Wi-Fi 6 Explained: What's New and Why You Might Be Interested

fps4ever

Posts: 498   +537
If complete coverage is what you want and need that is what you have todo.
Not for the standard size home when the wifi router is placed in a centralized location and complete coverage is subjective on individual needs. There is a difference between need vs. want in a lot of those cases as well. Tell someone they need to spend 3x plus more because the new tech can't cover the range of what the old tech can do. Sure OK.
 

General Ryzen

Posts: 12   +6
I really don't see the purpose. AC600 is more than enough for everything I do, and more than enough for gaming...Heck on my main gaming Rig I've been using a 150mbps USB wifi dongle and getting along just fine. I hardly notice the difference.
 

nismo91

Posts: 1,057   +102
Beside range, something else to consider is how much RAM a router has. a decade ago my router (TP-Link WR1043ND v1) was great for a household of 4 people. however it really struggles when I have large amount of friends coming in. that router only has 32MB of RAM. today I'm using a cheap AC1200 router with 128MB RAM and it easily handles all 15 devices in the household simultaneously.

I'm sure with all the IoTs and whatnot a typical household today could have more than 10 wireless devices connected to it regularly. what's the point of upgrading your wifi 5 to wifi 6 if you only have very few devices connected to it?

an example from amazon: $299 TP-Link AX6000 has a roomy 1GB of RAM but the $149 AX3000 or $79 AX1500 only has 256MB. what a shame. even their older $119 AC2600 sports 512MB of RAM.
 

Lionvibez

Posts: 1,985   +1,274
The final standard of Wifi 6 was released a few months ago.

My Asus AX88U supports wifi 6 and so does my Galaxy S10 been using it for months now.

But to be honest in my setup most of my devices are wired to the network. When I need a lower latency low jitter connection nothing tops a wired connection. So all my devices where network performance is important are wired to the network. A couple laptops and my phone can stay on wifi.

I really don't see the purpose. AC600 is more than enough for everything I do, and more than enough for gaming...Heck on my main gaming Rig I've been using a 150mbps USB wifi dongle and getting along just fine. I hardly notice the difference.

I don't know any serious gamers that game on wifi.

There is a difference even if you don't notice it.

On any online game check your Ping and latency on wifi vs a wired connection.
 
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Uncle Al

Posts: 7,410   +5,856
Excellent article .... of course the real question is how much is this going to set you back. No doubt with all the upcoming hype, companies will try to convince you that you simply cannot live without it and maybe they are right .... but I'm still driving one 25 year old car that runs fine and gets me from point a to point b very nicely .... and saves me a bundle on insurance too!
 

candle_86

Posts: 518   +386
I guess good for offices,my house still uses an n router and does fine for 2 htpc's, and a laptop the rest are all wired to a 48port switch then to the router. I fail to see the need to upgrade, the 600mbs my n router provides does just fine.
 

Kazkas

Posts: 9   +34
Yes, the question about the range for Wi-Fi 6 is a good one.

The 2nd elephant in the room: increased speeds/channels/per-user bandwidth is a great improvement, so long as your users are only using that for LAN traffic (I.e. in your house, intra-office data, etc.)...but once the traffic starts connecting outside of your LAN to the outside world, then you're going to run up against a big speed bump with your ISP connection....
In general, I agree, that WiFi6 speed is overkill now as WiFi5 is more than enough even for 1Gbps connection (BTW it costs 18€/month in my country, no additional conditions), so range and penetration through concrete walls (as most buildings in Central/Northen Europe are bricks or concrete+metal) would be more important.. But I guess that's much more difficult to do..
 

Lionvibez

Posts: 1,985   +1,274
In general, I agree, that WiFi6 speed is overkill now as WiFi5 is more than enough even for 1Gbps connection (BTW it costs 18€/month in my country, no additional conditions), so range and penetration through concrete walls (as most buildings in Central/Northen Europe are bricks or concrete+metal) would be more important.. But I guess that's much more difficult to do..
Wifi 5 will only give you about 400-500mbps throughput on a 1Gbps connection, On Wifi 6 you can use the full pipe.
 

hk2000

Posts: 146   +75
TechSpot Elite
What's wrong with WIFI N, AC and AX, do we need a new nomenclature? I don't think so. Anyway, I think the trend here is going to be the same as AC did to N, higher speed, more streams but definitely shorter range, so to those wondering about range, I'd expect it to be a little shorter than that of AC- especially with devices using the 6GHz.
BTW, don't most IoT devices use the 2.4G band? Why crowd the higher speed band with these devices?
 
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Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,373   +2,254
What's wrong with WIFI N, AC and AX, do we need a new nomenclature? I don't think so. Anyway, I think the trend here is going to be the same as AC did to N, higher speed, more streams but definitely shorter range, so to those wondering about range, I'd expect it to be a little shorter than that of AC- especially with devices using the 6GHz.
BTW, don't most IoT devices use the 2.4G band? Why crowd the higher speed band with these devices?
Cause the nomenclature is confusing! Someone who knows nothing about WiFi can still figure out that Wifi 6 is better than 5... or 4... but who the heck can tell if AC is better than N?
 
By all means. The manufacturers would love it if consumers spent 4-6x the cost for wifi coverage in their houses. :-\

Easy peasy...
Updating my router for some new tech is not a big deal, it's a one-time (at least for several years) cost. The ridiculous ISP costs are what's evil, sucking you dry every month with little or no competition.

Great article, by the way. Thanks!
 

fps4ever

Posts: 498   +537
Updating my router for some new tech is not a big deal, it's a one-time (at least for several years) cost. The ridiculous ISP costs are what's evil, sucking you dry every month with little or no competition.

Great article, by the way. Thanks!
Having to have a mesh system is not just updating your router. Do you even tech bro?
 

fps4ever

Posts: 498   +537
I assume he meant “upgrade” not “update”.... and yes, that’s all it is... we’re talking a few hundred bucks at most...
"Just" a few hundred bucks, um OK? A "mesh system" is more than an "uggrade" of one router. The average home owner does not know how or want to deal with that.
 

fps4ever

Posts: 498   +537
I have a mesh system. What's your point?
That your previous post was an obtuse statement? Ask the average home owner what a mesh system is...so you just upgrade the router and all of the sudden your other mesh equipment will work with wi fi 6 huh?
 

Bp968

Posts: 152   +107
802.11n 2.4GHz very popular and 5 GHz showing up in more devices today. 802.11ax 6 GHz much improvement but again new devices will support protocol. Times are changing and more powerful routers and WiFi will help us all make our lives more helpful. Yet I just spend a lot on revamping my old Z-wave to Smart WiFi LED Lights just to learn they only support 2.4GHz and not 5GHz. But they do work with Miss Google Home Mini. Got 9 smart bulbs setup. Outdoor patio 4 spot smart wifi LED bulbs plus 6 more smart wifi LED bulbs. Prices have drop and I m hopping on them as quick as I can. Even got the Google Home Mini for free as well. There was a deal on Wyze Smart WiFi 2.4 GHz Cam too picked up one as well.
Honestly im not sure switching to wifi from zwave was an "upgrade". Zwave uses 900mhz so has significantly more range than wifi, lower power usage, and will have no impact on your other devices wifi speeds.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,373   +2,254
That your previous post was an obtuse statement? Ask the average home owner what a mesh system is...so you just upgrade the router and all of the sudden your other mesh equipment will work with wi fi 6 huh?
A mesh system doesn’t require your devices be Wi-Fi 6.... it’s backwards compatible! Your wireless G, N, AC devices will all work...

And yes, all you need to do is purchase a mesh system (or configure your own - but that takes some knowledge)... netgear, eero, linksys and more will happily sell you a plug n’ play mesh system for a reasonable amount of cash.

He isn’t talking about upgrading a prior mesh system... just upgrading a router TO a mesh system. It’s simply a matter of unplugging the old router and replacing it with the mesh....
 

fps4ever

Posts: 498   +537
A mesh system doesn’t require your devices be Wi-Fi 6.... it’s backwards compatible! Your wireless G, N, AC devices will all work...

And yes, all you need to do is purchase a mesh system (or configure your own - but that takes some knowledge)... netgear, eero, linksys and more will happily sell you a plug n’ play mesh system for a reasonable amount of cash.

He isn’t talking about upgrading a prior mesh system... just upgrading a router TO a mesh system. It’s simply a matter of unplugging the old router and replacing it with the mesh....
You want a wifi 6 mesh system, you need wifi 6 capable devices, including the router AND the AP mesh devices. You can't magically make your entire AC system AX wifi 6 speeds capable just changing out the router. What does backwards compatibility have to do with anything? Then what's the point of upgrading your router with wifi 6 when none of the other equipment is capable?
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,373   +2,254
You want a wifi 6 mesh system, you need wifi 6 capable devices, including the router AND the AP mesh devices. You can't magically make your entire AC system AX wifi 6 speeds capable just changing out the router. What does backwards compatibility have to do with anything? Then what's the point of upgrading your router with wifi 6 when none of the other equipment is capable?
You’re arguing a different point here.... you upgrade from a router to mesh for the RANGE.... not the speed....
Obviously your devices will only go as fast as their max speeds dictate - be they G, N, AC or whatever....
 

fps4ever

Posts: 498   +537
You’re arguing a different point here.... you upgrade from a router to mesh for the RANGE.... not the speed....
Obviously your devices will only go as fast as their max speeds dictate - be they G, N, AC or whatever....
LOL what, I think you actually are? You don't get better range by upgrading to wifi 6. That is what this whole debate is about! Efficeincy and can handle more devices in a congestive area sure, but less range per say going through walls, etc. Chances are you will need more wifi 6 mesh AP's in your home than AC. How is only upgrading your router to AX going to give your AP mesh devices that are stuck on AC better range?
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,373   +2,254
LOL what, I think you actually are? You don't get better range by upgrading to wifi 6. That is what this whole debate is about! Efficeincy and can handle more devices in a congestive area sure, but less range per say going through walls, etc. Chances are you will need more wifi 6 mesh AP's in your home than AC. How is only upgrading your router to AX going to give your AP mesh devices that are stuck on AC better range?
That’s kind of my point... we’re arguing different points.... but wifi 6 has the potential to also give increased range by offering new frequencies... of course, most routers / mesh systems won’t offer them...and you won’t get LESS range - it’s backwards compatible with wifi 5, so you get that range as a minimum.

Saying that, even having one wifi 6 device means that a wifi 6 mesh network can be useful... and as time goes by and you replace/upgrade new devices, it will be important to you... until wifi 7 arrives...
 

fps4ever

Posts: 498   +537
That’s kind of my point... we’re arguing different points.... but wifi 6 has the potential to also give increased range by offering new frequencies... of course, most routers / mesh systems won’t offer them...and you won’t get LESS range - it’s backwards compatible with wifi 5, so you get that range as a minimum.

Saying that, even having one wifi 6 device means that a wifi 6 mesh network can be useful... and as time goes by and you replace/upgrade new devices, it will be important to you... until wifi 7 arrives...
I'm striclty talking less range with wifi 6, not backwards compatibility, which is my other point. Why not just upgrade when more devices are compatible with it? If we are talking economics and saving money, which we are that makes more sense. And how is having one device, I.e., the router only wifi 6 capable and none of the AP mesh units useful, unless it's literally in your main coverage room/area? Back to my main point homes that are OK range wise with one router or even one additional ap unit may require 2 or 3 more ap's for the same coverage when desiring wifi 6 speeds and don't want to fall back to older AC or N. The average home owner is not going to understand that and or be overwhelmed when dealing with a mesh system.