The Evolution of Wireless Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, the new Smart Home Standard of Wi-fi

You’d be hard-pressed to step into an Aussie home that doesn’t have some form of internet connection. With the demands of life (working from home, streaming, children’s homework, online banking –the list goes on), internet usage continues to increase year after year, and the demand for quality home Wi-Fi continues to grow. Thankfully, wireless connectivity technology has significantly improved, making home Wi-Fi faster and more reliable and much more efficient.

There are two key standards that have shaped the evolution of wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi 5 (802.11) and Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax). In this post, we will examine the differences between the two standards and learn about how Wi-Fi 6 is a significant improvement from Wi-Fi 5.

In this post:

Speed and Capacity
Wi-Fi 6 has introduced several enhancements over its predecessor, Wi-Fi 5, particularly when it comes to speed and capacity. Without getting too technical, Wi-Fi 5 operates using the 5GHz frequency band and provides a max data transfer rate of 3.5Gbps. In comparison, Wi-Fi 6 operates in both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands and can hit speeds of up to 10Gbps – that’s a significant boost in speed-enhancing overall performance.

Another standout feature of Wi-Fi 6 is Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA). Simply, this technology allows modems to divide channels into sub-channels, enabling simultaneous communication across multiple devices. The ability to divide channels into smaller channels results in increased network capacity and reduces latency, making it ideal for homes or offices with multiple connected devices.

Improved Efficiency
Wi-Fi 6 has a significant improvement in power consumption. Thanks to a feature called Target Wake Time (TWT), Wi-Fi 6 devices can schedule when and how often they will activate to send and receive data.
With Wi-Fi 6, you also get improved data throughput allowing for better performance, particularly in environments with signal interference or obstructions. This is possible through the use of 1024-QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation), which increases the number of bits transmitted per signal.

Enhanced Range and Coverage
Range and coverage have continued to improve with enhanced devices; however, Wi-Fi 6 specifically addresses this through the introduction of 1024-QAM modulation and improved error correction techniques. It also incorporates beamforming technology which allows the modem to broadcast signals towards connected devices rather than omnidirectionally. The targeted approach improves signal strength and reliability, particularly in congested environments.

Backward Compatibility and Futureproofing
Isn’t it annoying when technology gets better, but then you have to change all the hardware to run the new tech? Not with Wi-Fi 6! One of the key advantages is backward compatibility with previous Wi-Fi standards. While Wi-Fi 6 devices perform at their best when connected to Wi-Fi 6 modems, they can still connect to Wi-Fi 5 or earlier modems. The compatibility ensures that users will still get the benefits of Wi-Fi 6 even if they haven’t updated their Wi-Fi 5 modems yet.

Manufacturers are increasingly incorporating this new standard into their devices, meaning that investing in Wi-Fi 6 infrastructures today will help to future-proof your home network for upcoming devices that will be optimised for the latest standard.

Final Word
Wi-fi 6 is a significant leap in wireless connectivity, offering faster speeds, increased capacity and better coverage and efficiency in comparison to Wi-Fi 5. If you’re not convinced that the upgrade is worth it, then you need to experience Wi-Fi 6 to know the difference!

Want to upgrade but not sure which device to choose? Check out eero 6+. These devices offer superior speed, efficiency, and coverage of up to 1504 square feet and can be used with multiple eero devices so you can build a mesh network throughout your home. Available with any Leaptel plan with flexible payment options. Get connected to Leaptel with eero today!

Disclaimer: eero devices are not available on FTTN connections.