Oct 22, 2021 by Toktabek, Tim
You’re probably becoming more aware of WiFi 6 and considering replacing your current devices with the ones that support the latest WiFi standard. In 2020, not so long after the release of WiFi6, The WiFi Alliance announced the next big improvement to WiFi technology – WiFi 6E. Although WiFi 6E appears to be an incremental update to WiFi 6, only a few know the differences between the two latest and greatest wireless standards. The main one is, of course, operating in the 6 GHz band, which offers a significant increase in speed and less interference compared to WiFi 6.
WiFi 6 brought several improvements to wireless performance compared to its former counterpart, WiFi 5. We have covered WiFi 6 extensively in our blogs – you can read more about this technology in our articles: Wi-Fi 6 – The New Generation of Wi-Fi. By the way, our latest WiFi 6 router was awarded Networking Product of the Year by CTA Tech, so we know how to deliver great WiFi.
To quickly recap, WiFi 6 vs WiFi 5 improvements include:
To provide an analogy, imagine your WiFi network like a highway with cargo trucks that are carrying information to their final destination, your devices. Traditionally, the trucks would carry data for one individual device, requiring more trucks to move multiple files at once. With OFDMA, your access point is now able to pack data into the trucks more efficiently, allowing the trucks to serve multiple destinations at once. This dramatically improves the efficiency of data transmission.
WiFi 6E is identical to WiFi 6 with an addition of “E,” which stands for “Extended”, which makes an addition to the number of the usable wireless bands – the 6 GHz band. So simply put, WiFi 6E means WiFi 6 extended to the 6 GHz band. Therefore, WiFi 6E operates in 2.4GHz, 5 GHz and now the 6Ghz bands. Because of this, a device using WiFi 6E has a much broader spectrum to work with, which means more channels resulting in less interference from other devices.
WiFi 6E builds on the WiFi features mentioned above. It uses a dedicated 6E spectrum with up to 7 additional 160 MHz channels while WiFi 6 devices share its range with the legacy WiFi 4 and 5 and only 2 160 MHz channels. As mentioned earlier, there’s a broader spectrum for WiFi service with more available channels and less overlap in network crowded areas like workplaces or apartment buildings. For a more technical explanation of the improvements of WiFi 6Ghz in our blog: Why you should be excited about 6 GHz WiFi.
However, WiFi 6E is not backward compatible, unlike most WiFi generations. 6E will only support 802.11ax and will drop 802.11a/b/g/n/ac devices entirely.
A major challenge of WiFi 6 was the problem of not having effective communication with the access point (due to the additional noise floor created because of increasing bandwidth on a broad spectrum).
However, this problem is solved with WiFi 6E as it arrives with power spectral density. Power spectral density increases power limits as channel width (and the noise floor) increases. Therefore, since the power increase can keep up with the channel width and noise floor, this removes the additional noise created from wider channels.
Opening the 6 GHz band will change the game for WiFi 6, and WiFi technology in general. The Verge has put together a great article that describes the broader context and implications of this innovation in their article Wi-Fi is getting its biggest upgrade in 20 years. WiFi 6 brings upgraded performance in network efficiency and capacity, but the advantages of WiFi 6 remain dormant as it still competes with its former, more well-established predecessor, WiFi 5.
WiFi 6 is the next-generation standard in WiFi technology built in response to the growing number of devices in the world. If you own a VR device, multiple smart home devices, have a large number of devices in your household, or you live in a populated area, then a WiFi 6 router like the Mercku M6 might just be the right choice for you.
Want to learn more about WiFi? Our team of experts has put together an eBook that explores the past, present and future of WiFi! Read our WiFi: The Definitive Guide eBook for ultimate WiFi mastery.
For more information about Mercku’s Connectivity Suite, our hardware and how you can partner with Mercku, please reach out to the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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