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Wi-Fi 6E adds 6GHz wireless spectrum support for faster wireless speeds and lower transmission time than previous generations, but you'll need a new router and Wi-Fi 6E compatible devices to take advantage of those new waves.

Do you have to upgrade now?


If you're looking for a new router or any Wi-Fi device, you must first understand the new Wi-Fi 6E and what it means for the future of wireless networks at home and in offices.

The U.S. Wi-Fi Alliance, a group of Wi-Fi platform vendors working with the FCC and electronics manufacturers to set Wi-Fi standards, announced the appointment of Wi-Fi 6E in 2020 for IEEE 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) products that support the 6GHz wireless spectrum. Basically, this means that Wi-Fi 6E offers faster speeds and less transmission time than Wi-Fi 6 and previous iterations.

Wi-Fi 6 vs Wi-Fi 6E


When the IEEE 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) standard was first announced, it was legally restricted by a wireless spectrum covering only the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. Now in the 2.4 GHz range, you already have three non-overlapping channels - this bandwidth is shared by you, your family members, and your neighbors.

 

If you have trouble staying in touch with a Zoom call or have the latest episode of The Mandalorian pause for buffering, it's likely that the cause is spectrum congestion. If too many devices compete on the bandwidth on the same wireless channel, some of these signals will be dropped.

This is not just a question of how many family members are connected to Wi-Fi in your home. Any other Wi-Fi network in the range (such as those transmitted from your neighbor's wireless router) competes for the same limited number of channels.

In April 2020, the FCC voted unanimously to open the 6 GHz band for unauthorized use. With this change in policy, more airwaves have been opened significantly that routers can use to transmit Wi-Fi signals - and this is a big problem.

The opening of the 6GHz range is the largest wi-fi spectrum addition since 1989. Jumping from 5 GHz to 6 GHz may not seem much, but it basically doubles the amount of airwaves (14 additional 80 MHz channels and seven additional 160 MHz channels) available for routers and smart devices. This means less interference in the signal.

Bottom line: Devices adopted early with Wi-Fi 6 (such as the first batch of Wi-Fi 6 routers) is limited to 2.4 GHz and 5GHz spectrum, while Wi-Fi 6E-compatible devices will be able to access all of these exciting devices. 6 GHz airwaves.

 What are the advantages of Wi-Fi 6E?


The simplest reason you want Wi-Fi 6E? The 6GHz band allows internet speeds greater than 1 Gbps. Not only that, but the growing spectrum means less transition time (less than milliseconds) for online games, video calls, or virtual computing sessions where you need an instant response to keyboard commands, sounds, or mouse clicks.

See how we test wireless routers


Even with faster connectivity, you'll probably only notice the advantages of Wi-Fi 6E when it comes to home network capacity - i.e. in the form of less traffic for the gentle. Gigabit's full-home coverage and multi-Gigabit Wi-Fi capacity mean that ordinary homeowners can finally get the kind of next-generation computing experiences we've only seen in places like vendor shows or trade shows. Imagine VR games anywhere in your home, or participate in augmented reality business shows, all without any drop in bandwidth due to other family members streaming Netflix or watching neighbors on YouTube.

 How to get Wi-Fi 6E


Now that you know that Wi-Fi 6E is an indispensable technology for the future, let's talk about how to get it now. Countries such as the United States, Brazil, and Korea have already opened the 6GHz range, but many other countries have been slow to open their wireless spectrum for commercial use. As a result, most of the Wi-Fi 6E devices you will see today will be marketed to US customers today.

Wi-Fi 6E devices will be compatible with previous versions with Wi-Fi 6 and previous Wi-Fi standards, but in order to use the new 6GHz channels, you'll need a Wi-Fi 6E router and a Wi-Fi 6E client device (meaning computers, phones, smart home appliances and other Wi-Fi 6E-enabled gadgets). This means that even if you have a relatively new Wi-Fi 6 router, you still need to upgrade to the Wi-Fi 6E.

 

Routers such as Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 promise a good foundation for the home Wi-Fi 6E network, but you won't be able to use this advanced speed without the next generation of Wi-Fi 6E-enabled devices. Any new phone that uses Qualcomm's FastConnect 6700 and FastConnect 6900 will also be able to use the 6GHz range.

We should start seeing a few Intel-based laptops equipped with intel Wi-Fi 6E AX210 (Gig+) in 2021, but most of the laptops we see in the first half of the new year will probably only support Wi-Fi 6.

Do you have to upgrade to Wi-Fi 6E?


The easy answer to this question for most people now is no. Wi-Fi 6E routers are beginning to reach the market, and as with most new technologies, they carry high fees for early adopters. By this time next year, prices are likely to drop dramatically, and there will be plenty of Wi-Fi-compatible devices that you can connect to your router.

In addition, Wi-Fi 6E won't help you much outdoors, so if you're looking to expand your work potential from home to your backyard, you'll probably be better served by an overlapping network of Wi-Router Fi 6E network.

However, if you're in the market for a new router, you want something resistant to the future, and don't mind paying a premium, by all means, think of the Wi-Fi 6E. Anyone else can wait until at least next year before considering an upgrade.

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