Hello Mi Fans,
Hope you all are following various threads made by our Device Team on Mi Community. Today, I’m here to bring to you another chapter from the Tech Class.
WiFi 6 is the latest entry into the Tech world. WiFi needs no new introduction. We use it day in and day out. Have you heard about the latest entry into WiFi world, the all new WiFi 6? Let’s learn about it today.
A brief history of WiFi-
WiFi is a technology which uses wireless radio waves to connect devices in Local Area Network. The factors such as speed, strength, capacity depend on the router/ MODEM we use.
Wi-Fi Alliance is a non-profit organization which promotes Wi-Fi technology and certifies products for conformity to certain standards of interoperability. It was found in 1999 as Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA) and later renamed as Wi-Fi Alliance in 2002.
The first version of the 802.11 protocol was released in 1997, and provided up to 2 Mbit/s link speeds. This was updated in 1999 with 802.11b to permit 11 Mbit/s link speeds, and this proved to be popular.
Today we use wide range of devices which have Wi-Fi compatibility like smartphones, TVs, Smart home devices, etc.
Here is the list of various Wi-Fi versions along with release dates:
Confused with the terminology? This is the reason why Wi-Fi Alliance has renamed the latest version, 802.11ax as Wi-Fi 6. Likewise they renamed,
WiFi 6 is the latest standard of WiFi which is bringing a host of speed, security, and connectivity improvements. The current latest WiFi standard which we are using is the 802.11ac which you might have noticed on your router’s or smartphone’s specifications.
You can find the following symbols on devices which are Wi-Fi certified.
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Key benefits of Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 technology include:
Higher data rates
Performance in environments with many connected devices
Improved power efficiency
Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 provides the foundation for a host of existing and emerging uses from streaming ultra high-definition movies, to mission-critical business applications requiring high bandwidth and low latency, to staying connected and productive while traversing large, congested networks in airports and train stations.
Advantages of WiFi 6:
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WiFi 6 is bringing significant speed improvements. While it’s not as big as the one we saw when we moved from WiFi 4 to WiFi 5, it’s still quite a lot. In the perfect WiFi connectivity situations, users can see a theoretical 40% increase in connectivity speeds. Basically, WiFi 6 devices will be able to pack more data in the same spectrum space. While the industry has shifted to 5GHz Wi-Fi for less interference, 2.4GHz is still better at penetrating solid objects. And there shouldn’t be as much interference for 2.4GHz as old cordless telephones and wireless baby monitors are retired.
The new WiFi 6 standard will operate in both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz channels. This means that you will have the advantage of not only having long-range connectivity but also higher data throughput.
When the access point is talking to a device (like your smartphone), it can tell the device exactly when to put its Wi-Fi radio to sleep and exactly when to wake it up to receive the next transmission. This will conserve power, as it means the Wi-Fi radio can spend more time in sleep mode. And that means longer battery life.
MU-MIMO or “Multi-user Multiple input, Multiple output” is the technology that allows a WiFi access point to connect to multiple devices at once. Before MIMO was a thing, a WiFi access point would connect to one device at a time while other devices have to wait in line for connection. WiFi 6 improves upon this by increasing the number of devices that can simultaneously connect to a source. The WiFi 5 standard supported 4 devices, that too for only downlink. The new WiFi 6 standard will allow 8 devices to simultaneously connect to an access point and it will work for both downlink and uplink connections.
Wi-Fi always slows down in crowded areas when many devices are trying to access it simultaneously. Wi-Fi 6 will improve each user’s average speed by “at least four times” in congested areas with a lot of connected devices.
When can we get to use Wi-Fi 6 devices?
Some routers may already advertise “802.11ax technology,” but Wi-Fi 6 isn’t finalized and here yet. There also aren’t any Wi-Fi 6 client devices available yet, either.
As always, both the sender and the receiver need to support the latest generation of Wi-Fi for you to gain the advantages. In other words, if you want Wi-Fi 6 performance on your phone, you’ll need both a wireless router (access point) and a smartphone that supports Wi-Fi 6. If you connect a laptop that only supports Wi-Fi 5 to your Wi-Fi 6 router, that particular connection will operate in Wi-Fi 5 mode. But your router can still use Wi-Fi 6 with your phone at the same time.
That said, depending on the user’s upgrade cycle, it might be at least 3-4 years before the industry shifts to the standard.
Now you need not remember the complex nomenclature such as 802.11ac/ax, just look out for Wi-Fi 6 symbol on the device or box to know if it has certified latest tech or not.
How excited are you about the future with Wi-Fi 6 certified devices? Do let us know in the comments.
In Case You Missed Previous Threads:
Chapter 70: All About Fiber Optics
Chapter 69: All About S/PDIF