Do i need WIFI6?


Instead of boosting the speed for individual devices, Wi-Fi 6 is all about improving the network when a bunch of devices are connected.

That’s an important goal, and it arrives at an important time: when Wi-Fi 5 came out, the average US household had about five Wi-Fi devices in it. Now, homes have nine Wi-Fi devices on average, and various firms have predicted we’ll hit 50 on average within several years.

Those added devices take a toll on your network. Your router can only communicate with so many devices at once, so the more gadgets demanding Wi-Fi, the more the network overall is going to slow down.

Wi-Fi 6 introduces some new technologies to help mitigate the issues that come with putting dozens of Wi-Fi devices on a single network. It lets routers communicate with more devices at once, lets routers send data to multiple devices in the same broadcast, and lets Wi-Fi devices schedule check-ins with the router. Together, those features should keep connections strong even as more and more devices start demanding data.

Kastrenakes J. (Feb 21, 2019, 9:45am EST) Wi-Fi 6: is it really that much faster?

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What is wifi6 and do i need it?

Wi-Fi 6 is the newest IEEE 802.11ax standard for wireless local-area networks (WLANs) and the successor of 802.11ac. It is based on the 60 GHz frequency band and is distance limited compared to the 2.4 and 5.2/5.8 GHz bands.


The short but incomplete answer: 9.6 Gbps. That’s up from 3.5 Gbps on Wi-Fi 5.

The real answer: both of those speeds are theoretical maximums that you’re unlikely to ever reach in real-world Wi-Fi use. And even if you could reach those speeds, it’s not clear that you’d need them. The typical download speed in the US is just 72 Mbps, or less than 1 percent of the theoretical maximum speed. Some 281 Internet customers can achieve over 100 Mbps on some of our 281FrackingFiber family services, but this is still less than 1 percent of that maximum speed.

But the fact that Wi-Fi 6 has a much higher theoretical speed limit than its predecessor is still important. That 9.6 Gbps doesn’t have to go to a single computer. It can be split up across a whole network of devices. That means more potential speed for each device.

Kastrenakes J. (Feb 21, 2019, 9:45am EST) Wi-Fi 6: is it really that much faster?

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Do I need it? Do I want it?

In all likelihood, you do not need Wi-Fi 6 yet. As of Summer 2021 I've only seen about 35 devices on any 281 client network. And to my knowledge, there just aren't many client devices out there that support Wi-Fi 6 yet. I'm sure this will change in 2022, but the price difference between buying (or supplying a 281 Cloud Mesh Wi-Fi 6) one is significantly more expensive. And, because these have come out to the Wi-Fi market, you can get the "last year's model" Wi-Fi 5 much more affordably today. We recommend spending money getting more nodes for better coverage and installing Ethernet cabling to work computers, game consoles, and gaming consoles to get them off of Wi-Fi over moving to Wi-Fi 6 at the present time.

One caveat to Ethernet cabling is that when Wi-Fi 6 is available in your computer or console, it will actually be better than running Ethernet as the theoretical latency is lower for 60 GHz than over Ethernet. Of course the reality will depend on how the manufacturer of the Wi-Fi 6 hardware implements it. Today, Ethernet is the best option if you work from home, attend online school, or game through the Internet!