(Blog) WiFi 6: Understanding The Key Benefits

David McPherson
Networking Brand Manager


WiFi 6 - The Key Benefits

WiFi 6 is a new IEEE standard from the WiFi Alliance that sees very significant improvements over previous iterations. The main goal of this generational leap was to address issues with efficiency, both in terms of data transfer and energy consumption. Speeds have been improved of course, but the most significant gains come from greatly increasing performance in dense environments and reducing power expenditure of connected devices.

1 - Faster speeds for uninterrupted connectivity 

Wi-Fi 6 offers significantly higher maximum speeds, with an official rating of 9.6 Gbps a substantial increase from its predecessor, Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), which was rated at 3.5 Gbps. While individual device experiences may not show a three-fold increase in speed, the real advantage lies in the ability to maintain high speeds even with multiple devices connected simultaneously. In contrast to older generations where bandwidth was shared, Wi-Fi 6 ensures consistent performance regardless of device density.

2 - Rapid performance in congested environments

Device density can often lead to reduced speeds in traditional Wi-Fi networks. However, Wi- Fi 6 leverages Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) technology to divide the load when transmitting signals. This enables a single Access Point to communicate with multiple devices concurrently, ensuring efficient and rapid performance even in high-density environments.

 3 - Focused beams for enhanced speed and reliability

Wi-Fi 6 employs Beamforming Technology, which allows the signal to be directed specifically toward wireless devices, improving both speed and connection reliability. Instead of a uniform signal spread across an area, Wi-Fi 6 focuses its transmission, resulting in superior performance and stability.

4 - Advanced security measures

With the introduction of WPA3, an enhanced security protocol in 2018, Wi-Fi networks gained stronger protection against potential threats. While optional for older Wi-Fi networks, certifications from the Wi-Fi Alliance now mandate the use of WPA3, ensuring a more secure overall environment. WPA3 provides improved encryption, safeguards against hackers, and offers a standardised method for securely onboarding IoT devices.

5 - Increased battery life for connected devices

Reducing power consumption is not only crucial for personal devices but also for IoT sensors. Wi-Fi 6's power-efficient standards, including Target Wake Time (TWT), allow devices to schedule communication with the network. By activating their radio interfaces only when necessary, devices can conserve energy without an impact to performance.