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Even the very best WiFi connections are dampened with multiple simultaneous users, especially in a house full of streamers and Netflix enthusiasts. If this problem sounds all too familiar, you’ll be happy to hear that the WiFi Alliance just officially launched WiFi 6.
Wi-Fi 6 is the next-generation standard in WiFi technology. Wi-Fi 6 also known as “AX WiFi” or “802.11ax WiFi” builds and improves on the current 802.11ac WiFi standard. TP-link has given us an introduction to the technology on their website:
With traditional MU-MIMO (multi-user, multiple input, multiple output), multiple users can access the router simultaneously without any noticeable decreases in bandwidth quality– up to a point. However, with 8 x 8 MU-MIMO, more than 8 streams are available for users to choose from. And whereas 802.11ac MU-MIMO only works for downloads, 8 x 8 MU-MIMO works with both uploads and downloads. This means that whether you’re streaming, downloading, torrenting, playing VR/AR, MMO’s or RPG’s; with Wi-Fi 6’s 8 streams, there’s more than enough bandwidth for everyone.
WiFi 6 comprises a set of tools that make data delivery faster and more efficient, and therefore more easily able to cope with higher WiFi demands- Tp-link reports that WiFi 6 has 4x more capacity for more devices.
Wi-Fi 6 uses both 1024-QAM (Quadrature amplitude modulation )to provide a signal packed with more data (giving you more efficiency) and a 160 MHz Channel to provide a wider channel to make your WiFi faster. Experience stutter-free VR or enjoy stunningly vivid 4K and even 8K streaming.
Wi-Fi 6 uses 8×8 uplink/downlink, MU-MIMO, OFDMA (Orthogonal frequency-division multiple access), and BSS Color to provide up to 4x larger capacity and to handle more devices. Come home to a virtually flawless smart home experience or throw house parties with a network built to handle all your guests and their devices.
Since more data can be delivered at once, the theoretical maximum WiFi speed has also increased from 3.5 Gbps to 9.6 Gbps. With 1024-QAM, each symbol carries 10 bits rather than 8 bites, which improves raw speeds by 25% compared to 802.11ac 256-QAM.
Wi-Fi 6 is designed to improve speed, increase efficiency and reduce congestion in heavy bandwidth usage scenarios.
Another perk is the greater stability and wider-coverage, so you can once again step foot in the previously poor signal areas:
OFDM is a symbol that transmits data. It divides its data among smaller sub carriers for more stability and wider coverage. AX WiFi uses a 4x longer OFDM symbol to create 4x more sub carriers. Because of this, Wi-Fi 6’s longer OFDM symbol provides increased coverage and makes it 11% faster. Enjoy rock solid coverage from your garage to the second story and get ultra-fast connections for all your smart home, mobile, gaming and desktop devices in between.
WiFi 6 expands the WiFi band from 80 MHz to 160MHz, which is double the channel width and creating a faster connection between router and device:
With Wi-Fi 6, you can enjoy 8K movies, large file downloads and uploads, and responsive smart home devices – all without buffering.
New Base Service Station (BSS) Colour technology has also been introduced, which will combat the common issue of Wifi conflicts:
Interference from your neighbors’ wireless networks can cause issues with your wireless signal. BSS (Base Service Station) Color, marks frames from neighboring networks so that your router can ignore them. If you’ve ever lived in an apartment or close to your neighbors, this means that your router just became that much more efficient – no extra work required.
Finally, the environmental benefit comes from the Target Wake Time technology, which works to reduce power consumption:
Target Wake Time (TWT) allows devices to negotiate when and how often they will wake up to send or receive data, increasing device sleep time and substantially improving battery life for mobile and IoT devices.
The WiFi Alliance confirm that Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 will be the first smartphone certified for the new standard. While older products can receive certification, the majority of products on the market don’t have the capacity to support WiFi 6; so new gadgets will be forced to adapt, or become redundant.