In 2019, the creation of WiFi 6 began a future-focused conversation about the necessity of a new generation of internet for both personal and business use. Three years post-launch, Hyperion Solutions Engineer Mark Boyd takes a look at how impactful WiFi 6 routers and devices have proven to be and with what urgency you should upgrade your current internet solutions.
Also known as “Next Generation Internet,” WiFi 6 is the latest and greatest technology when it comes to fast, wireless internet. To gain access, users will have to upgrade their devices to newer models, but it might be worth it: WiFi 6 boasts many benefits compared to its predecessor, WiFi 5, including improved maximum speeds, new key features, extended battery life and stronger security.
For reference, WiFi 5 was proud to offer 3.5 Gbps. WiFi 6 towers above with an impressive max speed of 9.6 Gbps. While this increase could theoretically make one device faster, its key features allow the max speed to have an even greater impact than that.
MU-MIMO and OFDMA are the new technologies that WiFi 6 has to thank for its success. Its predecessor, WiFi 5, has been around since 1999 – a lot has changed since then. One main shift is a location like an office or home’s need to connect multiple devices to the internet. That’s where MU-MIMO comes in.
MU-MIMO, like MIMO but with multiple user capabilities, was already used in some modern routers and devices; however, WiFi 6 takes it to a new level. This technology allows multiple devices to connect simultaneously rather than connecting to one, and then the next, and so on. Some people compare this to adding delivery trucks to a fleet, but we like to think of it as a colander with more holes – The more water, or in this case information, that can pass through at the same time, the faster you can get to the good stuff.
OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access), allows one WiFi transmission to deliver data to multiple devices at one time, making WiFi 6 routers and devices even more efficient by getting more out of every transmission that carries a WiFi signal from the router to a device.
WiFi 6 is said to improve battery life with Target Wake Time, which allows scheduled network check-ins with devices that do not require constant connection. One way Hyperion has seen this come into play is with our agriculture clients. By scheduling temperature and/or humidity sensor check-ins with field communication devices, clients can conserve energy that is harder to come by in remote locations.
As businesses return to in-office settings or move to hybrid work models post-pandemic, the number of devices in those designated spaces is increasing. WiFi 6 routers and devices allow employees to be productive, no matter how many people are sharing the internet – on any given day.
We know security is important to you, and whether your business handles medical, financial or any other important type of information, keeping you and your clients’ data secure is always worth the investment. WiFi 6 devices are equipped with the newest security protocol on the market, WPA 3.
It is hard to say if WiFi 6 is more or less affordable than WiFi 5 because only new devices and routers are WiFi 6 enabled. Those devices come with other technology upgrades as well and while the card itself is not much more expensive, other upgrades can make WiFi 6 devices and WiFi 6 routers more pricey. Keep in mind that new technology is always an investment – while the upfront cost might be more, WiFi 6 benefits could end up saving your business or personal expenses in the long run!
If you have more questions about WiFi 6 routers or devices, contact us today. Or, click here if you're interested in becoming a great channel partner with a true mobility master agent.