For over 20 years, the Wi-Fi Alliance has been helping us all be more mobile while staying connected, launching its next iteration of the Wi-Fi protocols, Wi-Fi 6, that promises faster speeds, better reliability and plenty more.
But what is Wi-Fi 6, and how can it help your organisation? Keep on reading to find out!
What is Wi-Fi 6?
Before this most recent launch, Wi-Fi technologies used to be designated by various letters. This newest evolution also brought with it a change to the naming conventions, so here’s a breakdown of Wi-Fi tech so far:
|Name||N/A||N/A||N/A||Wi-Fi 4||W-Fi 5||Wi-Fi 6|
|Max speed||54 Mbit/s||54 Mbit/s||54 Mbit/s||600 Mbit/s||6.9 Gbit/s||9.6 Gbit/s|
As you can see, each iteration doesn’t necessarily bring faster speeds. The evolution of some iterations has been based on the number of devices it can handle, adopting new frequency bands and protocols to juggle more connections at once reliably.
It’s also important to note that these are theoretical maximum speeds, and most won’t reach the lofty heights of nearly 10 Gbps of data transferred wirelessly, even with Wi-Fi 6.
But don’t let that put you off. Wi-Fi 6 has the potential to revolutionise business connectivity, and here’s why.
Primarily, Wi-Fi 6 does deliver faster speeds, which is great for businesses where employees are constantly connected to the internet to complete their workloads. Less time wasted waiting for pages to load or files to download means higher staff productivity and better customer feedback.
Especially with the widespread adoption of full-fibre connectivity, Wi-Fi 6 ensures your team get the most from your underlying infrastructure. This also means you could get rid of all those long ethernet cables that clutter the office workspace, represent a significant trip hazard, and can cost considerable amounts to replace.
MU-MIMO (Multi-User Multiple-Input Multiple-Output) is the newest iteration of the technology that enables routers to communicate with several devices, rather than just one. Traditional Wi-Fi routers with Single-User MIMO serve only one user at a time, while other users that rely on that connection are forced to wait, which diminishes performance and overall capacity.
Then there’s TWT (Target Wake Time). This is another addition to Wi-Fi 6’s tech stack that allows it to arrange a time with specific devices to check if new data is available to send. This reduces congestion on the network and pressure on routers, meaning a more reliable connection and more predictable speeds. What’s more, because devices aren’t sending data requests as frequently, TWT also improves the battery life of your team’s devices!
Chances are you’ve seen the term ‘WPA 2’ when typing a password into a device at some point. Standing for Wireless Protected Access, the acronym refers to a security certification program used since 2004.
Released in 2018, Wi-Fi 6 requires WPA3. This new standard promises to increase security protections by enhancing the encryption capabilities of your router, making it harder for hackers to decrypt your data and access your business-critical information.
Do you need new devices?
Before you can start embracing a faster future with Wi-Fi 6, you need suitable devices to communicate with them.
Thankfully, Wi-Fi protocols are backwards compatible, so if you upgrade your routers to Wi-Fi 6, they will provide the best possible connection to legacy devices that leverage past standards until you can start acquiring new devices.
Wi-Fi 6 devices are on the market. Apple’s iPhone 12, new iPads and Macs all include the necessary hardware, plus new Windows and Android-based devices are released each week!
Whether you want to understand how to upgrade your infrastructure, how Wi-Fi 6 would improve your particular operation, or looking for some new devices, Cantium can help.
Get in touch with a member of our today and embrace the increased productivity that Wi-Fi offers.