When do we get WiFi 6

With Wi-Fi 6 gets a Wi-Fi specification a name for the first timethat consumers feel too can remember. In this article, we explain to you what the new WLAN standard is all about and why Wi-Fi 6 is so exciting.

Overview - Wi-Fi gets a name

Wi-Fi has always been one Marketing problem. At least when it came to explaining the difference between the different WLAN generations in an understandable way.

With Wi-Fi 6 that is about to change. The Wi-Fi Alliance, which stands behind our beloved WLAN, has made sure that the WLAN standards are implemented immediately get a simple name. This is made up of the word "Wi-Fi" and the version number.

With that the whole concept more understandable the two previous Wi-Fi standards "n" and "ac" have also been given new names. In this case Wi-Fi 4 for the 802.11n standard and Wi-Fi 5 for the 802.11ac standard. Simple, isn't it?

Overview of Wi-Fi standards

Before we get to the advantages of the new Wi-Fi 6 standard, let's take a quick look at it overview using the previous designations and standards.

All Wi-Fi standards have a specification number of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), which describes exactly how it works. For Wi-Fi, this standard is labeled 802.11. The respective version of the standard is followed by this designation.

The following Wi-Fi standards are common:

  • 802.11b (11 Mbit / s)
  • 802.11g (54 Mbit / s)
  • 802.11n (600 Mbit / s) - Wi-Fi 4
  • 802.11ac (1300 Mbit / s) - Wi-Fi 5
  • 802.11ax (potentially up to 11,000 Mbps) - Wi-Fi 6

How fast is Wi-Fi 6?

When it comes to data connections, the question is about that speed naturally obvious.

With Wi-Fi 6, the Performance screw turned. At the physical level, the new standard does not have much more bandwidth than Wi-Fi 5. Almost 37 percent Bandwidth increase brings the new standard on the physical level.

Looks like an airplane, but it's a Netgear 802.11ax router.

New instruction sets and a improved signal distribution However, on multiple carrier channels, the speed of Wi-Fi 6 compared to Wi-Fi 5 is around Factor 4 increase.

Depending on the structure of the WLAN device, this is how several gigabit / s of bandwidth ready. Especially in heavily used radio environments, Wi-Fi 6 should be able to show its advantages and with significantly increased stability and the associated data rate score.

How does Wi-Fi 6 work?

Hold with Wi-Fi 6 exciting technologies Entry into the world of WLAN. Some of these technologies were already used with Wi-Fi 5, but were used with the new WLAN variant improved and expanded.

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We want them together Main differences work out between Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6. If the following paragraph is too technical for you, just do it directly continue with the next chapter.

OFDMA - the magic word

Anyone who has already heard a little about Wi-Fi 6 may already be shorthand OFDM or OFDMA got to my ears. The new Modulation scheme is responsible for much of the performance increase in Wi-Fi 6.

The abbreviation stands for Orthogonal frequency division multiple access and describes a Multiplexing / modulation method in radio technology. With OFDMA, the carrier frequency is in several so-called sub-carriers (Subcarriers), which are then dynamically assigned to individual users.

New mainboards such as the ROG Crosshair VIII Hero also support the new WLAN standard (see antenna connections on the left).

OFDMA, quite simply speaking, allows that simultaneous communication between an access point (AP) and many end devices, without losing many resources for the Overhead wasting communication. This pays off especially in heavily frequented WLAN environments and increases efficiency.

Depending on the transmission, an OFDMA transmission can thus dynamic use a bandwidth between 2 MHz and 80 MHz.

MU-MIMO - multitasking in both directions

Under MU-MIMO the term hides Multi-user. This technology is already from previous WLAN versions known and ensures that a WLAN AP at the same time can communicate with multiple clients. Different antennas are used for this.

In contrast to Wi-Fi 5, Wi-Fi 6 MU-MIMO can no longer only be directed towards the end devices (Downstream), but also receive the replies from the end devices simultaneously (Upstream).

MU-MIMO divides the individual clients independent data streams on (Spatial Streams), while OFDMA the clients different RUs (resource units) assigns that via the Frequency spectrum be distributed. For the first time, Wi-Fi 6 supports OFDMA and MU-MIMO use in parallel.

Increase in sub-carriers

As we learned above, OFDMA divides the individual clients various sub-carriers on. In order for Wi-Fi 6 to have enough of these frequency ranges available, the Number of sub-carriers quadrupled.

256 sub-carriers are now available for 20 MHz channel widths. At 40 MHz, 80 MHz and 160 MHz there are 512, 1024 and 2048 sub-carriers, respectively.

This also sinks the distance between the individual sub-carriers on a quarter compared to Wi-Fi 5. That's simply because Wi-Fi 6 is absolutely no more bandwidth in the frequency spectrum available as Wi-Fi 5.

New frequency ranges

Previous Wi-Fi standards were only specified for the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. The changes with Wi-Fi 6. 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz are still the leading frequency ranges, but the 802.11ax standard can potentially use all bands between 1 GHz and 6 GHz use. These only have to be approved for the use of Wi-Fi in the respective country.

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Thus, Wi-Fi 6 puts the Cornerstone for the already heavily used ISM bands in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz range in the future by switching to other frequencies to relieve.

When will compatible devices be available?

Here we have good news for you! The first Wi-Fi 6 certified devices are already available on the market.

The Galaxy S10 from Samsung can also handle the new standard.

As is often the case, different routers do and Access points here the beginning. However, there are already first ones Smartphoneslike the Galaxy S10 from Samsung and Apple's iPhone 11, which can already handle 802.11ax.

Is there already Wi-Fi 7?

Always slow! Wi-Fi 6 is only just emerging and it will be a long time before the corresponding devices are available across the board. The world is felt not even in the age of Wi-Fi 5 arrived.

The question of Wi-Fi 7 is of course not entirely absurd. Work is currently being carried out on the 802.11be standard.

This primarily focuses on the connection of moving end clients and unofficially probably has the potential later Wi-Fi 7 to become.

It is already known that 802.11be significantly higher data rates should offer and will also work in the 6 GHz range. In addition, the maximum channel bandwidth on 320 MHz increase what 802.11be is already now the addition Extremely High Throughput (EHT) has brought in. Officially, Wi-Fi is 7 but not yet.

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