What Makes WiFi 6 Better than Older Generations?
What makes it better?
Everybody loves fast internet. But WiFi 6 isn’t just about giving users the fastest speeds they’ve ever had. It’s also about ensuring that users have a network that can handle many different devices simultaneously, giving them a better internet experience. WiFi 6 has some great features that will make your WiFi experience better, such as:
Using Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) technology, WiFi 6 can talk to more devices simultaneously. How?
Routers have multiple channels that devices can use to connect to the internet. This helps to cut down on interferences. With older standards, if multiple devices sent information through the same channel, it was like people waiting in line at a grocery store with only one check-out line. The cashier will help the first person in line (the first device).
The cashier will scan the items (chunks of information) and won’t help the next person until all of the items from the last person have been scanned. With OFDMA, the channel is split into several smaller channels so that information can be sent to more than one device at the same time. The cashier is now an octopus instead of a person. Each arm of the octopus represents a sub-channel. The body of the octopus represents the channel to which the devices are connected. Now, the cashier can scan eight different people’s items at the same time.
The sub-channels will be split up into groups based on what each device needs. For example, if you play video games, your game console will need to send and receive chunks of data quickly so that the game doesn’t lag. Based on what your console needs, the router can put it ahead of another device whose work doesn’t depend on latency as much.
So, OFDMA will make WiFi faster and cut down on latency. This is a huge help, especially for people who have a lot of connected devices in their homes.
More devices that can connect
The Multi-User Multiple Input, Multiple Output (MU-MIMO) technology in WiFi 6 has been improved. This part goes along with the OFDMA. The old WiFi standard only let 4 devices talk to each other at the same time. The new version has MU-MIMO for both downlink (communication from the router to wireless devices) and uplink (communication from wireless devices to the router), which lets the router talk to 8 devices at once. MU-MIMO is helpful because it makes traffic and interference problems less of a problem.
Send Out More Details
Devices talk to each other through sound frequencies when they need to talk to each other. To send information, the sound frequency waves are made up of bits of binary code, which are a series of 0s and 1s.
For example, let’s say you use your Android phone to look for apples. Your phone will turn the request into a bunch of 0s and 1s and send them to your wireless router using sound waves. The router figures out from the number sequence that you want to find apples. Once the router gets the information you need, it will turn it back into 0s and 1s.
The code will be sent back to your Android phone using sound waves. Your phone will decode the information and show apples on your screen. Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) is the name for this process. The better your router, the more binary code it can send with each transmission.
WiFi 5 routers use 256-QAM technology, which means that the wireless devices sending and receiving bits could only read 8 digits of binary code at once. A better version of QAM will be used in WiFi 6. It will have 1024-QAM, which means that wireless devices that send and receive bits will be able to read 10 digits of binary code at once. Users will get better throughput and 25% faster speeds with 1024-QAM.
Less messing up
Gigahertz is used to measure the sound frequencies that devices use to talk to each other. Wireless devices talk to each other over the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz frequency bands. There are many channels in each frequency band that can be used to connect to the internet. The channels are meant to cut down on interference.
Apartment buildings are a great example of a place where WiFi channels can get messed up. Almost every person who rents an apartment will have a router. If you have two neighbors and everyone uses channel 6 on the 2.5 GHz band, the routers will have to share the channel.
Also, because apartments are close to each other, it’s likely that your neighbor’s WiFi signal can reach yours, causing the wireless signals to mix. When signals overlap, and people use the same WiFi channel, it can slow down data speeds or make it hard to stay connected.
WiFi 6 added a feature called BSS coloring to cut down on the interference caused by other devices. With this technology, your router will be able to give different routers (called “access points”) and the devices you connect to it different colors. If your color is blue and your neighbors’ colors are green and purple, your devices will ignore any signal from those colors that overlap with the “blue” signal. They will only pay attention to the “blue” signal.
Make batteries last longer
Target Wake Time (TWT) is another great feature that helps all IoT (Internet of Things) devices use their networks better and last longer on a single charge. WiFi 6 routers will tell IoT devices when to wake up and ask for information. With older routers, phones and tablets had to keep their antennas turned on most of the time.
They were always checking in with the router to see if there was any information that needed to be sent. Since the devices were always working in the background, they would run out of power even when you weren’t using them.
With this new technology, devices will only wake up when the router tells them to. TWT will cut down on the number of devices asking for information from the router at the same time, which will make their batteries last longer.
Better Signal Direction
Some of the older WiFi standards sent signals in all directions. This made them more likely to slow down or cause problems with speed. With beamforming, WiFi 6 routers can direct their signal in a certain direction. With this technology, information can be sent more quickly, with fewer mistakes and less noise.
WPA3 is a new security standard put out by the WiFi Alliance. This new security standard gives devices that connect to private or public WiFi networks more security. Hackers will have a harder time getting to your information. If hackers try to get into your network, they will only be able to see a certain amount of data. If you often use public WiFi networks, WPA3 will encrypt your data in a way that is unique to you. This will protect your privacy.