The much anticipated 6thgeneration wireless connection standard was released in September 2019. So, what does upgrading to a Wi-Fi 6 router that supports the new 802.11ax standard mean?
In a nutshell, it brings advancements in security, multi-device handing, speed, and more, and along with it comes a new security protocol WPA3.
When the Wi-Fi 5 standard came out in 2014, the world was still just beginning to seriously adopt cloud technologies (and understand what “the Cloud” meant). The number of Wi-Fi connected devices per person was about three.
Just a short five years later and the number of network devices per person has more than doubled to 6.58 and the cloud is now where business is happening, with 90% of companies utilizing at least one cloud technology.
These advancements mean that your wireless router is working harder than ever!
With more demand being put on wireless connections, the new Wi-Fi 6 was engineered to address that demand with a number of key improvements to your managed IT infrastructure and connections.
So, what can you expect if you purchase a new 802.11ax router for your office? Read on for the benefits that the 6thgeneration of wireless promises to deliver.
Wi-Fi 6 & WPA3 Are Here | Features & Benefits
One caveat before we get into all the great features of the new Wi-Fi 6 standard is that not all routers or devices that you encounter will immediately be upgraded. So, expect it to be like any other major technology update, one that rolls out over a number of months.
For example, you may still have to be guarded on public Wi-Fis, at least until you know for sure that they’ve upgraded to the new WPA3 security protocol in the Wi-Fi 6 standard.
Now, let’s take a look at what buying a Wi-Fi 6 router will mean.
Speed Improvements (30% Faster)
Have you ever lived in a city where a main road got so congested that additional lanes were added to relieve the traffic? That concept is similar to one of the speed improvements in Wi-Fi 6, which promises speeds about 30% faster than its predecessor.
Bandwidth is increased to 160 MHz, which delivers better performance and lowers latency (lag time). This means smoother video conferences without the picture delays and the ability for more devices to maintain network speed when connected to the same network.
Another speed improvement is the ability to encode more data in the same amount of spectrum, which is akin to doubling the size of your package delivery truck, so you can deliver more packages on the same route.
Better Handling of Multiple Devices
The Internet of Things has meant that we have more devices than ever in our homes and offices requiring an internet connection. As the device demand on routers has increased, performance has slowed when the network becomes overwhelmed.
Wi-Fi 6 significantly improves the handling of multiple device connections to the same Wi-Fi network, with improvements such as:
- Allowing more downlink data to be transferred at once with improved MU-MIMO (multi-user multiple input multiple output)
- Ability to split channels into sub-channels that can support individual devices through OFDMA (Orthogonal frequency division multiple access)
Significant Security Improvements
One of the enhancements that’s going to impact anyone connecting to a public Wi-Fi is the ability to have your connection remain private. No more looking over your shoulder while connected to a public hot spot. The new WPA3 security protocol encrypts user sign-ons even when the Wi-Fi password is publicly known.
A mechanism called a “dragonfly handshake” requires authentication at each connection instance, which means that hackers can’t download the router’s encryption keys and try to hack them offline.
For businesses, this means your router is more secure from hackers and offers better protection for user and guest security. There are also additional encryption levels available for organizations that work with especially sensitive information.
More Energy Efficient Devices
An added bonus with Wi-Fi 6 is that your smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other battery powered devices will be more energy efficient and keep battery power longer.
How it has worked is that devices need to check in continually with the wireless router to coordinate information being sent or received, which takes up battery power. But Wi-Fi 6 has what’s called Target Wake Time (TWT) which allows devices to set pre-scheduled times to “wake” for data transfer.
This has the effect of improving battery life, thus making your devices more energy efficient.
Technologies like Transmit Beamforming help to improve data rates and range for Wi-Fi 6 routers. This means fewer dead spots and dropped signals throughout your office, so no matter where someone’s desk is, they’ll have a more reliable connection.
You’ll also see improved outdoor range, so courtyards or areas just outside your building where employees may take breaks can see better wireless signal strength.
Book a Free Risk Assessment
How secure is your current office network? An upgrade to Wi-Fi 6 could help improve your network security at the same time as improving speeds, multi-device handling, and network coverage.
Execedo can take a look at the equipment you have now and suggest improvements to power your office wireless traffic more efficiently.