E offers increased AP capacity and devices using the 6-GHz spectrum don’t have to compete with legacy devices on the 5-GHz spectrum or the 2.4-GHz spectrum, WiFi 6E devices are more reliable and efficient than their older counterparts. Essentially, it’s like taking the fast lane on the highway while everyone else is stuck in traffic. Even better, WiFi 6E networks are ready to meet the demands of multiple mobile devices both now and into the future without introducing lag or jitter — a major benefit at a time when our number of devices is only increasing.
More Efficient Bandwidth Sharing
WiFi 6E can support more antennas, which enables concurrent communication and faster speeds. While previous WiFi standards meant only one user could “talk” at a time, WiFi 6E allows multiple users to “talk” simultaneously. WiFi 6E is also better at splitting up user time and scheduling data, improving bandwidth sharing and overall performance.
According to the Wi-Fi Alliance, all WiFi 6E devices need WiFi Protected Access 3 (WPA3) and cannot have backward compatibility with WPA2 security. The Wi-Fi Alliance also requires Wi-Fi Enhanced Open certification support for the newest spectrum. That makes it a great choice for any organization that needs a secure network.
While older devices can’t use WiFi 6E, WiFi 6E access points ARE backward compatible with older WiFi standards. So, don’t hesitate to purchase WiFi 6E devices now just because you haven’t yet upgraded to WiFi 6E. They’ll still work, and they’ll be ready to go whenever you decide to switch to WiFi 6E. At the same time, you can also purchase a new WiFi 6E access point now without having to purchase all new devices right away. WiFi 6E access points also have 2.4- and 5-GHz bands, so your old devices will still work on the new access point, they just won’t be able to take advantage of the 6-GHz band.
WiFi 6E In Action
It’s clear that WiFi 6E has lots to offer organizations, but it can be a little challenging to understand the benefits of WiFi 6E just from reading about how wide the channels are and how reliable and speedy the connectivity is. Let’s take a look at a concrete example.
Imagine a school buying 250 new Chromebooks with WiFi 6E capability to match their new WiFi 6E access points. These 250 new devices will connect to the 6-GHz spectrum band instead of the 5-GHz spectrum band and won’t fight for bandwidth with older devices. So, not only are you gaining access to a more powerful level of connectivity than you had before, but you’re also improving the connection for your remaining older devices. In short, all your devices will see the benefits of WiFi 6E right away, even if some of them aren’t able to use the 6-GHz spectrum band. While this example focuses on education, the same would be true in any industry that adopts WiFi 6E, from healthcare to manufacturing.
Embrace WiFi 6E With Help from TTI
Clearly the hype around WiFi 6E is real. Not only does WiFi 6E offer faster speeds, but it’s also more reliable than previous WiFi versions. It can be helpful across every industry and vertical and is a great way to ensure your network is prepared for everything that the future holds in terms of connectivity.
However, to take full advantage of all the benefits that WiFi 6E offers, you need to make sure your network infrastructure is ready. Otherwise, you’ll end up paying for WiFi 6E but may be unable to experience its faster speeds because your infrastructure can’t keep up. If you need the help of an experienced team that can design and implement the perfect WiFi 6E infrastructure for your organization, look no further than Turn-key Technologies, Inc. (TTI).
Our team of experts has plenty of experience with network infrastructure, cabling, switches, and access points. We’re ready to help you install WiFi 6E so your organization will be ready for the tech of today and tomorrow.
Reach out to our team today to experience the benefits of WiFi 6E for yourself!
By Robert Elgart