How Wi-Fi 6E Works and What It Means For Your Gadgets

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Suntil catching up the last major wifi standard announced? Sorry, but the next one is here. 6E Wi-Fi routers are starting to appear, and you should know that the new standard is a more substantial jump of Wi-Fi 6 only that ‘E’ might suggest.

here is everything you need to know about new technology and what it means for the gadgets you own.

What is Wi-Fi 6E?

Technically, Wi-Fi 6E is an extension of Wi-Fi 6, and as protocols both are technically referred to as IEEE 802.11ax. Most midrange-over-prime material launched these days come with Wi-Fi 6 support, and Wi-Fi 6E is the next step.

IIn short, it means that you get a much more of the wireless spectrum for devices to use. You may already be familiar with the two bands used by existing routers: the slower but larger 2.4 GHz band, and the faster but more limited band. 5 GHz. These are basically blocks of radio wave frequencies that devices can take advantage of, and the majority of routers can now switch between them seamlessly.

Wi-Fi 6 has increased the capacity of the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, and Wi-Fi 6E adds a third band to the mix: 6 GHz. This low latency 6 GHz band offers much more capacity for data packets. Ddepending on how they are divided, there is a potential of up to 60 channels, which is way ahead of the 25 channels and the 3 channels that 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz exceed, respectively.

Everything revolves around 6 GHz.

Everything revolves around 6 GHz.
Picture: The Wi-Fi alliance

OK, so what does that mean?

Using the common analogy with the highway, we are essentially talk much more about expressways for traffic. This means less interference for your plethora of devices, and that means they’re all served with faster speeds from your router—although, as always, it’s the speed of broadband entering your home that ultimately determines how quickly your downloads and uploads progress.

The theoretical maximum speed (which you won’t get at home, by the way) is the same as the old Wi-Fi 6 on the 5 GHz band: 9.6 Gbps. What’s important is the extra capacity and bandwidth, and with less rush for space across the spectrum, gadgets should be able to maintain faster, more stable connections to your router.

Technically speaking, 6 GHz spans 1,200 MHz of frequency, with channels up to 160 MHz available, depending on how they are sliced. It didn’t become an option for manufacturers until after mid-2020, when the FCC opened it up for unlicensed use. The liberation of radio frequencies is a whole different story in itself, but the very short version is that governments are trying, to varying degrees, to ensure that wireless communications are used in a safe, secure and socially responsible manner. beneficial.

This rule also means that you may not have Wi-Fi 6E if you live outside of the United States., although more and more countries including Canada, the UK and EU member states are now fully integrated (although the implementations may be slightly different in each case). Previously reserved for alternative communications such as satellite links and mobile links, it looks like 6 GHz will soon be an option that consumer devices can take advantage of around the world.

And that’s a big deal, also, that is to say aabout four times the space that routers and gadgets can take advantage of. As we all continue to cram more and more gadgets into our homes, from smart speakers and media broadcasters to all-in-one computers, this increased capacity will be crucial to keeping everything online and running smoothly. .

Wi-Fi 6E ready: the Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500.

Wi-Fi 6E ready: the Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500.
Photo: Netgear

“The 6 GHz band will be perhaps the most disruptive boon for wifi users in the last 20 years, ” Broadcom’s Vijay Nagarajan said when the standard was announced. “This band of spectrum, when paired with wifi, will fuel new consumer experiences on smartphones, AR / VR devices, and portable devices that we haven’t even invented yet. “

Are there any drawbacks?

Well, 6 GHz is similar to 5 GHz in being limited in its range, due to its shorter wavelengths. Like 5 GHz, it doesn’t like long distances or thick walls and floors. It’s likely that when it comes to Wi-Fi 6E hardware, mesh networking will become the norm, with multiple connection points dotted around.

The good news is that 6E Wi-Fi hardware is already deployed; the bad news is very expensive at the moment. It should also be borne in mind that in order to take advantage of the 6 GHz band you need both a 6E Wi-Fi router and a 6E Wi-Fi device, so it might not be worth investing in an expensive device new router until your phones, laptops, and other devices have had a chance to catch up. 6E Wi-Fi routers will of course also support older Wi-Fi standards and hardware, but only 6E Wi-Fi gadgets will get the best experience.

Eventually, Wi-Fi 6E should become the norm, and signs point to Wi-Fi 6E going mainstream faster than Wi-Fi 6. Phones will likely lead the charge with the new standard, though only a handful currently support Wi-Fi 6E – the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra done, for example, but not the norm Galaxy s21 (or the iPhone 13 series elsewhere). Expect that to change in 2022.

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