All About WI-FI 6 (802.11 ax)
Fast Wi-Fi in laptops and routers that you can actually buy.
In the past decade, more and more devices in our homes, small and large, simple and complex, are all connected to Wi-Fi. Each device demands some time and bandwidth of your router, and it quickly becomes a problem – the more devices you have, the thinner the capacity of your router. If this continues, the speed may be slower at a drag.
The problem of Wi-Fi 6 meant that making data delivery more efficient to provide faster speeds, and at CES this year, the new Wi-Fi standard was finally felt like a reality.
Not only that, some routers were affordable – a significant change from the initials of Wi-Fi 6 products last year. If you are buying equipment in the near future, there is a good chance now that you are actually buying and taking advantage of the new standard.
The biggest leap for Wi-Fi 6 at this year’s conference came from the affordable Wi-Fi router.
Last year, we soon saw a lot of router promises, but when those routers showed up in stores, they hit the highest price points.
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It makes sense – Wi-Fi 6 is the new technology, so of course it ended up in the first highest end router. But widespread adoption depends on Wi-Fi 6, making it into a lower-priced router than most people actually buy. These new routers are no better than last year, but they provide a meaningful improvement over the cheaper models they are replacing.
In the past year, more economical routers are slowly becoming visible. Routers announced at last year’s CES store hits for uncertain points in the future, with a very small number of them falling below $ 200 (a low-end TP-Link model is currently on sale for $ 70).
This year, even more are being announced that offer prices comparable to popular existing models, putting them in the $ 100 to $ 200 range or so high that quality routers and meshes sit in the system.
|Wi-fi 6 routers|
The Nighthawk Mesh WiFi 6 system is not the fastest set of Wi-Fi routers, but it is one of the more affordable options for both Mesh and Next-Gen Wi-Fi. It is a dual-band system, offering 1,500 square feet of coverage per note with 1.8 Gbps bandwidth. A two-pack costs $ 230, and as a good perk, the system supports EasyMesh, so can be mixed into compatible third-party nodes.
In particular, Netgear used this year’s show to debut Nighthawk Mesh, the first Mesh router from a trusted brand to bring Wi-Fi 6 at a specific price point for the category. A two-pack of routers sells for $ 230, and they work well with an Internet connection of up to 400 Mbps, which is the highest home in the US.
Mesh router systems are more expensive than singular routers because they consist of multiple units. But they are also increasing recommended options for larger homes. They also solve a problem that relates to Wi-Fi 6 that is set to be solved: the need for faster, stronger Wi-Fi throughout your home.
|Wi-fi 6 ecosystem|
Upgrading the mesh system allows them to offer more benefits than Wi-Fi 6 upgrades due to the extended coverage, so it is important to see both of these upgrades working in concert.
We are starting to show Wi-Fi 6 in more routers across the board. TP-Link, Aris and D-Link also added Wi-Fi 6 to the mesh router system this week and Comcast announced a Wi-Fi 6 version of its gateway – a significant change as a large number of people switched their routers. Hired cable provider.
And the important thing is that Wi-Fi 6 is finally included in the actual gadgets we are buying. No product is an early adopter compared to the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro, which both include Wi-Fi 6 and since its launch in September it has been sold in the millions. But CES showed that Wi-Fi 6 support is becoming the norm across devices across the board. Lenovo, Asus and Samsung were among the companies to announce new laptops with Wi-Fi 6 on board.
Wi-Fi 6 was never designed to be such a powerful technology that it was worth upgrading. It theoretically comes with a maximum speed of 3.5 Gbps to 9.6 Gbps on Wi-Fi 5. But the extra bandwidth is higher, allowing the router to overcome the multitude of devices in your home, rather than having an incredible burst of speed. For any one device (your internet speed is likely close to that maximum anyway).
The benefit of Wi-Fi 6 will actually be seen over time, as more devices support the standard and its data delivery capabilities are able to speed things up – or, at least, prevent speeds from falling short.
For adoption, Wi-Fi 6 must be built into every new device so that it naturally ends up in people’s pockets and homes. Wi-Fi 6 is still not the cheapest of laptops and phones in most cases. But increasingly, this is where many people are buying: good phones and laptops, plus the have-all-you-get router system.
All told, we also saw that there are 6 more to come for Wi-Fi. These developments are worth watching, but they are not a reason to hold off on upgrades.